Sept 9, 2012
Let me preface this with I like Restoration Hardware. I buy the occasional doo-dad at Christmas. I like the fake snow in boxes. I like viewing the fine design and redesign of the Americana industrial functional ~ the things I used to collect (i.e. a cabinet from a hardware store or an old pharmacy gone out of business because a new Rite-Aid opened or a Rexall, they’re gone too.) I’d pay maybe $10, clean it up and voilà, Restoration Hardware. It’s a nice take on the stuff I loved to discover at bargain prices. So the whoever at the head of Restoration Hardware must have had a similar eye and appreciation for the not-so-much antique, but the not-here-any-longer value of the unavailable and ran with it.
Somehow I got on a list of most likely to buy at RH and I received the 2012 Fall Sourcebook plus the addendum smaller book for the poorer people, probably to pick out things for the kids in college or new son/daughter-in-law. You open the 690 page catalog (the two together are the thickness of the Nashville phonebook) and there, with his self-penned mission statement is Gary Friedman, the chairman and co-CEO. You see at once “I’m a mah-mah-mah-model, I shake my little tushie on the dancefloor”...etc.,etc.etc. The quote on the side of mah-model’s glossy is lofty, having to do with fighting for what you believe in. No, not mentioning what that is exactly ~ now I haven’t checked it out, but one thing for certain he believes in is getting back what he spent on these catalogs. A little pharmacy cabinet is $1,195. Very nice though ~ I have a problem with the quote and the letter about his humble beginnings and the tiny apartment and his mom who sang “This is my quest, to follow that star, no matter how hopeless, no matter how far...” and so on. Of course, he is the Man of La Mancha. If you use the word authentic, does it mean you are? He uses it twice.
One thing though is pretty certain, he wrote it and no one dared tell him “ourself” is singular. I don’t even think it’s a word, but if it was should probably be replaced with the inclusive of all humanity “ourselves”...or he should have used “myself”, but “ourself” is wrong. Nor did anyone mention the toppers on the RH Christmas tree when he applauds his team and partners around the world, guided by their values and beliefs, and they live fearlessly and HOPELESSLY!! The others who live fearlessly and hopelessly are the artisans and designers. My god, he does the fearless, hopeless thing two times! Mr. Friedman, maybe they’ll be so dazzled with your Architectural Digest quality package, no one will notice. But you really need someone like me to read over your quotes and letters before release. Maybe, My Dear Ones I should be, but you see I’m not afraid. Carpe diem, that’s how he signs off. It makes me want to go to Starbucks and drink a $4 cup of coffee and bring my So Delicious creamer (I don’t do cow or soy) and help save a soon-to-be-extinct indigenous people. Isn’t that what happens when you drink a Starbucks?
Marketing / Meddling / Propaganda / My Dear Ones, we’re so f*!&#ed.