This might sound like a joke, but it isn’t.
This video, released this summer, looks like it could have been commissioned for a sociological study on behaviour in the consumerist world. But it’s actually a communications campaign carried out by the luxury brand Alexander Wang.
Although this brand isn’t very well-known in Europe, it’s very popular in the United States.
In fact, according to Kanye West in his song “New Slaves”, “Used to only be niggas now everybody playing / Spending everything on Alexander Wang”
In a nutshell, the brand decided to invite its regular customers in the New York area to a free-for-all in a clothes-filled warehouse, and film everyone’s reactions.
Needless to say, the music is cool and the So-Lo-Mo images are beautiful. They depict people ripping the brand’s garments out of each other’s hands, literally speaking. Clearly these clothes must be coveted !
Basically, this must have been the brand’s goal (in addition to creating a buzz around the idea itself and the shocking video). And it worked: over 380 000 views and 93% green thumbs.
Everyone in NYC talked about this video and many people were heard to say “Damn, I wish I had been there”.
It’s interesting to note that the magazines preferred to steer clear of any controversy, expressing nothing other than their surprise at the video and its contents.
Sometimes journalists find it amusing to make fun of those people who can be reduced to animals over a mere piece of cloth.
And therein lies the problem.
Personally, I find this to be one of the stupidest actions undertaken by a luxury brand this year. Making fun of your customer, highlighting his/her greed and superficial existence cannot possibly be a positive thing for your brand.
There is nothing here that reflects luxury, glamour, beauty… in fact, it only reinforces the exact opposite.
The slow-motion filming and soft music serve only intensify the violence, the people falling over and being trampled (this wasn’t even cut during editing, even though people sustained injuries).
I’m sure people would have attacked each other in the same fashion if the brand had been Uniqlo, H&M or Zara, with the same end result. So this “event” doesn’t even prove the desirability of the brand, but it does indicate a relative lack of respect towards it.
On this subject, the comments under the articles or the video shouldn’t be missed. Vocabulary centers around terms like “pathetic”, “sad”, “shameful”.
If Alexander Wang had wanted specifically to clearly express the low esteem he has for his customers, he couldn’t have found a better way to go about it. This fall, I will be curious to see the reactions of those not close to the luxury world.