All The Rage

The Image staff muses on the culture of
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Dior, Vuitton -- General Motors?

October 2, 2009 |  3:08 pm
I was wandering around the garment district – the civic forces and the blue and white signs alike now call it the "fashion district," but I’ve been going there since it was just the humble garment district, so, like old friends of Cary Grant’s, I’m entitled to call it the "garment district," just as they were entitled to call him by his real name, Archie Leach.

Anyway, I’m walking around and, on Santee Street, I do a Buster Keaton double-take as I walk past one shop. Hanging in the window are handbags bearing the Cadillac logo, done up in golden metal, just as you’d find it on a big ol’ Detroit automobile grill.

I go in. There are more of them. A gold bag. A red one with racing stripes. A brown fake croc one. All of them have the Cadillac hardware and hang tags with the GM logo in the hologram pattern that bespeaks "authorized and authentic." Prices? Between $45 and $55. Who knew?

Of course I don’t buy one, any more than I’d buy an actual Cadillac.

But, hoo boy. A car maker that had to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy is also in the fashion biz?

Actually, it may make more sense for GM to make accessories than some of its vehicle lines. China -- which is where I think the purses are made -- is talking about buying the Hummer line. And I think GM made more money with its financing business than it did with its auto biz.

And as long as General Motors is for all intents and purposes owned by the United States, I think it’s fantastic that it’s branching out into fashion (if these bags are indeed authorized by GM). Dig itself out of its big old debt hole -- one gold Cadillac tote bag at a time.

-- Patt Morrison