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Buy a T-shirt, or the dwarf gets it

It seems that everything in the independent fashion sector has already been done or is very dull, so sometimes to get the attention of your core customers you have to be prepared to offend the rest of the shopping fraternity.

Consequently, now and again at Sarah Coggles we will deliberately contrive a window that will attract negative publicity, and you know what they say about publicity.

Let’s talk about the little people, by which I mean dwarfs. We have a Christmas window planned for our store that will include a new collection of Smurf T-shirts by US brand Junk Food. We intend to demean a vertically-challenged person by getting him to dress up as a Smurf. The window would feature various Smurf T-shirts as well as a fully-charged set of alcoholic optics. His challenge would be to sit in the window on a Saturday and get very drunk. I think we would get some press. What do you think?

There are going to be very strong views on this idea, but that is fashion; controversial, questioning and ultimately challenging the norm. It’s not very PC, but fashion often isn’t. This is what we love about the business and why we do what we do.

Different sectors of the industry have to get noticed in their own different ways. Marketing that is right for Marks & Spencer, or Diesel, for example, may not be right for everyone else. They are both very good at what they do, but with their multi-million pound budgets, trying to compete with them as an independent is a case of David versus Goliath.

So let’s focus on the little man. Buy a T-shirt, or the dwarf gets it.

Mark Bage, owner, Sarah Coggles

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