It's Bottega Veneta which stars in this week's installment of people going ballistic at stupid high fashion shit. The brand drew the ire of right-wing news and celebrity content aggregator the Daily Mail after a $2,000 necklace (that, according to the rag, looks like a landline phone cord) appeared on its website.
"Calling all fashion victims!" read the headline, before the piece went onto quote a "baffled shopper" who said, "Who the hell is gonna buy this, gen-Zers who have never experienced a landline?" Zing!
The accessories in question were initially flagged by fashion watchdog-cum-LED light purveyor Diet Prada, which brought attention to another new Bottega piece — a €2,500 Etsy-inspired floral beaded necklace. "Bottega is the new Vetements," declared a caption, alongside hashtags such as "#SMH" and "#dumb." It's true, both these pieces are ridiculous and, if you're asking me, look a bit naff. But given the fact the beads have now sold out on Matches Fashion, many rich people disagree.
Having worked at the vanguard of fashion #content for close to five years, I've realized there are fewer things that get tongues wagging than the faux outrage article. The formula is simple: Take one item relatable to the average person on the street and then rant about why a luxury house has bastardized it. That might be a pair of grass-stained Gucci jeans, or perhaps it's Ralph Lauren overalls with paint splatters. If you can do so in an indignant tone, even better. Within minutes you'll be watching those likes roll in (Diet Prada's post has over 100,000 as of the time of writing). Quite simply, nothing gets those shares quite like when you're sticking it to the man for being out of whack with reality. (Full disclosure: We have been there and done it, too.)
But this argument falls down when you consider that all high-fashion is, on varying levels, completely ridiculous — just some tat more so than others. Off the top of my head, there's Chanel's $20,000 fishing rod; Versace's $800 weights; Tiffany's $700 ping pong paddle; Saint Laurent's $105 pool float... Supreme released an actual fucking clay brick! And that's just the novelty items. How about the profits from apparel like these T-shirts? Aside from that, I reckon there's always been an insidious classism at play with this kind of thing, in that these articles only appear when the price point is above a certain threshold. Trust me, if you went to certain deprived areas in the UK, the idea of spending more than $30 on an item of clothing is bordering on lunacy. It's all relative.
Bottega Veneta selling a necklace that would cost, say, $90 to make at some 300 percent mark-up is not a scam or foul play so long as there are people out there with bad taste and more money than sense who will buy it. It has always been mind-bogglingly expensive, and has never tried to hide the fact it isn't for anyone other than the uber-wealthy, so why are we supposed to be offended, exactly? Supply and demand, and all that. Meanwhile, the likes and followers keep rolling in and the luxury brands count their banknotes. Everyone's a winner.