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Brands Misusing Addiction to Sell their Pieces

November 8, 2019 3:39

The brand AMBUSH, is a contemporary japanese jewelry label founded by the designers VERBAL and YOON, in 2008. The label has partnered with a variety of influential street brands and designers including A Bathing Ape, NIGO, Maison Kitsune, sacai and UNDERCOVER. Most notably, Yoon Ambush was appointed as Kim Jones’s jewelry chief at Dior Homme and accessorized the incredible Dior Fall 2019 collection. 

One of the signature accessories from the brands Fall/Winter 2019 collection is a $702 USD lighter case cord necklace.

The necklace features a gold and silver-toned lighter case pendant which is attached to a mismatched sterling silver beaded cord. It’s an elevated take on the label’s signature lighter case design, adding gold-toned balls and beads into the silver chain, which is supported by a slightly visible black cord underneath.

While the design is impeccable, it seems like AMBUSH might be giving people the wrong ideas. In some sense, the idea that you should buy a case for a lighter for a whopping $702 is not only slightly absurd but also seems to be abusing people’s need for a lighter in order to sell their products. Surely, a lighter can be practical to have around sometimes, but conceptualizing products around that can send the wrong message. 

In some ways, addictions seem to be something that brands, consciously or unconsciously, often tend to do abuse to sell their products. This product could be subliminally is implying that it’s somehow cool to need a lighter like that around your neck all the time- thereby glamorizing everything that comes with needing a lighter, like smoking for example.

In 2017 Vetements, the brand you probably know for their DHL-tshirt and jeans with a butt-zipper, got slammed for coming out with a the silver snuff necklace - basically a slim pendant with a tiny spoon hidden within.Thereally outdid themselves in edginess there. The silver snuff necklace was posted alongside a grinder and a lighter here:

Some commenters did not react very well saying that ‘Vetements is known for innovation but the perpetuation of substance use while we are in an epidemic time is pushing the envelope a tad bit far (my opinion)’ and 'Lol sick... marketing drug culture to consumption addicts'. One user has interesting input, writing "Well... I really like the brand Vetement and your creativity... but drug abuse is not a funny thing' adding 'I have worked in a psychiatric clinic during my studies of medicine; it was a closed psychiatry for drug and alcohol addicts on detox. When you have seen people go cold turkey, greasing their excrements on a wall, you will never glamorize drugs anymore'. Yikes, but fair point.

We're not telling you how to spend your money or not to buy a $702 US dollar lighter case, if that’s what floats your boat you should do as you please (although we strongly advise you to check your bank balance thoroughly before). Drugs shouldn't have a place in fashion and we hope that you act as aware consumers question the intentions of the brands you  give your well-earned money to. 

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The employees in the boutiques, in the design studio and in the backstage area at fashion shows wear white lab coats, as was common in the ateliers of the great couturiers, e.g. Christian Dior, and is still common today. The fashion shows for the high-priced fashion sometimes took place in the context of the Paris Prêt-à-porter shows in unconventional locations, up to shabby surroundings (construction site, metro station, dining room of the Salvation Army etc.). The boutiques are kept in plain white and gray. Margiela originally selected unspectacular locations such as a residential area in Tokyo and did not publish the addresses of the boutiques in order to require the customer to make an effort to find the store at all. The first Margiela store opened in Tokyo in 2000 and the first European boutique was inaugurated in Brussels in 2002. In 2008, a boutique opened in a basement on the edge of Munich's Maximilianstrasse. This was followed by participation in numerous exhibitions, including "Radical Fashion", which was shown in 2001 at the V&A Museum in London. In 2010 there were 36 own stores worldwide.  In 2015 there were over 50 stores worldwide, including boutiques, that only carry the MM6 collection.

The company followed a very restrictive communication policy. The designer can neither be photographed nor interviewed. Only his creations should speak for themselves and the designs should be perceived as the overall performance of the team. That's why the team always shows up in white doctor's coats after the fashion shows - nobody should stand out.

By recycling old fashion, separating, recoloring, reversing seams and zippers, both the origin and the artificial of the art of tailoring are shown. Margiela puts together what doesn't belong together: by hand, jeans turn into skirts, old army socks become pullovers. Baptized by the press as deconstructivism, this current is defined by an abrupt collision of different materials, which at first glance appear inharmonic in the sense of conventional viewing habits. Margiela herself rejects the term "deconstructivism". He resurrected clothes in a new form, he told ELLE in 1991.

Margiela was the unofficial 7th member of "Antwerp 6", a generation of fashion designers who all completed their training at the Royal Academy of Arts between 1980-1981 and shaped the "style of the Belgians". However, it does not belong to the actual group, but it became known in a similar period.

The Japanese "Street Magazine" dedicated two special editions to "Maison Martin Margiela", which were published in book form in 1999. Nicolas Ghesquière (Balenciaga) is a big fan of Maison Martin Margiela.

In July 2014, fashion critic Suzy Menkes exposed Matthieu Blazy via Instagram as Head of Design, after which he deleted his Instagram account and changed his profile in a career network. He left the company on October 1, 2014.

To this day, Margiela pieces, especially in the fashion industry and all fashion lovers, belong to the sanctuaries in every repertoire and archive. Getting vintage pieces from other designers may be possible, but Maison Martin Marginal Archives are a real hunt and that says it all about this art.