Simon English: Superdry really should tone things down a bit
Friday 11 May 2012
Outlook If you wander absent-mindedly for time-wasting purposes into the Superdry store on Regent Street it won't take you long to figure out where you are.
The logos and signs all around you go like this: Superdry, Superdry, Superdry, Superdry, Superdry. Subtle it is not.
The point at which cool brands become naff is all a matter of personal taste of course, but it feels to me like this particular shark was jumped some time ago.
Julian Dunkerton, the chief executive of parent company SuperGroup, has built this business up from scratch.
He, with his partners, created something admirable from nothing. It employs thousands of people, and Mr Dunkerton seems a likable, down-to-earth guy. All of which is to be commended. Clearly, he's an excellent entrepreneur.
Which makes his refusal to grasp the blindingly obvious seem all the more odd.
Comparisons between Superdry and the FCUK brand that had its moment in the sun years ago before collapsing into ignominy have been made hundreds of times. However, that's not (just) journalistic laziness, it's because that comparison seems unavoidable.
Again yesterday, Mr Dunkerton dismissed the link, saying that FCUK was a "moment in time" based on one logo, while SuperGroup has a "huge variety of products".
Yes, all of which blare the name of a brand that shows every sign of becoming ubiquitous (that's what happens before they disappear down their own belly button).
Superdry kit is so identifiable that you can't really wear it if you're outside the narrow demographic at which it is targeted. Not without extreme danger of looking like a groovy dad at an embarrassing wedding.
Tone it down Julian. We promise we're on your side.
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