Style & Then Some

Boy London //A Real Wild Child?

It is generally believed that 20 years is a long enough period to wait before something becomes ‘de rigueur’ once more.  It can even be classed, loosely in my opinion, but theoretically nonetheless, as vintage.  Therefore, this explains the popular resurgence of all things late 80s/early 90s seeing an unprecedented comeback in to popular culture.  From boy bands such as East 17 (FYI new album alert), TV shows like Absolutely Fabulous, even products such as the Sodastream, have all served their time out of the spotlight and can once again bask in the ‘coolness’ of their own nostalgia.  Even if it weren’t that cool to begin with.

And this trend seems to continue with fashion brands.  The resent explosion of Boy London back on, well, the London scene has been perceived as a revival of one of the 80s most hip brands.  Well, that’s what I, someone born in 1989 and who wouldn’t know any better, was led to believe by the hype being generated by some cleverly placed PRs.  It was not until last week, whilst attending the Drapers Record Next Generation Event, that one of the guest speakers mused in a perplexed way how Boy London was never actually considered that ‘cool’ back then.  So why is it now?  And what makes a brand by definition ‘cool’?

Boy london 1980s boy london preppy boy london original boy london rihanna boy london jessie J

Now please don’t get me wrong.  It is hard to fault a brand doing so well, but Boy London does baffle me.  It is nothing more than a basic line of t-shirts, baseball caps, leggings and other basics in a monochrome palette and branded within an inch of its life.  So how are they doing so well?  Well, maybe we should ask Rihanna, Jessie J et al.  It seems by getting the most talked about celebrities to endorse your product, no matter how little creativity goes in to the actual design, can pay off.  Now, I’m not saying this is a new occurrence, more like the oldest marketing trick in the book, but surely someone must agree with me how tacky and blatant Rihanna’s outfit choices have been recently.  And how much money must be being ploughed back in to Boy London to ensure that type of exposure.  Rihanna’s people must be approached every single day by brands to market their products…so how have Boy London managed to literally collar the hottest woman in the world right now?

Rihanna Jonathan Ross Rihanna Boy London Rihanna Boy London Jonathan Ross 2012

Therefore it will be interesting to see if the bubble will burst with Boy London as quickly as it has blown up in recent months, all courtesy of product placement.  And as always, a celebrity can make or break a brand…just remember Hollister’s annoyance at Mike ‘The Situation’s insistence on wearing their hoodies!

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About Helen Coakley

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