The opinions held by many women about Blake Lively's new lifestyle URL Preserve could probably be boiled down to calling it a "silly blog for rich ladies." But the site also boasts a growing section of items for men. Who are these men and what do they think of Gwyneth 2.0's prospects of success?
To answer this question, we turned (as we often do) to the table of men immediately adjacent to ours at work: several members of the staff of Deadspin dot com.
What is Preserve? Who do you think it is for?
Rohan: It just looks like a super fancy shopping website. Like if the owners of today's current, hip teen-store tried to create something that would appeal an older, still-angsty crowd.
Tom: Preserve appears to be a lifestyle website for people who really like Bon Iver but make shit tons of money working in, like, finance or something.
Samer: Preserve looks like stuff I can't afford. If I had to pick a targeted market: guys who work at startups with schedules too hectic to find time to wear in their own clothes.
Greg: Preserve's men's section appears to suck a lot. It markets itself as a lifestyle website, but it appears Preserve just wants me to buy shit without really attempting to tell me why I would need it, or how this would affect or enhance my lifestyle. This site isn't for me.
Rob: Near as I can figure, Preserve is for women who want to dress like Blake Lively, and men who want to dress like a dude who could conceivably have sex with Blake Lively given a set of unlikely but *not totally inconceivable* circumstances, e.g. you pass Blake in a hotel lobby or whatever and she finds herself subconsciously drawn to your bow tie / bison wallet / weird shorts. [Ed. Note: As Deadspin's Culture editor, Rob is perhaps the man mostly likely to understand this website.]
Kyle: First there was a guy with flowers in his beard and an Instagram filter, but then there was some craft stuff and then there was a product shot from a bakery. So this is the online store for a Pinterest shop in Bushwick? Is it for teens?
Albert: Judging by its selection of men's items, I'd guess Preserve is a site for people who want to look equally phony and affected whether they're leaning against the rusted-out old tractor at the locavore urban co-op in an artificially ratty silkscreened t-shirt for an Instagram photo intended to evoke backwoods meth-lab Americana, or wearing what appears for all the world to be an upside-down sweatshirt for pants at a determinedly casual media party in a swank hotel.
That is to say, it is for literally every white person who walks past you on the street in New York.
Were you tempted to buy anything? If so, what products? Why?
Rohan: I almost would buy the Recycled denim long-sleeve tee but only in an ironic, "look-at-me I bought this shirt from Blake Lively's website seeking attention" type of way. It was also the only thing not ridiculously expensive. It was an average expensive.
Tom: I would not buy anything from this website. The wristwatch that is artfully draped over the antler made me very upset.
Samer: If I had money to blow, I'd get these $147 shorts. Or I could take one of my sweaters, sew the neckhole, and wear it like pants for cheaper. With that same hypothetical disposable income, I'd get a messenger bag to help my illusion of being an adult.
[Ed Note: Later Samer added: "I should clarify answer #2. I do genuinely like the messenger bag."]
Rob: I'd buy the bison wallet if it were $10 (it's $60). I'd buy the Cuenca New Hampton Hat if it were $20 ($162). I would not buy the ripped jeans called "Rocker Slim" and made by "The Cult of Individuality" under any circumstances ($189). The t-shirts all seem ill-advised and the shorts situation is just disconcerting.
Kyle: How did you find things to buy! I clicked on the hands holding the hanger, since I thought that would be where you buy clothes, but it's just a short essay and pics of a boy wearing overalls. I don't think those products are very good value, but I might buy that cut-off sweatshirt thing if I had cooler arms.
Greg: No, I would never buy anything from here. The bandana costs $62, which is basically my paycheck after taxes and booze. Everything is overpriced, and doesn't look all that different or better than anything I could scoop from Urban Outfitters.
Albert: I thought this was a decent-looking wallet, until I saw that it costs as much as a week's worth of groceries. Now I just want to throw it in that big hole in Siberia and scream "fuck youuuuuu" at it as it falls.
What do you think about the men/male models featured on the website?
Rohan: Were they going for something with all the models with tattoos? It came off as an edgy, all-grown-up version of Old Navy models.
Tom: They seem fine.
Samer: They seem nervous; many of them are unable to look directly into the camera. I could probably see myself hanging out and getting a drink with the antler modeling this watch.
Greg: All the models seem cool and hot and stuff, but they don't seem like anyone I do or would want to hang out with.
Kyle: These guys seem pretty cool, but I don't like those pants. The boy in the overalls and the other boy with flowers in his beard suck, though.
Rob: The models all look drugged; hopefully the tattoos were voluntary. Pretty major Drake vibes from the Yianni guy.
Albert: This guy, the one wearing the hoodie that looks like fucking ET stretched it out before donating it to the goodwill where Blake Lively found it, seems to be very good-looking. He's got kind of a normal-sized Tyson Chandler thing going on. Hopefully his legs aren't as weird as Tyson's.
This guy looks like Skeet Ulrich, only if Skeet Ulrich emitted a pheromone that made my eyes roll all the way out of my head, into the sewer, through the sewer pipes, and into the sea (Finding Nemo rules apply, here), there to feed themselves to an anglerfish. Are we in Gangs of New York? Did I miss something and we're in Gangs of New York? Because otherwise, this guy can fuck off.
(Also, anybody who plunks down $132 for a shirt that has "distressed/destroyed holes" fucking built into it forfeits their right to internal organs. Hand 'em over. There are kids out there who need organs and would know better than to spend one hundred and thirty two fucking dollars for an offensive pastiche of poverty.)
This fellow is also very good looking. His arms are making me feel things. His $92 tanktop is making me feel other things. It's all very confusing. Maybe I could tear the tanktop off of him? That could be pretty erotic, if I weren't objectively disgusting.
How would you grade it as a website on a scale from 1-10?
Rohan: 7. They have nice pictures.
Tom: This is a shit website. I give this website a 3.
Samer: As a website, it's aesthetically pleasing, but the tone makes me think Preserve believes it's doing Important Things instead of just trying to sell me a pre-ripped shirt. I did enjoy Blake Lively in The Town, so that helps on my scale. I'll give it a 6.
Greg: The men's site? Like, 2. It's pretty, but I have no use for it. Preserve proper is like a 3, I guess. Everything sucks.
Rob: I'll give this a 4/10, though most of the entertainment value is unintentional comedy. I have a friend who dresses a little like this (the hat/tie part, not the shorts/Yianni part), but he'd be pretty salty if I pointed this out to him.
Albert: On a scale of 1-10, I give Preserve a 1.2. It's pretty terrible, but it's not ProFootballTalk. [Ed. Note: As a woman, I don't know what that website is, so I can't vouch for this comparison.]
Images via Preserve