Brand Degradation

By Ta-Nehisi Coates

Heh. This looks familiar:


Mike "the Situation" Sorrentino may have to find some new attire for his "gym, tan, laundry" routine. On Tuesday, clothing retailer Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF) said it would offer "substantial payment" to MTV's The Jersey Shore's cast members to stop wearing the brand on air. 

We are deeply concerned that Mr. Sorrentino's association with our brand could cause significant damage to our image. We understand that the show is for entertainment purposes, but believe this association is contrary to the aspirational nature of our brand, and may be distressing to many of our fans," an Abercrombie & Fitch spokesperson said in a statement. "We have also extended this offer to other members of the cast, and are urgently waiting a response."

It's an interesting class conflict. These guys create an aspirational brand, and people who are "aspiring"--in all kinds of ways--flock to it. I remember Big talking about how he shouted out clothing labels that he couldn't even fit. It was like Gucci had been too successful.

Don't know if we have any fashion heads in the house, but I'd be interested to get some perspective on this.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2011/08/brand-degradation/243742/