When French luxury label Christian Dior was having financial problems, they brainstormed a way to get the young, hip customer interested in the brand: T-shirts. $200 T-shirts, that is, with the cutesy slogan J'Adore Dior emblazoned on them. The ploy worked, but it worked too well: Dior sold 300 T-shirts in one day, and CEO Sidney Toledano freaked out. Because although Dior started making money, it was becoming (gasp!) teen-friendly, something the company's executives hadn't intended. (Despite the fact that we counted five (5!) Dior credits in this month's Teen Vogue. See pages 82, 179, 187, and 200).
Toledano seems to have changed his mind on the "young, hip" angle. "The brand has to stay exclusive," he says, and calls the latest collection (below) "elegant." (Agreed!) But this new exclusive, sophisticated shift comes with an insane price tag, both literal and figurative: Sales of bags costing more than $2,800 have tripled in recent months — won't the teenagers who adored Dior feel slighted and betrayed? And what about the rest of us, who can't even afford the Dior shit we love in Teen Vogue?