Books + Magazines, Decorating Tips, Reader Questions

Anthropologie Videos – Creepy or Cute?

October 10, 2008

I was just checking out the Anthropologie stuff for Autumn ’08 and came across these videos… I have to say, while they creep me out I do like them. I understand the need that a business has to continuously churn out new and innovative things to maintain a fresh look, but I wonder what your thoughts are in their new approach to product marketing on their site. Take a look here and tell me what you think. I like Spectra (it’s like Etsy!) and Look Closer is nice, but the Master Pieces videos… Hmmm… It is creative though!

I appreciate how Anthropologie works hard to stay fresh for us as we are always demanding something new and this gives companies a lot of work. One thing I would love though, that Anthropologie is not doing, is I’d like to see them roll out videos where customers can actually LEARN something… Like feature a series of DIY videos that show you how to make certain displays that you see in their stores for your home. They have so many cool installations that they churn out, window decals made from fabric, glass bottle light fixtures, etc. that I would find something like that not only inspiring but educational which may make me return to their site as often as they posted new videos. In turn, I may shop their site more.

Another idea I’d love to see: Interview the various designers behind their products and take you into their ateliers and show them at work. This would make the customer feel much more attracted to the products I think. I am under the impression that a lot of us see Anthro as a big box retailer more and more as they are becoming somewhat of a Starbucks (on every corner) in the states and this could be a potential negative for them. I adore Anthropologie, but not many are aware of where the boots and bags and clothing really come from, who designs them, etc. I’d love to learn more about where these products are coming from and the passion behind them…

I would also enjoy a series of videos that show you how to do something creative with products they carry in your own home. That would be helpful, like how some cool shopper in say Chicago used a pair of pillow shams on clearance and turned them into art or made some fun handbag or sewing machine cover out of it. Or how a girl in Kansas has a rad collection of teapots and used only the lids to create some funky art installation on the wall in her home. You know fun stuff like that… Show how customers are using Anthropologie products OR how customers could use them in fun and interesting ways. Teach us creative recycling. That way if you do get an item home and in 6 months you’re sick of it you may look at it in different way and use it as something else instead of boxing it up in the attic or eventually throwing it out. Creativity is inside of us all, some in larger doses or closer to the surface so to speak, but it can be taught, trained, sharpened. Have a series of videos that does that for Anthro customers so that shoppers develop their eye, taste, and start to think like a stylist. Isn’t that what we’d all love? To jump into the mind of a stylist for the day? Which leads me to think: Would you not LOVE to see them host lectures or DIY projects or indie art shows in their actual retail stores? A bit of an Anthro-university.

Of course, and I’ve been saying this for a few years, but I want them to roll out a book SO BADLY that it hurts. I’m dying to see them showcase the ‘best of the best’ displays in their stores with a How To guide teaching how we can do something similar in our home. How inspiring and useful would THAT be?

We are in real need of books that show creative artistic projects like that, and we’re also in need of books that show us how to style a room or create arrangements on tables, style bookcases, etc. I’ve had it with seeing books that show the same thing over and over again, we all know how to stack books, arrange them by color on a bookcase, top a stack of books with a pillar candle or OH MY GOD a shell. But what about giving us tasteful, yet useful and artistic ways to display the things we love in our home that isn’t Pottery Barn perfect but also isn’t tacky? Anthropologie Styling Tricks. Wouldn’t that be a dream book?

Care to comment with your thoughts on the Master Pieces video, what books you’d like to see that are missing, videos you’d be interested in watching or anything related? I enjoy hearing your thoughts, as the post I wrote about Wallpaper Borders yesterday inspired so many fantastic responses that I want to know more and more what you are all thinking out there… I want you to feel free to share your thoughts anytime you’d like because you may think that I am here each day to inspire you but oh no, it’s the other way around – YOU inspire ME tremendously. So thank you for always sharing and linking and being a special part of this blog.


