Saturday, November 21, 2009

As Advertised, London Fog® Trench Coat Does Not Recall the Western Front.

When I was growing up, trench coats did not look like this. Even London Fog trench coats didn’t look like this. Even so, I was shaken (if not stirred) to discover that the much touted Gisele Bündchen ads for this classic fashion line did not show up on the brand’s website.

Or maybe the print ads made it to mags like Vanity Fair; for general web consumption though, we get Eva Longoria Parker and her spousal unit.

So…it’s March 7, 1954: Saks Fifth Avenue becomes the first store to offer London Fog raincoats, in a New York Times ad. The new line of men's raincoats, from
Londontown Clothing Company, is specifically designed to reflect the style of World War I trench coats – complete with epaulets, sleeve straps, and a belt.

The Saks ad describes the coat as “The perfect answer to everything a man can ask for in a raincoat. Remarkably lightweight and wrinkle-free ... it actually resists creasing even after packing.”

(The Londontown president, Israel Myers, has grudgingly used the brand name London Fog for the new line; he rejected it originally because he didn’t think it would attract customers. Saks’s 100 coats sold out immediately, even though the $29.75 price tag was more than double that of other men’s raincoats.)

Myers didn’t invent the trench coat – that’s down to the Brits in the Great War; as you can see by this 1932 Sears ad, the “durable trench model” retailed for just $2.98. Twenty years and a miracle DuPont fabric later, Saks charged 10 times that.

Today, Dillard’s advertises the woman’s model London Fog “Long Trench Coat” in stone, garnet, chocolate or black, for $99 in The Houston Chronicle. I noticed that, oddly, there was no Bündchen here. (But plenty more of her
here. Ah – advertising!)

1 comment:

Richard Laurence Baron said...

BTW, the Bündchen photos became "controversial," which is why London Fog switched to the Parkers - much more family-friendly.