Two good books in hand is better than… (part 1)

I swear my room is hexed or something.

I’m sick the 6th time in 6 months which really means I have been sick since Oct 2007. It started the same way it always does – body aches, snore thoart and then full blown fever.

The first time I got sick, the doctor told me that its sinusitis and there’s probably something in my environment that’s causing the nose infection. So fast forward to Feb 2008, hello doctor, I’m still having that sinusitis!

I think I’m allergic to something in my room.

The good thing about being sick is that I stay in at nights and be a good boy. I try not to exert myself and do light activities such as….

making pita bread from scratch!

Okie, I’m kidding. Not about making pita bread but about making pita bread being a light activity cos it’s hard work! I didn’t know it was so tedious and troublesome until I baked it last night…. but that’s another story.

So yes, my books. Two great books I finished reading these past few days. I’ll concentrate on the first book for this post:


Thomas’ main case is that fashion houses are now controlled by businessmen, rather than designers, and have evolved into money making conglomerates.

So instead of creating beauty, these fashion houses are committed to making as much money as possible. As they get listed, the pressures of improving their earnings mount every quarter and the need to mass produce becomes greater.

All these are pretty common knowledge, anybody who reads the newspapers’ fashion and business pages will know all these by now. What makes the book great is Thomas’ very compelling story telling skills, she connects the dots for you with real life examples and interesting anecdotes about the power players. We all know why Tom Ford left Gucci but Thomas weaves in the drama leading up to the ultimate Tom Ford oust very deftly, providing guilty gossip pleasure with each page.

As a marketing person, I do admire the luxury companies’ manipulation of their brands. Few companies have created consumer lust for brands the way Gucci/LV/Chanel/etc etc have done. Brands now are so abstract that you don’t even really want the actual product – you just want what the brand symbolizes.

Which really leads to a huge problem for these luxury companies…


Too bad for them I say.

Lest you think I’m rooting for some canal street hustler, I’m really standing up for the mass consumer. If you want to brainwash consumers into thinking your brand is more valuable than the actual product, you can’t blame the consumers for thinking that a fake LV can make them as glamorous as a real LV can.

You just can’t have it both ways. It’s the same thing as Americans protesting globalization – oh please, you think Coke/Pepsi/McDonald’s/Gap/Citibank/American films/all other American goods & services can make that much money without invading foreign markets?

That’s the market for you.

Capitalism has no sympathy for the weak – leave your bleeding heart at the door.


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