In the mainstream today, probably the most relevant thing about Michael Kors is this verse Nicki Minaj dropped on Big Sean’s hit “Dance Ass” back in 2011. Since then, the company has really had a hard time keeping its footing as a brand to be respected. Let’s face it, branding themselves as “affordable luxury” was probably one of the worst things they could’ve ever done. Or was it the smartest?
I was recently back in the States in a suburb of New York that I grew up in and it was honestly a bit of a shock when I saw the way that suburban America chooses to dress. To be frank, it’s not at all like the fashion of the cities… especially Paris.
Here, even the janitors wear Versace. In Paris, it seems like wherever you go, there’s a certain je ne sais quoi about the way people dress and carry themselves. Not in the suburbs. I almost forgot that it’s not taboo to leave your house in sweats and Uggs to go and carry on about your day — whether it be to run errands, go to dinner or just go through a drive-thru McDonald’s. Now, not everyone in the suburbs wears sweatpants wherever they go — there are some people who chose to dress to the nines, do their hair and makeup just to go through the drive-thru McDonald’s. The Suburbs don’t discriminate.
What rings true though is that whether or not you’re in your sweats or you’re dressed to the nines, chances are you’re carrying a Michael Kors bag. You know exactly what bag I’m talking about — that white never-full with the MK logo reminiscent of a cheap Louis Vuitton. The affordable luxury brand, while questioned by the fashion insiders, seems to grasp their audience well — whether their purchasing in-store or at the local discount shop, ie: Marshalls and TJ Maxx.
At the end of the day, having the style of suburbia thrown back in my face in a way that was so blatant reminded me that status symbols to one group can be the exact opposite of those of another. I came back to the States with a refreshed Parisienesque aesthetic that no one seemed to process. I was the outlier in a sea of Michael Kors and sweatpants. But to the people in suburban Connecticut, to carry that MK means a lot more than to carry, say, Goyard or LV.