Wednesday, April 11, 2007
HAPPY BIRTHDAY OLEG CASSINI
Today's post is a cautionary tale.
Oleg Cassini was born on this date in 1913. He began his career sketching for couturier Jean Patou, and was an assistant to famed Hollywood costumer Edith Head. In the 1960's he shot to fashion stardom by designing First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy's signature look of simple yet sumptous elegance...
But in the 1970's he made history by becoming the first designer to license his name. This led to "Oleg Cassini" adorning cheap luggage, rank cologne and misshapen velour sweatpants.
The man who had designed clothes or the most fashionable First Lady in history was now designing clothes for the hoards of people rummaging around TJ Maxx. (Which admittedly, would include me if I had a TJ Maxx nearby. I'm a fan of the scavenger hunt brand of shopping. There's nothing cooler than finding something you actually like right next to a yellow, fringed, sequined crop top emblazoned with the phrase "I'm A Motocross Diva!")
The downward spiral of his influence must have been depressing. Imagine Oleg standing behind some annoying cow at the airport check in line, rolling his eyes as she shrieked at her husband for getting her the Frappuchino instead of the Mochachino. Imagine him casting his eyes down and realizing that this couple is wearing his n' hers Oleg Cassini sweatpants, carting around Cassini luggage. Taking a whiff of the stale air, he notices that hubby is wearing Cassini cologne...
But who am I kidding?
The licensing deal made him so rich he probably never had contact with the plebs who wore his shit anyway.
So, Happy Birthday Oleg. Although you passed away last year, your name will live on in TJ Maxx stores around the country for decades to come.