Vivienne Westwood has released a line of limited-edition, postage-stamp pendants to commemorate her partners in London, Milan, Tokyo, Hong Kong, and Seoul. Only 300 of the individually numbered “precious keepsakes” have been made. The pendants are meant to infuse the history and culture of each place with Westwood’s design aesthetic, but the traditional scalloped-edged, polished silver stamp pendants fall short. Not only is the idea of using stamps to signify travel rather trite, but the pendants also look like something I could pick up in any museum gift shop. Westwood seems to have gotten lazy like several others in the fashion industry, who think labeling something “limited edition” or “exclusive” should be enough to start a buying frenzy. We’ve been duped by all those H&M and Target design collabos, especially Alexander McQueen’s offerings for Target. We’ve trekked to the stores and stood in line for hours only to discover that more effort went into styling the promo photos than designing the actual garments or other items. But cheap fabric and shoddy construction don’t stop people from buying because they just have to have No. 17 in a limited edition line of crap.
I say designers should stop drawing customers and collectors in with promises of exclusivity and should instead focus on the product itself. What good is a limited edition if you’re too embarrassed or disappointed to wear it?