Lately, as I am in the midst of growing the COCOCOZY home textiles collection, I’ve been thinking about marketing and sales. I got a chuckle earlier today as I was telling new COCOCOZY sales rep JG about how I was once possibly hoodwinked into buying a questionable item at one of the most elite brands in the world…right on Rodeo drive (btw…like southerners say “I was over served” when they’ve drank to much alcohol; I am saying I was hoodwinked when I might have just really been impulsive…I like to say I was hoodwinked though…takes all responsibility away from me…that’s right!) Hoodwinking is not a tactic we want to use for the COCOCOZY brand and not one typically used at this major brand either at all but thinking about this story that actually happened to me got me to laugh!
Please make sure to read the update at the bottom of the post…life is filled with ironies!
For those of you who have seen this story, I hope you’ll weigh in again. The majority of you, I know haven’t read it because I had a much smaller readership back then, I hope you’ll weigh in now!
So today I bring you one from the COCOCOZY archives…UGLY OR PRETTY? HOODWINKED BY HERMES! You be the judge!
This is my Hermes scarf. This is the Hermes scarf that I was duped into buying.
Here’s how this became mine…
I was at the Hermes store in Beverly Hills on Rodeo Drive awhile back (August 2009)….on a mission to buy a new Hermes scarf. Thought it would be nice to have a classic silk scarf to wear as a belt with black dresses, jeans or black pants. Chic preppy. That was my goal. Black gold and white…or maybe one in that classic Hermes orange. Definitely with an equestrian feel (as I used to ride horses years ago…and love to pretend that I still have the horse woman in me by occasionally incorporating horsey things into my life). I knew what I wanted…I had a clear vision…focus…resolve.
Well, I walked into the store to buy my scarf just as that day’s Birkin bag had arrived. If you haven’t been to Hermes lately, in place of the renowned Birkin waiting list, Hermes has now started the clever practice of only releasing one of these $10,000+ bags a day…in a surprise daily ritual with the manager walking the bag down from a secret storage area at an unknown time. This Birkin bag “practice” creates a very bizarre in-store hysteria on a day-to-day basis with uber shoppers thronging the store in hopes of getting their hands on the leather purse of the day. The bags usually are sold within 10 minutes I was later told by one of the sales people. Only 10 minutes to sell a purse that costs over $10,000!!! That’s smart…trickery….or magic…you decide?
Well, all I wanted was a scarf.
So as I was standing at the scarf counter speaking with one of the Hermes ladies…the Birkin bag arrived. I was almost shoved aside. A girl and her boyfriend, a middle aged woman who everyone seemed to know, an older husband and wife, and lady who looked like a tourist (whatever that means) were all there waiting…to see the color, to decide whether they would plunk down the $10,000. All eager, all with bated breath. It was then that I got distracted. Totally distracted (which would be much to my chagrin).
Watching this Birkin bag purchasing spectacle made me for one moment think that I needed that day’s Birkin. My heart started to race. My American Express felt like it was burning a whole in my not so chic Tod’s bag. If that bag was not taken, I was going to buy it. Lucky for me (and my bank account), the young girl and her boyfriend, who seemed to have been first in line, won the coveted bag that day. I didn’t even have the option to purchase. What? Why not? How did these people know to even be here? How can I get one? This is not fair? Why didn’t I get the memo? Why wasn’t I in the know? These were all things that were running through my mind as the Birkin sailed out of the store and I was left at the war torn scarf counter.
Bewildered and bemused, I continued my hunt for the perfect silk scarf. I should have left after witnessing that Birkin whirlwind. I had lost all senses. While I had told the sales lady that I definitely and absolutely wanted a more traditional Hermes patterned scarf (you know the kind that oozes classic style), I did feel a bit like a second class citizen and was very impressionable at that point. Here were all of the ladies ready to fork over $10K and all I wanted was a measly $375 scarf (I know $375 is not cheap…I know…that’s why I’m telling this story…it was crazy…craziness…but the whirlwind of the Birkin made me lose my senses I tell you. It did! Aaaarrggghhhh!!!!)
So when the sales lady said in her best French accent, “Zees eeez za scarf you must geeeet. Eeet is so very very chic….I adorrrhhhee eeet!”, I looked at the scarf and thought to myself, “Really? I don’t know? Is this a joke? Maybe she’s right? I don’t know. I think it is kind of awful. Ooops, I should never even think anything is awful in Hermes. If I do, I may never be in the Hermes know. Well, she just said many of her clients are scarf collectors and this scarf is the one to have this season. I don’t know? It seems…so…so…I don’t know? Maybe if I buy one of these more daring scarves, I will feel like I am in the know…like the Birkin bag shoppers. I’ll have a collectors Hermes scarf. That’s it yes! Forget staid traditional. I’m going daring. I’m part of the “in” scarf collectors crowd. There…yes…aha!”
The scarf she carefully unfolded in front of me is the scarf you see here. Hmmm….
The scarf features a mish mosh of colors, patterns, themes, eras, a cornucopia of flora, fauna and half of a Native American man dressed in traditional garb (notice there is only half of this man on the scarf). Oh yes, did I mention, the palm fronds, the tiger and the medieval times horses?
So the scarf is mine. I’ve worn it once. I’ve tried it on a couple of times and even as a belt it doesn’t seem to work.
Now I leave it to you…is my Hermes silk scarf UGLY OR PRETTY?
Am I missing something here? I think you know where I stand on this…if you don’t by now, I’ll just call a spade a spade…I think it is leaning towards ugly…
To tie this into home decor…maybe I can salvage this in some way. I won’t ever wear it but maybe I could frame it and make it a piece of art? Hang it on a wall? Add style and panache to my home?!#$%^&… I don’t think so.
If all of you see some beauty here…I’ll reconsider my point of view…I’m waiting…weigh in please!
Important Update…I was just on the Hermes site…today 4/15/11 and I noticed that a version of my scarf (it is called Carre en Carres) is still being sold at Hermes and it is now $580…my scarf has appreciated over time! This is crazy. The scarf I’ve made fun of for years is actually more expensive now than it was when I bought it. I guess there was no hoodwinking going on after all…someone thinks it’s pretty enough that its value has grown! Whoa! Over time, I have found uses for my scarf…I’ve worn it as a belt (hiding the design), a drawer liner, a keepsake…but I’ve still never been daring enough to actually wear it as scarf!
Was just on the phone with my good stylish friend Amie (A.Ro.) who works in the fashion industry. Years ago she said the scarf was “in” and I said not. A.Ro. is on her way to Paris and is at the airport right now. She just called and asked me why I was laughing…and I reminded her about the scarf and the story and told her the scarf has apppreciated to $580…all she said was, “I told you. That scarf was on trend. I knew it.”. I guess I’m still not on trend!
Please weigh in…do you think this scarf is ugly or pretty?
Photos: all photos in this post by Coco of Cococozy