  • Reply Tabitha (From Single to Married) October 10, 2008 at 8:11 am

    I totally agree that the Masterpieces video is very strange. I would much rather see pictures than a video – they look uncomfortable which makes me uncomfortable.

    Tabitha (From Single to Married)s last blog post: Photo of the Day – 10/10/08

  • Reply Nan October 10, 2008 at 8:16 am

    I could not watch the video – way too creepy.

  • Reply diane October 10, 2008 at 8:49 am

    hi holly,
    as much as anthropologie offers unique and “original” merchandise, you should be aware of their rampant ethics problem. i used to be a huge fan of theirs until a friend of mine was directly effected by this. sorry to be a bummer, but if you do an online search of “urban outfitters” (anthropologie’s parent company) you will find out who really designs a lot of their goods. seems that they like to meet with independent designers then snag their ideas to have them mass produced without compensation to the original designer.

    its unfortunate for the little guy that this happens and that a major box retailer reaps the benefits of someone else’s hard work.

    the catalog stylists and other employees of anthropologie might not even know this happens, but i think its important for anyone that supports this store knows about this practice.

  • Reply horriblelicenseplates October 10, 2008 at 9:01 am

    Um, kind of creepy. The masterpieces that is. I think a photo probably gets the same job done without the awkwardness of the slight moving in the video.

    horriblelicenseplatess last blog post: No, it’s Wednesday

  • Reply Sarah October 10, 2008 at 9:14 am

    I too adore Anthro. But, for me the biggest drawback is their prices. I have hard time paying top dollar when I can find similar (if not the same) things on Etsy, Ebay or at my local thrift stores. Every time I walk into Anthro I see about 20 home and fashion related goods I want to take home but end up leaving with maybe one and a notebook and camera full of inspiration. Holly, I’d love to see them feature how-to videos on their site and would snatch up a book written by them in about 2-seconds flat! It would certainly make me feel more connected and take away the big-box feel they’re starting to get. :)

    Sarahs last blog post: Chair Note Cards

  • Reply Kim Wallace October 10, 2008 at 9:15 am

    Holly, thanks once again for a fantastic and inspiring post ? I definitely share your ideas on interviewing the designers and showing where the products come from, this background information is very important to me when buying art or design pieces, and adds to the emotional connection I have with the work. I am currently in the process of setting up an online gallery for Australian art & design, and my aim is exactly that ? to share with the visitors who made the piece, what inspired them, what materials were used etc.

    Your post has confirmed my line of thought and given me some great tips and ideas in addition!

    Oh and with regards to the videos, I often find it quite distracting if there are too many interactive elements on a site ? I prefer to browse through a gallery that is easy to navigate and loads quickly!

    Kim Wallaces last blog post: Kiln Gallery ? The Illustrators

  • Reply kristi October 10, 2008 at 9:25 am

    The “Masterpieces” video is really “jumping the shark” for Anthropologie. It’s too edgy, too dark, too high fashion — in a completely non-imitable way — to be consistent with their brand position. And it’s a little odd to watch. They could have taken the same models and changed the setting and had the whole thing work. I’m not sure what they were trying to accomplish.

    Some of the other videos are very cool though.

  • Reply cheryl October 10, 2008 at 9:31 am

    Wow. That was a little…awkward? I feel like it needed music or more movement or something.

    cheryls last blog post: "It’s Okay."

  • Reply Melissa de la Fuente October 10, 2008 at 9:43 am

    Ahh….Oh yes! I would LOVE a book like that and all the ideas you are coming up with….I think they should hire YOU as a consultant! I can’t say I love those videos although they are extremely creative(especially the wonderland and spectra ones) but, I concur with all your thoughts on more behind the scenes from Anthro. I love their shop, love what they do on a regular basis(their shop inspires me truly)and hope to see more from them along the lines of your fabulous suggestions.

  • Reply Anna @ D16 October 10, 2008 at 9:50 am

    YEOW, those “Masterpiece” videos are weeeeeird! I think what makes them so awkward and creepy is that the models are all made up and styled for photos (and the lighting and retouching that goes along with it), but are being filmed in natural light and without any post-production work. The effect is really garish and unsettling, and I’m assuming that’s the point.

