Labels of Love

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Speaking of the brand obsessed...anyone see the Sex and the City movie? Slate film critic Dana Stevens (who has) joins Rob Walker (who hasn't) to talk about the SATC effect on consumer culture. But fear not: this is a spoiler-free zone.


Dana Stevens and Rob Walker

Comments [26]

elo from brooklyn, ny

I was surprised at how bad Sex & The City was...I assumed it would be a B/C-grade guilty pleasure..more like a guilty torture. The good parts from the show (not a favorite show..but watchable and 'escapist') were missing - dialogue was awful, the gossip uninteresting...

I'm surprised there's been so much discussion about Sex & The City and is it 'bad' or 'good', because I feel like it's such an old and tired is what it is; few would argue it's 'good'--it just gets under the skin of some people more than others. Depending on what lens you're looking through.

And....branding is one lens at which to look through's a perspective, and product branding and, uh..personal branding.. are realities (and have always been--even if we hadn't branded them as such).
Dr. Tantillo ('the marketing doctor') has a whole blog dedicated to branding -

Jun. 07 2008 06:44 PM
Melissa R. from Brooklyn

Sex and the City was a great chance to have a look into the glamorous life of 30 something year old women in new york when I was twenty and living in Buffalo. Their lives looked fun and exciting. Now, as a 30 year old woman in Brooklyn when I see re-runs on television late at night, it depresses me. Their lives seem meaningless and sad compared to the rich lives my girlfriends and I lead. It's all about possessions and men. We get together and talk about our careers, current events, share recipes, meet at farmer's markets. I am ashamed to ever have looked up to the women on the show. I would never want to be like them now.

Jun. 03 2008 11:57 AM
Repub101 from Manhattan

Just wanted to add that the idea of hating labels is as blind as loving them. It's best to evaluate a product on its actual merits-- whether or not it's a "label" brand.

Jun. 03 2008 11:53 AM
shc from Manhattan

I agree with the belief that context has alot to do with branding - we're all intellectual New Yorkers (metro areas included) and I think for the most part we don't let brands define us, but rather the other way around. If we wear or buy a brand, it's incredibly intentional.

SATC included - I'm not so insecure to think that wearing expensive shoes and hanging out with my girlfriends makes me any less of an intelligent, successful woman. People are welcome to think that about me, but (obviously) I could care less.

Jun. 03 2008 11:50 AM
zuwena from manhattan

This label love thing must be a generational thing. I'm from the rather old school, when you looked to the label after it had proven to be a good product. You tried out new products when the manufacturer sent it to you--the absolutely only time when a logo made its way into your life. If you bought it with your money you certainly didn't engage in free advertising. In fact, I believe it was considered rather gauche to advertise in that way and that continues to be my value system.

Jun. 03 2008 11:47 AM
Claud from Kips Bay

On the topic of generational differences, I have to say as a 22-year old female I cannot relate to this Sex and the City craze. And in that sense I feel I have more in common with my Mom than many of my peers. When buying I simply try to get what I like, what is cost effective, and what is stylish but not trendy.

Branding today is ubiquitous, it's true. And I simply try and steer clear of it. Then again, I don't have a TV so that's pretty easy.

Jun. 03 2008 11:46 AM
Repub101 from Manhattan

I come from a fairly small town, and was a college student when satc was on HBO. I remember loving the show because of how glamorous and independent it made women look, esp. career women. It actually gave me a lot to look forward to in growing into a woman. The best of TV and art in general gives people a more idealized version of real life. The idea of Manolo Blahniks is just a little exaggeration of most women's real-life love of glamor. Nothing wrong with that. Not everyone lives in NY, so some people outside want to see some of that glamor on TV and in movies.

Jun. 03 2008 11:43 AM
Tricia from Manhattan

I'm a 28 year old woman and I also refuse to wear labels. I think it just reveals that you're interested in status so I don't want to be a part of it.

Jun. 03 2008 11:43 AM

I know we're talking about Sex & the City, but we're also talking about materialism here. It seems like women and materialism go together in this morning's discussion. But aren't we forgetting about men and materialism? I know many guys that are brand snobs when it comes to electronics and cars.

