Anders Ekesiöö and Anna Nygren recently defended their master's thesis at Stockholm University School of Business. They discuss consumer profiles, specifically what they call Mr. H, a person with "high demand on unique consumer products". A Mr. H buys things that he feels are unique and will make him stand out from the main stream. Preferably he should be the only one in the city or the country to possess the item he purchases.
I have a confession. I am Ms. H.
When I read an article about this in today's paper, I could hear echoes of myself saying things like "one of the reasons I'm so happy about this skirt, is that I know that when I bought it, there were maybe five of it, altogether, in Australia, which means, I'm probably the only one in Sweden who has one". I've stopped shopping at places like Designtorget, because the stuff isn't quite unique enough. I've become much more picky with what I choose to stand out. But I make sure I do. It needn't be expensive, but it needs to be one-of-a-kind.
Peter just remarked on some of the men that hit on me online that they seem to have found their lines in some kind of pick-up manual. Not terribly interresting, they don't stand out from the crowd. At all. That's not a good trick. At all. Not if you're hitting on a Ms. H. Inventiveness is an essential part of the attraction.
At least I'm consistent. I want uniqueness all over.
Who, me, picky...?
You see... I get bored. When I shop at H&M or such, I rarely use the stuff very much. Or if I buy items that are very much the current fashion. It doesn't really interest me. But if I find something that is brave or clever enough to stand on it's own, and that specifically suits me, then I'm happy to use the item year after year. I don't grow tired of it. It keeps me curious, interrested, happy.
I haven't read the thesis in question, so I don't know exactly how they define Mr. H, but reading the article today, I have a feeling that there's a little more to it than just standing out and having the stuff that no one else has. That is alittle bit too close to the game of "the one with the most stuff at the end wins" for comfort. No, I believe that the true Mr H can be extremely down played, neutral even. Minimalist. But the stuff that is there, is carefully chosen. Very. Carefully. Others of the same kind will know it and appreciate it, which is the whole point of showing off. Women don't dress up for men, they dress up for other women, to display their place within the ranks. And I guess it is also a form of neo-tribalism, as explained by the very unique Cory Doctorow. I doubt that Mr. Doctorow would agree completely, but I still believe it's in the vicinity.
My name is H. Ms. H.