    I agree with you that Anthropologie should say more about who is designing their products; give them a voice. One of the things I like about them as a company (despite being owned by UO, who I have problems with) is that they sell clothes and other goods designed by smaller designers, and a lot of it is really unique and often very well-crafted.

    Anna @ D16s last blog post: Painted black floors.

  • Reply Andy Mathis October 10, 2008 at 9:55 am

    After reading for a long time about people raving about Anthropologie, I decided to check out their store in Atlanta while exhibiting at the gift show last month, and see what the fuss was about.

    First, I was surprised that the store was round.

    I didn’t not realize until reading above that the clothes and bags are purchased from the designers.

    I personally wasn’t exactly blown away by the displays, but if I could see the appeal, if electic, and sort of rustic, is your thing.

    I can see why they don’t publish a book. The home stuff seems to be a very small part of their sales. The main site categories are clothes, jewelry, accessories,etc. with one home category. And I think the key to their look is the amount of stuff in their store. and the lighting. I would be afraid a normal sized room in your house would look and feel a bit cluttered. In the store, it’s a backdrop to sell merchandise.

    As far as the videos, I would prefer the Masterpiece one to be a series of still photographs. The others I liked.

    Andy Mathiss last blog post: Ellie- Homeless to Happy in less than 7 days

  • Reply annkent October 10, 2008 at 9:56 am

    I am a HUGE fan of Anthropologie and the stores are literally candy for my creative soul. The displays are wonderfully inspiring and when I view them, I want to sprint home and incorporate pieces of them into my life. And so, yes, I agree, a book about the displays, the products, and the artists behind them would certainly find its way into my Ikea EXPEDIT bookshelves. And yes, I too, have taken Anthropologie items and recycled them to use in other ways (e.g. two of their eyelet ruffled shower curtains are now curtains in my daughter’s bedroom) and Heather Bailey’s website features a skirt made from an Anthro tablecloth. With all of that said, oh gosh, it seems like blasphemy to say so … but I agree about the Masterpiece video. While I was able to appreciate the art and the creativity of the images, the video portrays a sense of impending doom and it gave me the chills.

  • Reply Christine October 10, 2008 at 10:10 am

    Oh my…totally creepy…i hated them.

    Christines last blog post: Lucky Girl: Part Two

  • Reply mary October 10, 2008 at 10:18 am

    I agree that the masterpiece videos are a bit creepy. Sort of like watching a surreal funeral. I think they could have showcased the products better if the models were shown in a party or work or date situation, you know like real life? Thanks for bringing this to my attention. I too love the displays in Anthro and sometimes can not believe they are reproduced in every store. They seem to good to be one of many.

  • Reply magikquilter October 10, 2008 at 10:24 am

    All I can say is thank goodness the last one had the hat down over her eyes cause if I saw another animated corpse blinking I would have lost it!

    Is that the heroin look of years ago back with a twist? And what was it with the blinking…were they trying to hypnotise us?

    Don’t get me started on the makeup… I am actually pleased that Australia is not on their list to ship to after all.

    magikquilters last blog post: Sparkly Thursday

  • Reply magikquilter October 10, 2008 at 10:25 am

    Although the shot with the girl with the hair out…wow …and the dark haired woman is a stunner…but you have to be awake and/or not nauseated to appreciate them

    magikquilters last blog post: Sparkly Thursday

  • Reply Natalie October 10, 2008 at 10:30 am

    Anthropologie… Cute accessories and clothing in all videos…but a little too creepy for me. I appreciate your outlook on it…positive and allowing. Love your posts!

    Natalies last blog post: Vulture?