Jun. 03 2008 11:41 AM
RC from Brooklyn


I cannot believe what I am hearing on the radio today. I had been feeling for some time now that your show has become more and more trivial but today you have really crossed the Rubicon. The final day of the democratic primary, with the Clinton campaign swaying to and fro and the leader of the free world at stake, and you spend and entire hour discussing Sex and the City and it's relevance to consumerism. You should be embarrassed, your producer should be embarrassed, and as a New Yorker I am completely embarrassed. I hate to leave you but leave you I shall. Let me know when you've decided to run a news show again and I'll think about listening and donating to Until then, luckily I have the BBC on the internet....



Jun. 03 2008 11:40 AM
Matt K from new york, ny


I hate labels too. I'm 24.

Jun. 03 2008 11:40 AM
hjs from 11211

are brands/labels less important to married women with children. if yes is this about adult adolescence

Jun. 03 2008 11:40 AM
Pamela from Brooklyn

SATC did well not because of designer shoes or sex or the city, but because the women had meaningful relationships with each other. Something we all want and can (hopefully) relate to.

Jun. 03 2008 11:39 AM
Jane Kelly from Williamsburg

The show was cute at first, but all my 30-something single girlfriends (I'm married for 13 years) say the show depresses them & glorifies the worst part of being single in NYC, "Guys suck but we'll feel better if we go to a sample sale then get drunk in our last season purchases & try to pick up guys"

Jun. 03 2008 11:37 AM
Debbie from NYC

Though there is the labels and love theme, there is a maturity and some lessons (maybe obvious but nonetheless, lessons) in the film that recognize which of the two "L's" is more important and what it takes.

Jun. 03 2008 11:37 AM
hjs from 11211

Young Urban Narcissists = Yunnies.

Jun. 03 2008 11:35 AM
chestinee from NY NY

i thought satc was appealing to many because it is about their unlived lives

Jun. 03 2008 11:35 AM
Jane Kelly from Williamsburg

Hello Kitty has been fueled by the adult market for years and years and years....

Jun. 03 2008 11:34 AM
Leonardo Andres

i can't stand sex and the city, because of the type of people that watch sex and the city. im sorry to say but people are sheep.

Jun. 03 2008 11:33 AM
Kevin Watkins from NYC

I have a friend who's marriage was ruined by Sex and the City and I'd be curious to know how many relationships have been destroyed by the series? Ladies, Mr Big is a fictional character...

Jun. 03 2008 11:31 AM
AWM from UWS

The irony is that there is nothing truly "New York" about "Sex and the City."

They way they blandly portray the city, yuck! It could be Chicago, Denver, anywhere.

Jun. 03 2008 11:30 AM
hjs from 11211


Jun. 03 2008 11:29 AM
sevans from Union Square

People are such sheeps.

"Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;

The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand"

Jun. 03 2008 11:26 AM
chestinee from NY NY

I can read what is BS in online product reviews - recently bought something mentioned NY Times "gear" column - the customer review did line up with what the athlete thought, so there I am.

Also if you are brought up in teh natural world (i.e. knowing how things are made) you can make choices rather than letting brands do it for you.)

I love hello kitty - my mother is 88 and she loves hello kitty - but that's like a joke

Jun. 03 2008 11:24 AM

My downstairs neighbors, a group of 25 year old girls who live 4 to one bedroom, all went to Nordstrom for their outfits, and planned to return the clothes the next day. One got drunk and spilled a drink on three, and now they own three ridiculously expensive dresses to put them further in credit card debt. But I guess for one day, they were part of the popular kids. Does high school ever end?

Jun. 03 2008 11:20 AM
chestinee from NY NY

I think it's embarrassing how brand associated people are - what is a brand? An exploited accomplishment that is now just an empty shell. Think Gucci or Hermes - once fine leatherworkers/craftspeople in France and Italy - now just made in china. Food brands are empty calories - it's the big empty

Jun. 03 2008 11:20 AM

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