This is a very difficult thing for us to say, since we’ve been your biggest fans forever. We’ve always idolized you for your creative independence, geekiness, and wallflower chic-meets-grunge aesthetic. As a geeks ourselves, we admired you for always being yourself, which is so uniquely cool, instead of being trendy or sexy.
So, this letter comes with a ton of love and respect.
Many expressed outrage as you morphed from chubby, awkward Marc to hot, buff, usually naked Marc. Adjusting to sexy Marc was difficult.
Suddenly, Victoria Beckham replaced Sofia Coppola in your ads, and your shows were full of celebrities outshining the usual art scene crowd of Rachel Feinstein and Cindy Sherman. But you’re an amazing designer who is internationally revered and loved, so your audience changed with you.
We’ve never had a problem with sexy Marc. You kept it quirky in kilts, tons of tattoos, and the occasional blue hair. And your designs stayed grungey, awkward, cute, and gorgeous.
But this is too much. You may be gay, sexy, and a famous fashion designer, but you are not Tom Ford.
And we’ll even quote you on that. “When I first went to Vuitton, I spent so much time comparing myself to Tom Ford, and Gucci was, like, this sexy thing…. More people understand what Tom does. It’s so basic, and that’s not a put-down. I think that’s so incredibly smart and focused, but it’s exactly what I shy away from. There’s a first-degree no-brainer definition of what’s sexy, but the reality of it is, what I find more interesting is someone who is more introverted or mysterious.”
So what’s this? We can’t find any mystery, intrigue, or subtlety in a photo of you lying naked on a Mylar sheet, a giant bottle of your new fragrance covering your man-bits. How is that any different from this Tom Ford ad?
We’re not asking you to change, or go back to “Old Marc.” All we’re saying is that your brand image has done a complete 180, and as loyal consumers we’re not willing to change ourselves for you.
When it comes to the clothes, you’re still speaking to us. Your Fall 2010 collection conjured the same feelings as some of favorite collections of yours ever–Fall 1998 and Fall 2006. And Louis Vuitton was just a pure masterpiece.
But this latest ad is a bit too much, especially for those girls–and potential clients–who haven’t been around over the last ten years to follow your career. If you’re okay with isolating the demographic that made you famous and moving on the to fame-hungry, sex-obsessed portion of the population, that’s fine. You’re running a business, and ultimately that’s about making money. In your place, we’re sure a lot of people would take a similar route.
It’s just that never, ever, in our lives did we think it would come to this. We miss the your signature awkwardness and rejection of pure sex-appeal, and we’re sure many others do too. Throw us nerds a bone here, we really want you back on our team.