Season three for YSL's Manifesto. After Gisele Bunchen and Kate Moss, they've got Naomi Campbell for FW08. I like Naomi, I like the collection, I like the campaign and of course I like Stefano; the only difference (in Hong Kong) this season is that instead of inserting the Manifesto at a magazine, they distribute on the street this time as it should be. What's more? they bagged the first 5,000 copies in a special cloth bag each city; which certainly would make more noise and stretches the promotional gesture.
The activity is bound to create chaos, four spots were selected in Central and remained confidential to the very last minute 12.00 noon. Around the time, the rain came, all along I was in Central; many assumed one of the spots was the store at Alexandra House and I saw about 20-30 people started to accumulated and queued up at the front door. The minute witnessed the awaiting scene in the rain, I, as a devoted client and loyal fan, instantly lost interest to that bagged version. After lunch and got my magazines, I passed by Alexandra House again, the rain had stopped and the crowd had gone, I went down to the street outside the store and got a copy (sans bag); and then I bumped into Gucci/ YSL's General Merchandising Manager, my former boss in fact. I greeted and we had a chat, in fact I deliberately carried an old YSL canvas bag with the old pink/orange logo was a Micky take to tease the crowd. She then introduced me to YSL's new regional CEO.
Reality check. First, I cannot be one of those awaiting people who are clearly the ones who cannot afford any YSL products, well, maybe a logo tee or two and that's it, they are not potential or ideal customers for YSL. Call me a snob or whatever, but I cannot be one of them. I mean it's okay to widen the entry prix point category but YSL is not a t shirt or handbag brand, and I'm no fashion police, but if ever toying that ideas with the most pretigeous house in France which was built with grace and style is certainly a crime to me. Second, even if I have the bag, I would/could never carry it around, 'cos that screams "I am one of those queue-ups". Third, I started to think the concept behind this bagged version might actually do more harm than good. No doubt, it certainly creates hypes, but I think hype is in fact the very last thing YSL needs. The cloth bag-act creates noise, but doesn't broaden its fan base or clientele, no! It's possible do more damage the brand image than otherwise. To me, YSL should never be a GUCCI or vice versa, they are different. I wish they'd ditch the bag idea next season.