Friday, 19 June 2009

Don't get me started on Boden...

For reasons completely unknown to myself I always seem to have something derogatory to pipe up with whenever anyone mentions Boden.

I've thought about it for a while and can now pinpoint exactly why Boden fills me with such loathing.

It is most definitely not the clothes themselves. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the clothes. They are well made and appear to be of ethical manufacture & good quality. People who purchase Boden because they like the design and colour of the clothes are quite within the bounds of taste. Naturally, like any label from Versace to Levi's - should NEVER be worn head to toe.

My derision of Boden is not based totally on the style of the catalogue either although that is incredibly easy to ridicule. The models are photographed either in style of

1.Off duty nun cycling through the Dordogne to a lesbian assignation; or Stepford wife skipping through a meadow fighting with squirrels for nuts & berries to cook up for children's supper.

From a personal styling viewpoint, neither are particularly aspirational figures for me, or anyone I know.

This brings me to the realisation it is the aggressive and cynical marketing technique that REPULSES me so. Somehow, I have been identified by their oh-so-thorough market research as being right up their demographic strasse, so to speak. Home counties, 2 children, 6 figure household income. Already proven a keen online shopper - Amazon regularly, Net-a-Porter even. Boden, it seems, will not rest until I have given in and bought into their 'lifestyle' and this is why I receive communication via email, brochures in the post, entire catalogues, money-off vouchers - off comes the plastic wrapper and plop, there it goes straight into the recycling.

When I look at the women I know who wear head to toe Boden, I can't help but feel it is because they can be identified by it. "Ooh - is that Boden", also means - you too have been 'chosen' as someone who has the 'taste' and income to be one of 'us'. Or is it 'them'?

It is not just Boden Limited who are after my hitherto elusive first order. Mr Johnny Boden seems to have set himself a direct challenge to entice me to 'the tastefully embroidered bias cut skirt/spotty cardigan dark side' and it is the tone of these 'personal' missives from 'Johnny' that enrages me.

Hi, it's johnny....."
I know you weren't expecting this email. In fact you probably had other things on your mind; your unwritten novel, say, or that last biscuit languishing in the tin. But while I have your attention I'd like to introduce you to the fabulous Boden Summer range, replete with beautifully cut swimming costumes, lightweight cover-ups and dazzlingly good looking accessories.

See what I mean. Hold my hair back while I vomit please and bear in mind I have been receiving such messages for about 6 years now. Give it up 'Johnny'. While I admire your tenacity, I am never going to give in. I may very well be a smug middle-aged, middle-class twat, but unfortunately for your profit forecasts, I don't really want to look like one.