Kaiser Cola: Fashion Giant Embraces Diet Coke
Fashion always seems like such a con. You watch chopstick-legged fillies stomp up and down the runway with looks on their faces hinting more at severe indigestion (which is kind of funny when you figure they haven’t eaten in weeks….) versus the smiles they ought to be sporting for looting several thousand bucks an hour to walk in a huff. Self-centered, brainless, irrationally confident or perhaps a mixture of all three they don the most ridiculous of costumes for careful assay by those who would clothe the rest of us. Maybe B.U.M Equipment leg warmers never officially graced a runway but they certainly sprang from something shown somewhere sometime. With collections like Homeless Chic, Jihad-spring or Death Row Gingham it’s easy to see how the narrative of fashion is so critically important to a trade that does little more than provide updated fig-leaves for an easily bored marketplace. Fashion – perhaps above all others – understands that with every swatch and every stitch they are not actually selling clothes, they are selling the fresh, and the new and the vibrant POW of something that is unique and intriguing. They are selling the sizzle – as classic a salesman’s gimmick as you’re ever going to find.
So how could bubbly water and high fructose corn syrup do any less when it comes to finding ways to move ever more vats of product? They too are all about the sizzle – they have to be. I mean if you just poured Coke in a bucket and asked people to drink it they would look at you like you’re nuts.
“What’s in the pail?”
“Syrupy water….with bubbles…it’s really good.”
“But it’s in a bucket.”
“So? Yummy, huh?”
You’d head off pretty quick looking for something to drink that didn’t resemble dysentery-plagued slough water. But wrap the same stuff in a sexy bottle with some swish graphics and a massive ad campaign, well then you have some thing. It’s not what’s in the bottle – it’s what the stuff in the bottle is wearing…..
Karl Lagerfeld is one of the more creepily memorable fashion icons. He always looks like some freaky German der plunkt (which I don’t think is a word but just seemed right) who might lash out at any moment. I have little doubt the man owns leather underwear (which says far more about me then he, I fear but hey…) and a collection of latex socks. Anyway, he heads his own self-named brand as well as Fendi and Chanel. A busy man, Karl Lagerfeld’s love for calorie-less Coke is fairly legendary, as he routinely has it delivered to him on mahogany trays borne straight-armed by shirtless, hairless lads who are obliged to curtsey and shriek “Da Tung!” upon delivery. I made certain parts of that up but you’ll have to guess which. He does love his Coke though.
Well, the Kaiser has been kommissioned by the kommisars at Koke to create a one-time, limited edition aluminium Coca-Cola Light bottle for the year 2010. The dark-suited wizard trained his eternally-shaded eyes on birthing an ad campaign for his bubbly love within a design worthy of its delivery. Specifically, he made a bottle of Coke that features his own rather famous silhouette with a tweaked out version of Coke color to make it “pop.”
Marketed as “the must-have of the season for taking a refreshing break” (could they have said anything else?) it is described as “chic and calorie-free." But of course. Coke’s been doing some work over the last few years tying its diet or light brands to various fashion icons (see Ugly Betty, Sex in the City.) Lagerfeld’s bottle is one thing but if you spring for the whole uber-designed set it comes in an elaborate fold-out box that even features a bottle opener “lodged discreetly in a drawer.” I’d buy that for a dollar….
The king himself shot the print ads now appearing all over France exclusively and the sets are available at ultra-chic Colette, a swank center of la mode fashion in Paris that stocks the new and the must-haves for those that matter. The set will set you back €60 or so. Add in shipping and that’s one pricey beverage – tastefully decorated or not.
While a big part of me can’t help but think someone is laughing pretty hard at someone else over this, I have to admit that the bottle made me look twice and even consider trying to buy one. And if I was in France the tag would only be $3 or so – a small price to pay to add a little sizzle to your fizzie. Der plunkt indeed.