  • Reply Mary Lawler October 10, 2008 at 10:44 am

    I’m with you. Creepy. The models all look a little dead and their movement is so subtle it’s disconcerting. Instead of waiting for Anthropology to do it, why don’t we assemble a resource for tasteful, yet useful and artistic ways to display the things we love in our home that isn?t Pottery Barn perfect but also isn?t tacky? There are some VERY creative, quirky people out there that think out of the box, let’s hear from them. Post pictures and videos with design ideas and solutions with stuff from lots of places, not just Anthro.
    (no offense I love Anthro)

  • Reply Kimberly Julie October 10, 2008 at 10:46 am

    No, seriously… Masterpieces is creepy! These women are like beautiful still-life in pictures, but the video makes you suddenly realize that these are people… and if I saw someone walking down the street in that make-up I’d assume her to be a crack whore or at the very least, someone who just went off the deep-end… big time. The other videos were interesting, and I definitely agree that Spectra was Etsy-like and cool! I wish they’d go into designers as well… I’d definitely love to see that. And a book? I’d be pre-ordering that thing like WHOA!

    Kimberly Julies last blog post: Design Inspiration:

  • Reply Morgan October 10, 2008 at 10:48 am

    yeah, that masterpieces video did kind of freak me out. The models just look so vacant and bored. It was kind of weird. I did like Pas de Deux. the dance steps idea was clever.

    I would LOVE to see a video on their displays like you suggested. One of my favorites they did was a polaroid wall of plants in the housewares section. I modified that idea for my hallway!

    Morgans last blog post: white tulips on a cloudy day polaroid

  • Reply Jackie October 10, 2008 at 11:01 am

    Super creapy Anthros my favorite too didnt notice they had videos before now creeped out:{

  • Reply Kelsey October 10, 2008 at 11:35 am

    I stumbled across the Anthropologie videos recently, as well. I would agree – a little creepy (especially the direct stare into the camera!), but creative, nonetheless. The models seem more human and approachable. I’m for it : )

  • Reply amber October 10, 2008 at 11:40 am

    The models look so sad. Is that how they have to pose when taking pictures for the catalogs? They were so still and stiff, some of them looked like it was a struggle just to keep their head up. I didn’t like it too much.

    Having videos explaining where some of the other kinds of creativity that they have, like in store displays, would be amazing. I can’t afford to shop there but I love to go and get ideas constantly. Some how to guides would be great!

    ambers last blog post: 1 year later . . .

  • Reply pkswede October 10, 2008 at 11:56 am

    I didn’t see any videos on their site? Could you please post the link? I’m so curious!

    pkswedes last blog post: Buenos Aires

  • Reply Courtney October 10, 2008 at 11:57 am

    uhhh…i found them just creepy….i mean i know it’s supposed to be all about the jewellery and the models are just breathing mannaquins….but with the overdone makeup and teased/kinda dirty looking hair i think they look drugged/spaced out. Reminds me of the heroin chic so popular last decade…they looked unsteady on their feet and the 3rd or 4th girl in green looks like she’s trembling and scared…
    not my particular cup of tea…
    that being said the jewellery was nice…

    Courtneys last blog post: notice the similarities?

  • Reply lauren October 10, 2008 at 12:02 pm

    LOVED IT! — the whole site’s a hoot.
    Just the inspiration I needed!

  • Reply dany October 10, 2008 at 12:18 pm

    I love decor 8, but I’d like to just go on record backing up what Diane said. Also, I think the Anthro aesthetic is getting a little tired, a little behind the trends at this point.

    danys last blog post: Food as Fashion?

  • Reply Ashley at Decorology October 10, 2008 at 12:19 pm

    Yeah I’m not feeling the Masterpieces video, I kept feeling like I needed to turn up the sound.

  • Reply Andy Mathis October 10, 2008 at 12:54 pm

    I have to also agree with Diane, comment #3, although a little off-topic of the post.

    Anthropologie and Urban Outfitters names are always on the Surtex list of guest and buyers. Since Surtex isn’t a gift show, where they would be purchasing products for their stores, you have to wonder if they attend, looking for “inspiration” as they call it.

    Andy Mathiss last blog post: Ellie- Homeless to Happy in less than 7 days

  • Reply Mer October 10, 2008 at 1:08 pm

    hmm…not a fan of the videos.

