Joyful fashion: Poppy line from Coach

By Ingrid Fetell Lee


An interesting trend: joyful aesthetics being used to make budget-friendly purchases seem more palatable. Walmart’s ads are doing it, as are many of the ads I’ve referenced in my discussions on joywashing. Now, for Fall 2009 Coach is launching the Poppy line, which is a lower priced collection of accessories with a youthful feel. Poppy is an appropriate name, both for the energy and the reference. The inspiration here is unambiguous.

Some items, like the Pop C Large Spotlight bag (below) feel a little done (very Murakami for LV without the Japanese master’s artful control). But I’m sure most people will overlook that and feel delighted by the overall vibrancy of the collection. If you didn’t wear everything all at once, you might find a sustained pleasure in a cheerful bag or sequined flats that brings a little sparkle to an ordinary outfit.

Still, I’m sure there’s a fatigue point with all this. Too much intensity tips over the line from joy into ecstasy, where we revel in overwhelming sensation for a short while until the pleasure sputters out. I almost feel like marketers are trying to make us feel giddy so we forget ourselves and start overspending again. But joy isn’t like that. Joy doesn’t leave you feeling depleted, and it doesn’t give you a hangover. There’s a balance here that marketers and designers are struggling with. Deluging us in positivity is a short-term fix; there ways to design joyfully that don’t need to shout so loudly to be heard.


July 30th, 2009


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