Not a blog to be tossed aside lightly — it should be thrown with great force
Spice Girl's Cheap Nostalgia Misses Target
The clothes are ugly. And so is the commercial. Victoria Beckham's snoozer of a hotly anticipated accessible "fashion" line hits Target on April 9, and as the just-changing-hands Us Weekly reports, the ad is just out, dusting off the 20-year-old Spice Girls hit "Spice Up Your Life" to get us stoked about a bunch of weird, monochromatic women's and children's dresses, pants and tops. The set and production values are as cheap as the drab duds—even the models don't look happy to be there. (Then again, do models ever look happy?) It's hard to believe one of the most high-profile names in fashion would put her stamp on this crummy collection, or let this embarrassingly low-budget atrocity of a promotion on the airwaves. (Maybe that's why she didn't appear in the ad? Or maybe, like stores such as Old Navy, Target has tired of employing celebrities in its campaigns, at least for the time being.) Is the Target ad just a singular, creative miss—or is it, as Digiday contributor Mark Duffy recently griped, part of a larger trend of fashion marketing having lost its juice? Marketing trends notwithstanding, what seems certain is that Target has another flop on its hands, the onetime trendy sophistication of its wares a distant memory, leaving shoppers (including former devotee me) bored and staying away. If you've been following the news out of the retail world the last, oh, decade or so, you know that nobody's actually going to stores to shop anymore—making the financial standing of chains like Target wobblier and wobblier. Does anybody think Posh's anything-but rags are going to have people rushing back into those brightly colored, florescent-lit aisles? It is time for a major overhaul for our once-beloved Target—one much more bold and forward-thinking than this phoned-in effort from a 90s pop star.
It's official: that gleaming monument to hubris known as Hudson Yards—the mega-development on the West Side that made Tenth Avenue unnavigable for years and ruined the Manhattan skyline with a bunch of ugly, dystopian towers, not to mention that rusting atrocity The Vessel—is a big fat $25 billion flop, as the Times reports. I'm sure similar, schadenfreude-stoked stories were written in the 1930s when the Empire State Building opened just in time for the Great Depression and sat half empty for years, but Hudson Yards is uniquely ill-timed, maybe even irredeemably cursed, as the pandemic has shuttered its marquee tenants (most notably Dallas import Neiman Marcus—as if the city didn't already have a surplus of homegrown retailers selling a bunch of overpriced stuff nobody can afford), while even that suicide-inviting, stairway-to-nowhere monstrosity that is its centerpiece has been mothballed. And the residents of the city are stuck with a hideous heap of hulking, deserted
If you are a working journalist, as I am, you could be forgiven for wanting to off yourself daily for being reminded by other reporters of what a complete failure you are. Let me say upfront that I have enjoyed the spoils of my career, of which there have been many. I've been honored to rub elbows with famous journalists and other bold-faced names. I've attended the Oscars, talked at the Cannes ad festival, and partied at the Tribeca Film Festival. I've gone on TV to talk about this or that on occasion. I've had celebrity writers pick fights with me, some of them public — among them Salman Rushdie and the late Jimmy Breslin. Those were a lot of fun. But I never saw myself as the story. How naive of me. Professors, albeit brilliant ones, who like to write about current events are now being classified not just as journalists but as superstar journalists. Consider Ben Smith's puff piece on Heather Cox Richardson in the Times this week. Richardson teaches American hi
Some of the world's most loved brands — Adidas, IKEA, PEZ, Arby's — happen to be abbreviations. And certain companies are so iconic that they've embraced going by their initials — KFC being a famous example. It's when people unnecessarily complicate things with "abreeves" (only you fans of the dearly departed TV series "Happy Endings" will get that reference) that it gets ridiculous. I recently tuned into a webinar put together by a well-known ad agency in which the host repeatedly referred to the place by its initials. Not only had I never, in all my years covering this stuff, heard the agency referred to that way before, but as one of the letters was a "W," it actually took the presenter longer to say the abbreviation than it would have to say the actual name of the company. Generally, having "W" in a brand's identity is a horrible idea (unless you happen to be George W. Bush, aka "Dubya," which, love him or hate h