    Mers last blog post: [this year for halloween I want to be a…]

  • Reply please sir October 10, 2008 at 1:10 pm

    I love your take on this – and agree with adding videos, DIY projects, and a BOOK! Oh the joy! This is a great way to put it out there and I’m sure an Anthro worker is reading this right now and hopefully bringing it to their boss!

    please sirs last blog post: Game On

  • Reply Tiffany October 10, 2008 at 1:38 pm

    Totally creeps me out.

    Tiffanys last blog post: Must Have!!!

  • Reply Laura October 10, 2008 at 1:46 pm

    Holly, I completely agree that was weird. I felt like I was watching a video and the models were not aware of a video being on. Did not care for the artistic approach.

    Lauras last blog post: Calling All Style Moms

  • Reply Paunchiness October 10, 2008 at 1:49 pm

    Those do not make me want to buy a necklace. Super creepy. The video is just low res enough to make the product hard to see…and the blinking if your not ready for it makes you feel like you’re being watched.

    Thumbs down.

    Paunchinesss last blog post: Visage A Trois

  • Reply Liz MacPherson October 10, 2008 at 2:18 pm

    I think that the video is beautiful and a great way to showcase their products. The women are perfect. With all that goes on in the world, how can people get creeped out by such a benign and lovely video.
    So sensitive, we are.

  • Reply sly_fox October 10, 2008 at 2:53 pm

    I found the video pointless, not creepy. It was just a real-time, live-motion version of a still photo shoot, so why bother ? Unfortunately it evokes “high school art student with first video camera who feels compelled to document everything ” rather then “edgy art direction.”

    They should take it to the next logical level if the goal is offerring content beyond still photos – shoot a just-for-website commercial on location/set for a particular catalog/theme, with mutiple models wearing multiple looks, good music, maybe a voiceover – something atmosphericly Anthro.

    As for a how-to book, there’s a recent offerring from Kayte Terry, a former Anthro display artist: “Complete Embellishing: Techniques and Projects.” Looks like it offers a mix of clothing and home soft furnishing ideas. I’m intrigued, but prefer to peruse it first rather than purchase sight unseen, despite some positive reviews.

  • Reply annechovie October 10, 2008 at 3:16 pm

    While I am crazy about Anthropologie and love their creativity, those videos are not at all appealing. I would agree with you and think they are a bit creepy, almost jarring. The makeup is extreme and the whole thing smacks of Tim Burton and his creepy world.

    annechovies last blog post: LUCKY ME!

  • Reply Miss B. October 10, 2008 at 4:03 pm

    This post freaked me out! I was in Antro yesterday thinking the very same thing. I would LOVE a book from them. Anthro Style..Brilliant ideas…

    Miss B.s last blog post: HAPPY FRIDAY!

  • Reply Ez October 10, 2008 at 4:04 pm

    I never write about this on my blog, but I feel compelled to comment (I hope I don’t get hate mail because of this).

    Anthropologie is a beautifully merchandised store, filled with all sorts of dazzling eye-candy…
    I used to work for the Urban Outfitters company (Anthro is their sister store) and I won’t go into lengthy specifics, but I refuse to support any of their ventures in any form. While aesthetically pleasing I can not get past their politics and ethics towards the artists that they claim to “support.” I find their practices to be quite appalling.

    I am not speaking as a disgruntled former employee. I was working and training for a high level position when I chose to walk away because I literally could not take another moment of their phoniness and blatant disregard for those in the community that they purport to serve.

    There are always two sides to every coin, and I am sure that there must be artists out there who have enjoyed working with this company, but I personally know of individuals who have had designs blatantly ripped off and sold in stores with no credit or profit for their ideas. Another friend of mine had the courage to turn down a mass order because Anthro wanted to pay them a few dollars per piece for their handcrafted silver jewelry, that they were going to then mark up to over $85. It is clear that Anthropologie sees little value in the artists they appear to support. I feel that these kinds of practices are wrong and it saddens me to think of indie artists getting taken advantage of by a “cool” and “popular” company, that could (with all of it’s power and status) be doing a lot of good for artists all around the world, but who choose not to.

