Branded products

In my erratic rush to clear up a backlog of links I've missed an opportunity to tie Things Magazine's post about "celebrity brand presence" in with my earlier post about designer contact lenses. Habitat have launched a range of products in the UK, each one designed or influenced to some degree by a famous person. The Habitat website makes it impossible to link to the products, but there's more about them (in French) at Marie Claire Maison. Over to Things Magazine:

Like traditional branding, the signature 'celebrity object' is about the creation of a thing with a back story, a ready-made history and association that leaves no blanks for you to fill in. You are the blank, an accessory to the product, rather than the other way around. Is this a good thing? Probably not. What's encouraging is the danger that it might all somehow backfire. What if Habitat's VIP range encouraged people to think, 'hell, if Sharleen Spiteri could do that, why can't I?', thus challenging the whole concept of design itself. Why should a shelf be more expensive through its association with something inherently value-less -- a celebrity aura? Would it be cheaper without the attached name? Would it exist at all?

(via Dan's links)

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