John Lewis’ PR department will be back-slapping this morning over some Oxford St lattes, and rightfully so. Its self-generated research on the current trend for skinny ties made the Telegraph’s front page (and even the editorial comment) as well as a host of freesheets.
Nice work if you can get it; the perfect illustration of a well-timed story, catching the prevailing mood while conveniently advertising the store’s wares. Thomas Pink produced a similarly sharp campaign, when it announced six months ago that sales of white shirts were up as the City’s sombre mood was reflected in the conservative cooling of fashion trends. (Thomas Pink being particularly PR-hungry and announcing Obama-relevant sartorial stats during the presidential campaign - and fair play to them.)
The press has been desperately scouting around for ways in which to discuss downturn-based trends without resorting to the usual doom-mongering. The last thing the public wants to see between price-crashing and consumer-bashing stories is another grey cloud in a very dark horizon.
So let’s excuse the fact that thin ties have been fashionable for at least the last two years, this is the Telegraph writing after all, this is a valiant attempt to lighten the mood. Anyway, with the announcement of a sequel to the 80s Wall Street, we will all be wearing striped shirts, braces and double breasted suits, faster than you can light a fat Cuban cigar.