    I understand the allure of Anthropologie… believe me it tempts me still, but supporting a company that shows so little regard for artists and those of us trying to create a name for ourselves is not something that I want to do with my time and money. I’d rather shop on sites like etsy where I know that artists and designers are getting the respect and financial profit that they deserve for all of their hard work and ingenuity.

    Sorry for rambling… I forgot how much this topic gets me going.

    Ezs last blog post: Creature of Comfort: Susyjack*

  • Reply decor8 October 10, 2008 at 4:12 pm

    Wow Ez and some of the others who commented about your experiences with UO and Anthropologie. I just googled around to see what I could find on this topic and wow, so many unhappy artists do exist. It’s a shame. I will do more research on this topic just for my own sake because this is good for me to know… Thank you all for your comments and such. Really enlightening.

  • Reply Julie October 10, 2008 at 7:40 pm

    The videos from Anthropologie are definately creepy. And honestly, it just enforces the fact that no one would look even remotely good walking around like most of the model shots we see. The videos of the models start to have this bizarre quality where I start to feel like these girls were kidnapped and then forced to dress up and put on ridiculous makeup….ok maybe that’s just me, but it’s creepy.

  • Reply jill October 10, 2008 at 7:57 pm

    i was creeped out at first, but then it reminded me of framed pictures from harry potter!

    jills last blog post: i’m a total nerd … a totally excited nerd!

  • Reply Uncle Beefy October 11, 2008 at 2:59 am

    Am I really adding anything here but another comment, Holly? But still I have to give a thumbs down on the videos. Like Tabitha stated, “they look uncomfortable which makes me uncomfortable”…well said. I’d prefer still photos. My phenomenal 2?.

    And, Ez…no hate mail from me! I appreciate being made aware of things like this. As an artist I had no idea the sheer level of exploitive behavior taking place. And then I want to slap my hand for letting my aesthetic appreciation lull me into naive thinking of a large corporation. Thanks for making us better informed.

    Uncle Beefys last blog post: Gathering ’round…

  • Reply Fiona October 11, 2008 at 4:13 am

    The masterpiece videos had me watching their makeup and not the jewellery.
    I didn’t find it creepy, just unpleasant, because they looked like the undead. Still, it’s a new idea and perhaps we need to be gently introduced to the concept with some soothing music or sound.

    Fionas last blog post: Teen room mural design- Motocross mural

  • Reply KJ October 11, 2008 at 6:41 am

    I was given the sense that these women were being forced to model these products: like they were prisoners and the badly done make-up could easily have been bruises. The awkward silence and gloom actually created a distraction from the elegant products.

    I can’t imagine this campaign speaking to anyone but a small minority of eccentric women.


  • Reply Elizabeth October 11, 2008 at 8:38 am

    I don’t think it’s that creepy, but then again, I love David Lynch films. So, maybe I have a really high bar for creepy things. To me, it looked like their print ads, but with breathing and slight movement. Honestly, I thought it was kind of boring. I also agree with poster Julie, above, that the models look uncomfortable and unnatural.

    Elizabeths last blog post: Sleepy

  • Reply Susie Q October 11, 2008 at 5:58 pm

    Great post, Holly!

    Masterpieces looks like some sort of film effect of a drug sequence. Annoying.

    I’ve always been a huge Anthropologie fan. However, I learned from exhibiting at NY Gift Show exactly what they were up to. Diane, Kim, and Ez are right. But, it’s not just Anthropologie, most of the impressive store and catalog buyers knock off designers and squeeze them on price. Since that experience, I’ve been devoted to Etsy, eBay, and local artists.

    Instead of an Anthropologie book, let’s urge Sibella Court to write one! It would have that same Anthro vibe, but would truly be an original!

