Rectangle Jaune tribute to Oscar Wilde (shot by Maya Metni Koteit) is a bit of a mystery to me. Sure, the guy is incredibly witty, well-learned, super eloquent... Oh, and one of the prominent gay icons in the world!... Rectangle Jaune (correct me if I am mistaken) positions itself as the brand for the gentleman, but also the manly man, family-oriented, sporty but conservative in attire, with little in the way of defying sexual taboos, and more in the capitalist-with-cosmopolitan tocuh. In short, nothing to do with being sent to prison for sodomy or defying social norms, or being an activist for minority rights or whatever.So I am sorry, if you wish to use homosexual icons to promote clothes destined to a predominately conservative men, with zero defiance to pre-established orders, then this is a major case of opportunism. But then, Oscar Wilde himself did say "There is only one thing in life worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about." So now you have it from the horse's mouth.
An honor to be quoted in one of my favorite blogs ;-)
Well? As the man himself said:
"Only good questions deserve good answers."
Wilde is indeed a gay icon, but also one of the most brilliant & wittiest British writers,
and more importantly a trendsetter in Dandyism.
Dandy: a man who values refined style & language, understated elegance, culture & arts, and practices smart self irony; values that we all share at RJ!
Credit clarification: I was behind the concept & art direction, and Imad El Khoury was the photographer who captured the light just like inOscar's historical portraits.
On another note, Wilde (150 years in 2014) rocks social media: https://www.facebook.com/OscarWildeAuthor
Enjoy because "Life is too short to be taken seriously"...
But you are STILL using a man sent to jail for homosexuality to promote clothes for Lebanese men who are family-oriented, who do not defy social norms, who are not avant-garde, who spend their money on cigars and showing off instead of a good book (I am not inventing or stereotyping, just watching people who do come into your shops), and whose "trophy wives" shop for them most of the time (and no, such women never heard of Wilde, Rimbaud, or Joyce, or Proust, or other men who were both literary giants and dandies).
Don't get me wrong, I find Joyce a genius, this is not the argument. The problem is using a part of him (not mentioning his homosexual tendencies which effectively almost ended his life) and only shining a light on him "selectively" in order not to bother or confront your audience which most likely will refute that bit.
Sorry, I said I find Joyce a genius. I meant Wilde (bit it does apply to Joyce too! :) )....
We (or I personally at least) believe in a better world, even for Lebanon, where a man can be one day judged for his work or art, irrespective of his political, religious or sexual orientations.
So in an issue of around 70 pages called "books & men", (where we obviously talked about books, fashion and fictional characters, but also dynamic Lebanese publishers! ), 6 pages about a literary genius, who rocked the suit like no one else, are not too much, are they? Even for a conservative brand...
And even if they're only for the 10% of our target who actually do read the pages, and not only flip through the polos... These people do exist, I met them ;-)
You have "great expectations" from "sons and lovers" regarding "of mice and men" be they "Dubliners" or "on the road", or perhaps even called "Frannie and Zoe".... Check these literary references and let me know if your audience (whom you met) know them :) All my best for you efforts. "You may say I am a dreamer, but I am not the only one"...
By the way, this issue was also about me proving that a book is sexier that cigar ;-P
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