tattoo as brand

Steve Mosby at The Left Room reacts to H&M’s new “Lisbeth Salander” range of clothing, a predictable but still somehow astonishing act of exploitation. Steve makes some excellent points about just what is being exploited here, but I don’t know what to say, because I would only be repeating myself. See here, here, here & here, & the subsequent below-the-line dialogues. & also see Empty Space.

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7 Comments

Filed under we live in a shit period of the world

7 responses to “tattoo as brand

  1. iotar

    Could have been worse: they could have done a steampunk range.

    It’s a slippery slope: one day you put on a lived-in leather jacket through some misguided notion of “street armour” and the next thing you know you’re gimped up as some sort of cosplay transgender orthodontist.

    To give him his due, at least Steig Larsson only wrote those books for his own entertainment.

  2. uzwi

    Maybe I’ve got the wrong end of the stick. Maybe it’s just a pret-a-porter halloween collection. PS: I like “cosplay transgender orthodontist” a lot.

  3. Justina

    Well, and there was me thinking my costume this year was so original. But having reviewed all your tags to previous posts I have to say you’re taking it all a bit seriously, no? I know you want to save the real impulses of the Beast and the Darkness from the process of being drowned in sugar but they’re only in temporary cartoon danger. I’m not sure who you are more worried about – primal forces taken unawares in a superficial and commercial world or human beings happily fooling around with a sandbox full of fake primal force toys thinking they’ve mastered evil with love. My assumption was that vampires and werewolves had to be exploited as badboy boyfriend referents because actual men are getting so wishy washy and actual real life scenarios are woefully tepid when looked at with the lens of romantic drama. It is kind of ironic that they end up acting as norm-enforcement morons so often but at least Spike (in Buffy) retained teeth and sex long enough to burn out instead of fading away into Happily Ever After.

    Salander clothing – will it make me look thinner, smarter and as if I might sooner kill you than self harm? I am perplexed if every single moment of female emancipatory chutzpah has to be administered commercially and/or generated by male fantasy heroines but hey, beats no interest at all.

    And now, back to the old baloney factory…I mean the female fantasy heroine generating factory…I mean…I don’t know what I mean. Your OTT smartness has made my pink spangles suddenly less shiny. Argh. And I suppose Empty Space won’t even feature an emo-looking tall bloke in leather saving the world with a big sword either, but I’d be glad to be wrong.

    Re: Iotar – if you’re not writing books for your own entertainment what the hell are you writing them for?

  4. Justina: I’m not writing them at all. My audience is usually physically present, beered-up and pacified with the rigorous application of decibels.

    MJH: Thanks. Maybe after the revolution I’ll see if I can get a job with Hallmark Cards.

  5. uzwi

    “…beats no interest at all.”

    I don’t seem to agree with that, Justina. There you go. I had my doubts about Larrson’s motives, but at least they were something you could argue about. H&M’s motives seem crystal clear: exploit women for profit by piggybacking the Tattoo brand & its emotional/political substrate.

    “I’m not sure who you are more worried about – primal forces taken unawares in a superficial and commercial world or human beings happily fooling around with a sandbox full of fake primal force toys thinking they’ve mastered evil with love.”

    In the case of Halloween, neither of those, really. (Well, maybe the former, just a little, if only because the opera of those “primal forces” used to mediate our relationship with death.) Mostly it’s just the infantilising consumerism I don’t get. If you’re fine with that, fine.

    “And now, back to the old baloney factory…I mean the female fantasy heroine generating factory…I mean…I don’t know what I mean. Your OTT smartness has made my pink spangles suddenly less shiny.”

    Sorry about that. :-) For me, the jury is still out on Larrson’s motives for making the Salander character, but I don’t feel any doubt about either the films or the fashion: rights are involved, there are licence holders, & I don’t doubt that most of them are men. I’d rather read your heroines any day.

  6. Meanwhile Gap have a range of clothes for men based on Tintin.

  7. uzwi

    Hi Will. According to Brand Culture, these are only themed window displays– “Unlike Gap US’s Mad Men collection, the activity isn’t linked to a Tintin-inspired clothing range (shame, we especially like Tintin’s trousers), but there is a chance to win a treasure hunt in the Moroccan desert, one of the settings of the film.” Oh, that Moroccan desert. Have a good Halloween.