What Is Up With Boutiques And “No Photo” Policies?

Yesterday I took a field trip over to Colette, the famous Parisian concept boutique. This place might as well be the Eiffel Tower because it’s a prime tourist destination, and probably one of the most frequented stores by visitors to Paris. Since it’s such a touristy destination, I didn’t think it would be a problem to snap a few pics with my iPhone. The second I got my camera out of my pocket, however, I could feel the security guard eye me, and as I held it up, he was by my side before I could hit the shutter—”Pas de photos!” he warned. Sheesh!

Similarly, style blogger Susie Bubble discovered on her trip to Hong Kong that shops there are even more strict about snapping pics: “I didn’t realize the Rise Commercial Mall on Granville Circuit in Tsim Tsai Tsui would be so stringent so these were snapped only to be halted by a big fat no-photo sign.” So what’s the deal? Wouldn’t you think that pictures are for sharing, therefore, having some taken would only promote a store’s merchandise?The deal is that any privately owned space can make their own photo rules, and in boutiques it’s largely due to buyers and trend casters stealing ideas and ordering the same merchandise. Also, according to a discussion thread on Photojojo, one ex-retail photographer explains, “Stores have agreements with their suppliers. That’s right. Some contracts disallow photographing of the merchandise. Wedding dresses, artwork, galleries, copyrighted material (almost everything sold at the mall).”

OK, we get it … but still, kinda sucky for us fashion bloggers who just want a good scoop!