Tommy Hilfiger was born on March 24th, 1951 – most likely with the real name of Thomas Jacob Hilfiger. On February 9, 2012, he (to be more precise, his exceptionally civil and personable PR rep) offered a giveaway to the readers of Privilege.
We cannot, however, give away a perfume called “Eau de Prep,” and the accompanying stash of “preppy” goods, without a little deconstruction. We have to ask ourselves, what IS “Prep?” We have to ask ourselves, “Is Tommy Hilfiger the brand, “Prep?” Are these giveaway goods, “Prep?” And, most importantly, what on earth does “Eau de Prep” smell like?
I began writing Privilege, almost 3 years ago, partly in response to “Preppy” blogs. I wrote in a state of high dudgeon. I thought people were misinterpreting my High WASP culture, marketing it widely and marketing it badly. Silly LPC.
The idea of “Prep” retains few traces of origin. It’s a construct now, nothing more, nothing less. Muffy Aldrich, at Daily Prep, is the only blog I’ve seen that reclaims “Preppy,” as originally coined. Susan at The Preppy Princess stays close. Otherwise, the idea has been remade with broad lifestyle strokes..
The powers that be have included plaid in the Preppy palette. My mother might find this bag “good-looking,” The plasticized canvas is not quite up to snuff, but if Louis Vuitton can do it, who are we to call foul? At least the logo is discreet.
I myself am very fond of this notebook. I’d enter the giveaway for the pleasure of its fabric alone.
Somehow Greek key patterns (is that what they are called, in fact?), along with bamboo, also wound up in the Prep pile. To me, these say Palm Beach, but never mind.
The red watch might squeak in under the Prep tent flap. I do not believe that gray leopard earmuffs belong. However, again, the task of definition is not mine.
Wait, the perfume. What about the perfume?
It smells like cooked sugar. Something a teen girl might quite like. The entire stash would make any teenage girl who identifies as “Prep” very happy. Since this is “Eau de Prep,” Tommy Girl, I think they’ve got it. By God I think they’ve got it.
Finally, we ask, like any good student returning to our introduction, is the Tommy Hilfiger brand “Prep?” I say, it is if it wants to be. Fly free, little construct. Ralph Lauren changed his name. I hope the Hilfiger brand never becomes Thomas Hill. I prefer the commercial idea of “Prep” when it has nothing to do with last names, parents, professions, ethnicities, or origin. Logically coherent, but sui generis. Punk, goth, prep, and done. Smelling sugarlike as we go.
This giveaway is open only to previous commentors and blog subscribers. While I applaud entrepreneurs who write highly entertaining comments in search of goods to resell on eBay, it would be rude to participate in brand erosion. After all, Tommy Hilfiger is giving us presents, and A Simple Thank You will suffice. They even said it was OK if I made fun of the perfume name. Now that is tolerance, and I applaud tolerance. Please write something, anything, about perfume you have either loved or loathed. Scent tends to bring out strong feelings in us all, brand or no brand, deconstructed or not.
Thank you Tommy H., for this abundant stash of loot. I opened the box like a kid. A copy of True Prep is also included, but you’ll just have to take my word on that.