I have been in marketing for a long time and I have seen some weird concepts and phrases come to life. Remember “Trunning” from Nike–part running part training? Nothing I have seen in my history, however, is as linguistically stretched as J.Crew’s new “Bespoke Inspired” campaign that is currently running. For the record this is what Bespoke means:
Bespoke English pronunciation: /biˈspoʊk/ is a term employed in a variety of applications to mean an item custom-made to the buyer’s specification (personalized or tailored). While applied to many items now, from computer software to luxury car appointments, the term historically was applied only to tailored clothing, shirts, and other parts of men’s apparel involving custom measurement and fitting.
So, to be Bespoke inspired is what? Logically, I mean. Sort of custom made but there is no tailor involved? Looks like something your grandmother might have crocheted for you but there are a thousand other people wearing the same vest? I’m picturing Sherlock Holmes in a woolly jacket with hand stitched patched elbows–is that Bespoke inspired? Does it mean that the apparel looks like it’s from a time when everyone had Bespoke clothes? Charles Dickens? Shakespeare?
Just so you know, I’m not bashing Bespoke apparel, in fact it’s the ultimate luxury but to be Bespoke inspired is simply another way of saying classic apparel made in a factory–I think. Oh and most of J.Crew’s products are made in factories in China BTW.
While I get excited about marketing lingo and often chuckle at what savvy marketers come up with I must say this one makes me feel like I’m either being hoodwinked or not given credit for my understanding of the English language. Don’t be fooled. Bespoke does not mean one of many or made in a factory. It means custom made for you, one of kind, to your liking.