Wednesday, February 2, 2011
When Mr. Hunting Creek brings in the mail, there is a giant pile of catalogs. Every day, Pottery Barn, Restoration Hardware, J. Crew and others try to tempt me to buy their stuff. Mr. Hunting Creek says, "Hey, here's the perfect desk for your sewing room!" I look. It says: Inspired by streamlined World War II fighter planes, our desk is a shining swoop of metal, its shape mimicking the bent wing of a plane. Poised as if for take-off, it features a polished aluminum patchwork exterior accented with steel screws, built around a solid hardwood frame. Three canvas-lined shelves offer ample storage.
"It's not a real airplane wing", I tell Mr, Hunting Creek. "It's just inspired by one." Intrigued against my will, I read the rest of the catalog. As a furniture catalog it's not that exciting, but as a work of fiction it is pretty compelling. It's like a romance novel, but for furniture! Everything is inspired by French Church clock towers, or aviator jackets from WWII, or sun swept beaches at Normandy...any minute I expected Diane Lane and Richard Gere to show up and give each other meaningful glances.
Question: does this stuff sell furniture? If yes, can we expect to see this technique in other areas of retail? When I go to Safeway to get groceries, is my hot chocolate going to remind me of the heroine of Like Water For Chocolate? Will the jam have signs saying, "Inspired by English Teatime"?
We'll know the world is in the End Times when they start marketing patterns like this. Inspired by Mr Darcy's riding jacket the pattern will say. It will sell millions. You read it here first.