OK, the above headline is not at all a reflection of the famed fashion house’s reaction to Buzz Bissinger’s sensational tale of shopaholicism / sexual exploration that recently appear in the pages of GQ. However, along with noting that quoting from major portions of Buzz’ piece are a pretty easy way to generate content (shit, I’ve been doing it for nearly a decade over here), NY Times fashion & style columnist Guy Trebay is the first journalist that I’m aware of to actually take the time to get Gucci’s take on this amazing tale of obsession.
“Gucci engages with our clients across many passion points,” said Robert Triefus, chief marketing officer at Gucci, adding that each season a select group of consumers like Mr. Bissinger is invited to attend runway shows, visit the company’s birthplace in Florence and tour the workshops where the magic is made. “These engagements allow our loyal clients to understand the history, tradition, quality and passion behind our products.” As for the rest of the article: No comment.
The Bissinger shopping jones may have been “an extreme case, but it is only in terms of amount,” according to April Lane Benson, the author of “To Buy or Not to Buy: Why We Overshop and How to Stop” and an expert on compulsive shopping disorder. “It’s called the smiled-upon disorder,” Dr. Benson added of a psychological malady thought to affect as many as 18 million Americans.
Certainly it was smiled upon by Gucci, cast in Mr. Bissinger’s account as a willing enabler of his need to shake off a repressive upbringing, the stylistic puritanism foisted on heterosexual white men, and the creep of middle age.
“The ‘whales’ thing was a little shocking,” said the editor of one men’s magazine, speaking anonymously for fear of offending Gucci, a major advertiser, and referring to the standard casino practice of pampering its biggest gamblers. “It’s not like Milan is Vegas.”