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With the introduction of an HBO business card, the city and its brands have jumped on the bandwagon without hesitation and are happily portrayed as characters in the series.
To name but a few, Barneys provides the backdrop to one of the character’s work place, Pharell Williams has a cameo role, and John Varvatos plays himself as the doyen of urban fashion who is willing to help the ambitious street-wise male characters intent on launching a line of jeans.
If brands and trends look to fiction to relaunch themselves, where do younger talent go for inspiration and for platforms to show their talent?
We enjoy all the references to the erstwhile or currently trendy Bowery, China Town, Nolita, Brooklyn, and Bushwick neighbourhoods in the series, and have had nice meals and drinks in the restaurants and bars where scenes were filmed.
The power of creativity and its establishment commodity value is everywhere in the series.
Even the font used for the graphics is a nowadays very conservative sans-serif in capitals derivative of Helvetica, and evocative of numerous popular and ubiquitous (and therefore, safely trendy) urban brands like American Apparel, Marc Jacobs, Tom Ford, Dolce & Gabbana, Chanel, and many others.
More importantly, the crisp writing makes them all personae who are very much aware of the value and importance of the creative industries as an overarching capitalist commodity.However, even for ‘Sex and the City’, it took a couple of series for its fictionalised reality to be taken seriously by the brands and for the city to accept that mirroring itself in the TV screen was a positive step forward in bright and shiny Jimmy Choos.Once that giant commercial step was taken, the world raised a toast to good taste with a cosmopolitan in hand and didn’t stop sipping for many years.A rather clever move, particularly when most viewers of the series have not even heard of the novel or of Brett Easton Ellis.If all this seems exciting and good reasons to watch the series, ultimately it raises the question about where the line between creativity and its fictional representation is drawn.