I generally avoid Marc Jacobs like the plague, a position no doubt influenced by a former boss of mine who grossly misappropriated his designs. (Repeat the mantra: No Peter Pan collars after 40.) Yet on Friday afternoon I checked my morals at the door of the Marc by Marc Jacobs boutique on Fillmore, and I’m thrilled to report that the experience brought me greater pleasure than any—OK, most—prior ethical breaches of a similar nature. In a thinly veiled and yet highly effective act of deception, the front of the house was chock full of cheap swag, most of which was not, but some of which was emblazoned with the Marc Jacobs or “MJ” insignia. Quilted coin purse of the finest Made in China vinyl, replete with a MJ zipper pull? $11. Flip-flops, ditto on the logo? $8.
All of this crap was strategically placed to mask the almost-but-not-quite reasonably priced “actual” merchandize (which nobody seemed all too interested in, incidentally). While I was tempted by a $125 enameled pendant and a $400-ish train case—chump change by MJ standards—I switched up my game at the last minute and instead selected a $6 piece of bling: a single gold plated die, inset with fake-tastic diamonds and dangling from a slender chain. I recently read Joan Didion’s “Play It As It Lays,” and felt the tschoke fitting as such. A priceless exchange ensued:
Me (handing over the necklace): “I’d like to pay for this, please.”
Shop Boy (faintly incredulous): “That’s all?”
Me (smugly): “Yes, that’s all.”
Shop Boy paws through illustrated MJ “look book” to find sales code for $6 bubble gum machine-quality necklace.
Me (feigning surprise): “You have to enter that into the system?”
Shop Boy (not picking up on the irony of the situation, and seemingly flustered by his inability to locate the code): “Yes.”
Shop Boy: “$6.51, please.”
I hand over a $10 bill.
Shop Boy (slightly panicked): “Um…we’re out of singles.” (turns to colleague and inquires about change)
Me (dryly): “I have smaller bills if needed. I am high rolling at Marc Jacobs, after all.”
Shop Boy (visibly relieved): “Thanks!”
Shop Boy (still not picking up on, well, anything): “Would you like me to wrap this?”
Me (rolling my eyes behind my huge, dark, and beloved Miu Miu glasses, purchased especially for occasions like these): “Um, no. I’ll just wear it now.”
I chuckle to myself on my way out of the shop while fastening the chain about my neck.
Go get it, Boss Man: Somebody’s selling this shiz on Ebay. $5.99 starting bid, $9.99 shipping.