Do you have a truly bespoke pair of shoes, hand-made, to the tune of $1,000? Or a truly bespoke suit, not just one off the plebeian racks of Armani or Ermenegildo Zegna? Watch out, “bespoke” is losing its worth faster than a dollar during the peanut president regime. Oddly, it is Rolls-Royce that is behind that dangerous paradigm down-shift.
According to most dictionaries, from Oxford to Webster, “bespoke” simply stands for “custom, made to order,” something that sounds just right on the shingle of any tailor, whether on Savile Row or in a seedy side street of Kowloon. Now, the meaning of the term “bespoke” is slowly fading into “fancy,” or “high end.” Even in the pages of TTAC, the word “bespoke” has been used to gussy-up a simple top-line Acura.
The forces behind this semantic race to the bottom appear to be aligned with Rolls-Royce. As anybody in the high-end business knows, a Roller is hardly bought off the rack. Or, in the words of a Roll-Royce press release, “nearly every Rolls-Royce Phantom and almost three in four Rolls-Royce Ghosts sold around the world are commissioned with Bespoke personalisation.”
So, they are Custom, made to order personalizations? Made by Two twins? Sold at a High expensive price? The effects of this tauto-logic are wide-spread. From Autoevolution to Motor Authority , car blogs have reprinted Rolls-Royce’s silly press releases for multiples of 12 Month years. Next step: Tailors will have to remove the term from their shingles, because Rolls-Royce’s parent will Trademark the patent on Bespoke. As you may have noticed, they already capitalize the B in Bespoke, soon they may want to capitalize on it.