Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Dear Kardashians: I'm So Glad I Could Help!

I received the award on the right in an anonymous email, but I think I know where it came from.

And I would never want to be accused of exaggeration or hyperbole, but please allow me to indulge myself for a minute.

Thanks in part to me and my blog, the Kardashian sisters have hit what some may call the pinnacle of success.

They have arrived.

Before, they were just rich, beautiful, cleavage-y celebutantes with a reality show.

Then, after allegations that one or more was involved in an affair with my poor, innocent husband, they suddenly achieved the creme de la creme of retail deals.

I refer, of course, to the new line of home decor merchandise being purveyed by the pouty, touseled trio via that edgiest, trendiest, coolest of mercantile giants,

Yes, Sears! Where the Brady Bunch went to celebrate after saving Hawaii from a shark invasion! Or was that the Partridge Family celebrating after playing Carnegie Hall? I'm confused. I think therefore I digress.

Anyway, those Kardashians are on the path to respectability with this enviable design/endorsement deal. From stodgy old Sears, they stand to gain much-needed stodginess, while Sears may just become the place to get sheets and towels with that tousled look I've been trying to achieve since Joan Collins and "Dynasty" first introduced the mussed bed.

Gentle reader, I write for myself and my own fulfillment. I don't look for fame or money or even guest spots on local radio. This is an altruistic endeavor and I don't mind being totally unknown, unloved and unrecognized.

So imagine my surprise and delight when, glancing at the Sunday circulars, I saw the unmistakable blur of eyes, lips and hair that, after closer study, turned out to be a Kardashian grouping. These girls, with no discernible intelligence or talent, have developed a following and created a brand that is inescapable. I don't begrudge them for achieving celebrity, and I can only assume they don't begrudge me whatever attention I can gain by using their name a minimum of 8 times per 500 words for maximum search engine optimization.  It's a win-win, right?

But I am somewhat upset about one aspect of this laudable achievement on the part of these girls. Their name, Kardashian, has become their brand. They've all got first names that begin with "K," which ups the "exoticness-per-syllable" quotient. Kim, Khloe and Kourtney realized they could kapitalize on the kuteness of their brand if they kept with the "K" motif. Herein lies my complaint.  This is the logo for their new Sears merchandise:

Yes, America, the kombined marketing/branding geniuses at Team Kardashian/Sears decided that kitschy kommerce trumps korrect spelling in the battle for your clothing and home decor dollar.  My milk glass, your stamps, your kid's Beanie Babies - those are collections. But correct spelling isn't good enough for the Diva Klass - they have to have a "Kollection." I fault them for turning their teachable moment into another konquest for kapitalizm. But I do wish them success in their endeavor.

EXTRA! EXTRA! I hope you are sitting down for this news flash. While over at the Sears website to copy the above logo, I discovered that they have officially named this "Kardashian Week." Why am I only just now hearing about this? If I mail a card today, will they get it in time?

(I should clarify: their clothing line was launched in 2011. This home line is what is "new" and deserving of its own special week.)

I'm wondering how this partnership between the beautiful young trendsetters and the once-great retailer will fare. According to my fashionista neighbor, the venture is off to a slow start. As she said, "It will take more than trashy clothes to get me to shop at Sears." But some celebrity-retail alliances bear long-term fruit: I'm thinking Jaclyn Smith and KMart, I'm thinking George Strait and Tractor Supply Company, and ... many others that I don't have time to think of. So how do the experts see it?

Well, I tried to do some online research, but got so distracted by the stories of the girls and their men that I completely lost track of the original articles on Investors Business Daily and The Motley Fool. Suffice to say that experts espouse the dire prediction that Sears is a retail dinosaur and the Kardashians can't stop them from going the way of T-Rex and becoming a fossil in the near future.

Now I do shop at Sears. I get replacement vacuum cleaner bags and filters for my old canister there, once every year or so. And because Sears is strategically located in my local mall, I park in their empty parking lot and look at stuff on clearance as I pass through on my way to somewhere else in the mall.  I am usually one of the youngest people in the store whenever I go to Sears, and most of us shoppers are alone rather than with kids or teens. When I see a couple shopping there, the wife is usually holding the broken lawnmower part so the husband can manage his walker. Even with a Land's End shop inside the Sears store 2 miles from me, I still sometimes have trouble spending a $300 gift card there.

But now that the Kardashians signed on, Sears is gonna ROCK!

Wait until Eric sees what the Kardashian sisters suggest for our room:

And who among you would not be bursting with pride to think you'd played a part, however small, in bringing this scrap of frippery to market? 

This may be just the thing to get your hubby/man/sig-o interested in shopping, ladies.
Well, I just had to toot my horn, since I know Kourtney, Khloe and Kim are much too busy being billionaires to toot it for me. Speaking of which, I'd better get busy myself. Errands to run, a house to clean, dogs to walk...I may not live the chic and komfortable life of a Kardashian, but I'm rich in the ways that count. And tonight I have a special outing planned with my husband. Not a glitzy, glamorous evening on the town a la K, K and K, but one befitting the suburban matron that I am: dinner at Golden Corral, followed by a romantic walk through the intimates department at Sears.

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