    Susie Qs last blog post: Time to Reupholster, Part 2

  • Reply hana October 11, 2008 at 8:07 pm

    First of all, I did not think that Masterpieces Video is so creepy. I guessed the purpose of the Web designer was maybe… a sense of existence, not depending on a sound (language). It would make us feel a very exhausted expression maybe even if we were in a modern art museum. However, it’s a very useful method of making misunderstanding to non-English speaker like me. I thought… Wow, International approach! and actually it seems to be very worldwide big retailer.

    Since about ten years ago, UO had been saying that they would advance their shop areas to Europe and Asia by about 2009. They actually opened stores in some areas in Europe, and the online order site was opened in Japan May 2007. And then, in the summer of this year, the company in Japanese side who was their tie-up E-commerce trader (they has the connection in China too) wrote, “By the problem on the licensing agreement”, and the site was closed. Heck… What’s their problem?

    Anyway, I’m trying to throw my best thought for you, but??? Ten and several years ago, while I had been working at imported merchandise shop in Tokyo from 7 o’ to 10 o’, sometimes I was really… unpleasant in applying an unbelievable hideous price to a commodities which our buyer sent from NY or LA or Paris. However, I was able to make some excuse to myself at least at that time. I never sell copy products of without permission, and I was going to buy it by a regular price, and actually sold it with the name tags of the manufacturer applied (Of course, I think there were a lot of shops not in the same way.) And, I noticed we would become more familiar to buying directly from foreign countries with Internet, so I realized such a transitory sudden rise might not continue long. So, I wonder… didn’t shop girls who had a wonderful exhibition technique of UO sigh too when I was sighing to the price difference of the imports either? Possible to imagine… they knew a cost of their remake goods from Asia.

    Forgive me, if my thought seems to be too aggressive… I really adore UO girls, and I know still a lot of shops, in my town, actually influenced by their shops. But… Creepy? No. I only felt they might have a lot of mimics of david Aubrey or someone else…. And, I’ll be able to guess their materials came from where… But it looked clear that they did not want to write clearly and they never want to know what I felt. Fukui Hairband? Zen Garden?! will they say after ten years too? Gee.

  • Reply Sunny October 12, 2008 at 10:44 am

    I think showing their products in a real life setting would take away from the fantasy that Antropologie is trying to create. Anthopologie is good at creating a fantasy that is not too far out of reach, say like a ball gown, but is definitely out of the normal person’s reach.

    I think that is why the video doesn’t work. It is too high fashion, while most of their stuff is beautifully shabby chic (sorry to use the term, I hate it but I am not sure what else you would call it.)

    Sunnys last blog post: Denton-louder than Times Square

  • Reply q October 12, 2008 at 7:38 pm

    no, not creepy at all to me ;)

  • Reply Rebecca October 13, 2008 at 2:37 am

    Sundance Channel is going to have a new show following the main Anthro buyer around as he does his job, it looks interesting. I too would love to know more about the artists that inspire/craft their goods.

  • Reply ashley October 13, 2008 at 12:37 pm

    so many good ideas ~

    I didn’t think the Masterpieces video was that creepy … maybe a little bit … but once you start imagining these women posing for a painting back in the day, it makes sense. It also almost seemed to me to be as if it was a photo shoot for these products on “pause”.

    Anyway, I really liked the Spectra and Wonderland pieces but it seems like most of these probably take much more work on the interactive design & programming side than they’re even worth. It’s fun to poke around a bit but I think it can be slow / move awkwardly and I’d rather just browse normally.

  • Reply amy October 13, 2008 at 6:26 pm

    I can tell you why I find them interesting, and this is in full acknowledgment of their creepiness-they truly demonstrate the difference between media beauty and reality. I’ve used magazines and advertisements to narrow down for me what I find visually beautiful, and I’ll admit that I was especially struck by the print versions of the models and accessories used in the anthro.videos. But I’ve always had to keep in mind that that the pictures I see in fashion spreads have nothing at all to do with reality in any way, that if you stood or held your head or stared off into space the way the models do they would cart you away for a mental evaluation. OK, I’ve been to some art gallery openings where some of the guests were giving the fashion stare a try, and they never looked like anyone you would really want to talk to. So when I see the videos translating style to real time, they just look oxygen deprived and more than a little sad, and they remind me that media beauty and real life beauty are always two different things, and should be kept that way. But I’m sure they knew that…we’re talking about them, aren’t we?

    amys last blog post: Rainy Day Matchbox

  • Reply Leigh October 14, 2008 at 2:49 am

    They looked like they were about to pass out, like they were in those positions for hours LOL.

