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rue-madame's Diaryland Diary

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Saw James Lipton from Behind the Actors Studio

We finally finished our holiday shopping.

You know, itís so much easier to do AFTER Christmas than before: less stress, better prices. Itís also much more pleasurable to shop in a city with SHOPPING. Iíd forgotten how fun it is going to different stores, when the stores are each unique and the help is so friendly and nice.

I practically swooned at Amoeba. I nearly collapsed at LA Eyeworks. Yesterday, I was intimate with a delicious bowl of ramen on Sawtelle, then lost my heart to Paul Smith on Melrose. The whole day was perfect except for one incident.

And that incident involves Marc Jacobs.

I think Iíve broken up with him and his eponymous stores. Except for a few transactions at the SF shop, most of my interactions with MJ salespeople have been disappointing.

Itís obvious that the MJ Powers That Be have spent lots of time and money refining the brand, deciding how it would extend from the clothes to the stores, how it would then be expressed by the interior architecture and lighting. Theyíve been crazy picky about where they situate the free-standing stores, and cautious about moving into other product areas (pets, home accessories.) Why they shouldnít spend the same amount of time picking their staff is a giant mystery.

In the Manhattan and LA stores, the help is lamentably bad. You walk in, are ignored and have to listen to the salesforce discuss which pieces theyíre going to be adding to their personal collections. I donít mind that when Iím in a store where most of the items are affordable, but when a handbag is equivalent to my mortgage, and shoes cost as much as my health insurance premiums, you want to know that the salespeople are going to pay attention to you, make you feel taken care of. Whenever Iíve bought anything at a Marc Jacobs store, I always kind of walk away feeling like, ďWell, I sure hope nothing goes wrong, cause the kids who work there wonít be able to solve the problem or offer a solution.Ē

You know itís bad when you go ďThey have the same item at Barneys. Iím just going there to buy it.Ē If a brandís retail presence offers an experience that is WORSE than a department stores, you know thereís a problem.

10:51 a.m. - 2006-01-04

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