Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The Critical Shopper Criticized

Thanks Smur for this one...

Well, the New York Times has definitely lost an enormous advertising deal with J.C. Penny.

NYT columnist Cintra Wilson uses her "Critical Shopper" column to dissect the ups and downs of latest fashion trends and store fronts. Her pieces are usually quiet clever -- her chastising of the "men's short suit" last fall was hilarious and dead on. However, she is now being sharply criticized for her incredibly, nasty stomp all over the clothing giant J.C. Penny for opening a store in Manhattan, "the sleekest, scariest fashion city in America."

Yes, how dare they -- It's not like there isn't an equally cheap H&M on 53rd across the street from Gucci or anything -- But Ms. Wilson rampages the discount department store (and the people who dare to shop there) in an out-of-control verbal assault, as if she is deeply affected and utterly hurt by such an intrusion.

"J. C. Penney has always trafficked in knockoffs that aren't quite up to Canal Street’s illegal standards. It was never 'get the look for less' so much as 'get something vaguely shaped like the designer thing you want, but cut much more conservatively, made in all-petroleum materials, and with a too-similar wannabe logo that announces your inferiority to evil classmates as surely as if you were cursed to be followed around by a tuba section,'" she writes.

Read the original column HERE.

And some of the blasphemy HERE.

Overall, she could have done a much more artistic weaving of discount department store vs. high-end fashion. I even agree with the section on the designers trickling down so to speak to do clothing lines for Target, Wal*Mart and yes, J.C. Penny, but the theme of "we hate fat people in new york" is just cheap. Plus, last big graph towards the end is a total cop out band-aid. If you're going to rip something to shreds at least finish strong.

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