It’s no secret that hoodrats everywhere flock to the nearest designer retailer to spend their entire paycheck on a $380 handbag belt that they can’t afford. Somewhere near you, a kid is sitting on their dirty bed sheet eating leftovers from yesterday’s KFC because their mother was given a false impression through some rap song that Gucci or Prada grants you irrevocable social status. Now, the stupid broad’s phone is cut off because she didn’t have the money to pay her bill.
That’s where Jay-Z comes in.
You see, Hov– and a bunch of other hip-hop/urban artists– are responsible for bringing these top-notch designers to every hood chick’s household. I will make the bold assumption that says without the existence of rap, Shiquita or Da’Quana wouldn’t have a clue as to who Versace or Louis Vuitton is.
And the makers of the high-end champagne Cristal know it.
Back in 2006, Frederic Rouzaud, the managing director of Louis Roederer–the makers of the champagne–was asked by The Economist magazine about their views on being associated with hip-hop. With “curiosity and serenity” was the reply. But when asked if this association could be damaging to the Cristal brand, Rouzaud stated, being more outward yet with passive-aggression:
“That’s a good question, but what can we do? We can’t forbid people from buying it. I’m sure Dom Perignon or Krug would be delighted to have their business.”
Jay-Z wasn’t amused. He viewed these comments as “racist” and launched a so-called “boycott.” That was the end of the Cristal-in-every-other-music-video era as we knew it.
Diddy’s Ciroc has become one of the drinks of choice, but even he has tried to shy away from the street/urban audience, advertising this brand as a “classy, gangster-fied” (if that’s even possible) indulgence– using a Frank Sinatra song and polished, glossy images to entice those of a higher social/economical status. Maybe most don’t view it that way… but I see it clearly.
Lower-class consumers still drink his shit though. He knows it.
Back in the ’90s, Tommy Hilfiger, unlike Cristal, wasn’t passive-aggressive or even remotely careful with his words when expressing his views on non-whites wearing his clothes:
“If I had known that African-Americans, Hispanics and Asians would buy my clothes, I would not have made them so nice,”
“I wish those people would not buy my clothes – they were made for upper-class whites.”
Hey… at least he’s an honest racist.
A long list of other designers feel the exact same way. And they talk about it. But the difference between these designers and “those” designers is that they make sure that this stance only stays within “the circle” of those who are meant to hear it. The public backlash isn’t worth the trouble; it’s better to not acknowledge the unwanted attention.
So, with Hov’s latest radio hit, “Tom Ford,” this is officially the next designer to be brought from out of urban oblivion and into the fingertips of Google-searching people– both rich and poor– everywhere (if you didn’t catch the reference on Justin Timberlake’s “Suit and Tie”).
What do you think is running through Tom Ford’s mind right now?