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Archive for June 3rd, 2008

When Yves St. Laurent died yesterday, we lost not only one of the world’s greatest designers, but also one of the world’s most visionary and honest business leaders.

His passion for his work, for his designs, and for the people for whom he created clothes and accessories won over greed and the mad thirst for double-digit growth that so many companies are plagued with today. When other couture houses tried to impress with gimmicks and flash, he stayed true to simple lines and understated elegance. While other couture houses obsessed about fashion, he simply focused on style.

Yves St. Laurent never sold out. You won’t find the YSL logo on cheap sunglasses or bullshit leather iPod cases. Yves St. Laurent refused to let his house fall into the massclusivity trap.

Massclusivity (mass exclusivity) is what you get when a premium brand like Gucci or Louis Vuitton starts making cheap crap to cater to a younger, broader and usually less affluent audience. This can seriously lower the value and relevance of a brand, but it makes sense if you’re looking to cash in on your brand’s earning potential. Once you capture market share and get into the malls and less exclusive retail properties though, it’s tough to get your cream-of-the-crop status back. That’s difference between houses like Dior, Yves St. Laurent, Hermes and Cartier vs. Tommy Hilfiger, DKNY, Ralph Lauren and now Gucci.
A lesser designer would have plunged Dior into chaos back in the sixties, and the Yves St. Laurent brand would have never turned into the cornerstone of occidental style that it is today.

A lesser man would have turned Yves St. Laurent into a Dillard’s or Macy’s brand. He understood the value of a strong brand. He understood the value of absolute quality. He understood the value of staying true to his vision and ideals.

He was one of the greats.

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This is a cyclist’s worst nightmare. The rogue drunk driver. The teenage girl texting from behind the wheel of her SUV. The angry guy behind the wheel of his pickup. The confused ninety-year-old.

The math is pretty simple: Bike and rider (180lbs) + Car and driver (1,000lbs) = roadkill. That tiny little foam helmet won’t protect us against a 60mph impact with the grill of a Ford F150.

From CNN.com:

MONTERREY, Mexico (AP) — A car plowed into a weekend bike race along a highway near the U.S.-Mexico border, killing one and injuring 10 others, police said.

The 28-year-old driver was apparently drunk and fell asleep when he crashed into the race, said police investigator Jose Alfredo Rodriguez.

A photograph taken by a city official showed bicyclists and equipment being hurled high into the air by the collision.

Rodriguez said Juan Campos was charged with killing Alejandro Alvarez, 37, of Monterrey.

Authorities said the wreck happened 15 minutes into the 34-kilometer (21 mile) race Sunday along a highway between Playa Bagdad and Matamoros, across from Brownsville, Texas.

Campos said he is an American citizen living in Brownsville. The U.S. Consulate could not immediately confirm that.

Please be courteous and careful out there. Cyclists don’t mean to be slower than cars. They don’t mean to be in the way either. We just don’t have anywhere else to ride but in the same roads as cars. Nobody needs to get injured or killed just because you’re in a hurry.

And please don’t let anyone you know ever drive drunk. Or tired. Or angry.

Thanks.

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