  • Reply Bottle Openers October 18, 2008 at 4:56 am

    Sorry this is just too creapy, photos would have had the same effect.

  • Reply Joleen October 25, 2008 at 11:45 pm

    very creepy.

    totally genius post.

    Joleens last blog post: Moving Forward

  • Reply CK October 26, 2008 at 9:14 am

    i’m super late chiming in but wanted to comment nonetheless. first, let me say that i am a ridiculous fan of anthropologie; and to read the negative posts above makes me feel really sad about it. like i’ve been idolizing a company that isn’t ethical or true. that said, i still think the individuals who do their displays are some of the most talented people in the world and are truly the main source of inspiration for me when i go to anthro. sure, the clothes are fantastic but i usually can’t afford even the sale items.

    i’m in the minority here, but the masterpieces videos did not creep me out at all. i thought they were a pleasant surprise. i felt like i was observing a catalog photo shoot. my only suggestion would be to put some kind of soothing, ethereal music track underneath to lessen the perceived “creepiness”. i love all of the other fun web executions too. just more expressions of creativity that i welcome with open arms. after all, if i wanted to just look at their products in a straightforward manner, i can go ahead and explore the rest of the site! i enjoy little embellishments like this but i’m a graphic designer so i’m a nerd that way.

    finally, while i would love to see all the items you discussed (a DIY book, series of videos, etc.), at the same time, i wouldn’t. i feel like anthropologie has this air of mystery and fantasy and as soon as they were to show us their cards, i think it would lose all that (at least for me). i like the fact that i don’t know about the little elves (yes, they are little elves,i know it) who come into the store in the middle of the night and set up these amazing displays. i want to come in and be floored by that creativity and take my own inspiration from it….not a step-by-step manual on how they did it. i feel like anthro provides this somewhat unattainable standard of fashion and style that we all aspire to. that probably sounds snobbish, but i myself would be kinda let down if they started spilling all their secrets.

    sorry for the ramble….can you tell i think a lot about anthropologie?

    CKs last blog post: WITNESS THE AWESOMENESS.

  • Reply decor8 October 26, 2008 at 9:36 am

    CK: I know what you mean, the smoke and mirrors is somewhat of a lure to it all I think — knowing too much isn’t always THAT fun anymore. But I do think that showing their inspirations in book form, profiling some of their lead visual merch managers, showing us some projects we can replicate at home would not necessarily ruin it for anyone.

    If anything, it would be better for their brand as so many have commented here and on other blog posts all over the web that they are known for ripping off the work of others and presenting it as their own. I don’t know if I believe that or not, I have no proof, and honestly I love their products and stores so I support them (obviously, I write about them on decor8 often and have featured them in the Boston Globe in my column many times this year)…

    A book would almost protect them a bit, esp. their reputation, because they could show where some of these ideas come from and demonstrate their creativity. They could even do this on their website, I’d love if they’d profile an Anthro employee once a month or something…


  • Reply diana November 18, 2008 at 7:34 pm

    as an ‘older’ anthro fan I can say that right from the beginning the ideas behind so much of what they do have been retreads, done before BUT they do it brilliantly. and if it’s exploiting artisans, hey that’s been going on for centuries, too. Everyone has to watch their own back.
    This year’s dollhouse ornament series looks like a direct riff on Sally Mavor’s dolls, which she is no longer producing.
    Their windows are just stellar, fall of 08, the ‘books’ windows, I was in several different big cities and every store has a different spin using the same materials. A book would be killer, you are so right.

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