Who is Hollister?
It’s up to parents to educate the next generation of consumers and the first lesson is in self-esteem.
Today everything is increasing in price so as consumers, it is good to be aware of who is getting a share of the profits.
And as a parent we all have created little consumers we need to enlighten.
My son and I were out at the mall, unusual for our family as I loathe shopping and the mall almost equally. Nonetheless we were in the food court having some very expensive, yet not very good, food.
My son and I were embroiled in a consumerish discussion on supply and demand when I noticed a young man sitting at the next table wearing a shirt with Hollister emblazoned across his chest.
I couldn’t help myself and as my son rolled his eyes (it is so hard to be my son at times), I said, “Excuse me… who is Hollister and why are you wearing his shirt?”
He looked at me, smiled sheepishly and said, “I don’t know.”
Not surprised, I informed him that Hollister was a fictional surfer.
“Do you surf?” I asked.
“No,” he said.
“Well,” I said. “I surfed but I never wore a Hollister shirt.”
I later took my son to the Abercrombie and Fitch (by the way, Hollister is a branch of A&F) store, where we found a pair of denim shorts that looked as if they had survived (barely) World War II. We looked at the price and his mouth dropped open.
This began our conversation of stockholders and those who dip their hands into our pockets and take our hard-earned cash. And all of this is in the name of fashion and the “in crowd.”
And all of this is reduced to one tiny concept: Self-esteem. Yep that’s the word. If you are glued together tightly on the inside then it matters less what is on the outside.
After all, you aren’t the one who has to look at it.
One good solution was offered to me by my sister-in-law, Jill. She had the same consumer conversation with her son but had a brilliant solution to the craze for staying connected to those in the in crowd. She would give him enough money to buy jeans at the local department store and if he wanted the more expensive, hipper ones, he could choose fashion over common sense and tap his own funds for the balance.
Now I won’t tell you that I don’t like to look good. I have purchased my share of Jones of New York suits and Bandolinos pumps. Now I am dating myself, but I am also a seamstress and didn’t acquire a store-bought dress until almost 13.
We made our clothes, prom gowns, bathing suits, etc. Money aside, part of why we did was to make them as original as possible. If you had a pattern for your prom dress, you were hoping that someone didn’t select the same one. And if they did, well, at least the fabric was different.
What I did learn was that when you do purchase something, it should be made well. I love those suits I bought years ago and several of them are still going strong. To this day, I cannot bring myself to buy a garment made from an unmatched plaid.
My mother must have done her job well when she told me I would never wear someone else’s name on anything I wore. When I managed to afford a pair of jeans that were on sale and made by, say, Gloria Vanderbilt, I would rip off that name and embroider my name on my right pant leg by the hem, in cursive, with a little red heart over the “i” in Ruthie.
I barely remembered that, but one day I was at my parent’s home and I needed to change my slacks and I looked in my old bureau drawer. There in the bottom, I found a pair of jeans matching the description above. I was amazed. Of course I couldn’t wear them cause that was a few hundred Twinkies ago.
I never did get those Go-Go boots that Nancy Sinatra made so famous and that I wanted so badly (everyone in the “in crowd” had them).
My mother said that I didn’t need them and I never thought I’d say this, but “Thanks Mom!” She was right.
Wrap your wallet around that one.