Now and Then.

Who the...?

Harendra Kapur.
Kyra Mathews.
Tejas Menon.

The time has come. To think not of cabbages and kings, but of what the future brings. Now that I am "officially" a graduate, my sole reason for procrastination has faded. In a little over a month’s time, I will be armed with transcripts, resumes and recommendations – all that anyone needs to make themselves official in the big bad world of employment and you know…reality. Which brings me to J. Peterman.

Stealing a quote from You’ve Got Mail, J. Peterman "is a lone reed standing tall, waving boldly in the corrupt sands of commerce." In a world that has become scarily cookie-cutter, this famous catalog company don’t sell just products, they sell stories.

For example, when selling a shirt, as opposed to just giving the size, color and price (ie Banana Republic, Gap etc), J.Peterman chooses to describe it like this: Thos. Jefferson disliked stuffy people, stuffy houses, stuffy societies. So he changed a few things. Law. Gardening. Government. Architecture. Of the thousand castles, mansions, chateaux you can walk through today, only Monticello, only Jefferson’s own mansion, makes you feel so comfortable you want to live in it. I think you will feel the same about his 18th-century shirt. Classic. Simple. Livable.

You see? Its not just a shirt, it’s a story. You wear a story everytime you put the shirt on. And honestly, who wouldn’t want that?

Most people remember Jacopo "J" Peterman, from Seinfeld (Elaine’s boss?) In fact, Seinfeld helped make the catalog company a household name. Seinfeld and J. Peterman forged such a strong bond, that when the company faced bankruptcy, takeovers etc, the actor who played J. Peterman in the show (John O' Hurley) helped the original John Peterman bring his beautiful company back to life. Apart from being a major investor in the company, O' Hurley sits proudly on the Peterman Board.

J. Peterman gives life to the most mundane of things. Pants, shirts, bags, stuff for the house. Everything. The descriptions make you laugh, or smile or feel. You feel like you KNOW, and know intimately the product you’ve never felt between your fingers. Also, to enhance the personal tale-telling atmosphere, there are no photographs in the catalogue – only handmade illustrations. Thus, no-one in their right mind would ever consider this to be just a catalog. Its art, through and through. And yes, in my current post-graduation phase I would give up my right…ear or leg or something to work for them. After all, theres nothing *official* about them.

My personal J. Peterman favourites:
1. Vintage Tshirt
2. Linen Safari Dress
3. Thinking Pants (yes, seriously! They invented "thinking" pants!)
4. Seersucker Shirt
5. Knockabout Dress (teehee)
6. Authentic Baseball sleeves

Oh and also check out their new website : Peterman’s Eye. It is most awesomess.

4 responses to "Selling Stories, Not Just Clothes"

  1. hey kyra, nice post.

    and wish you luck for your future endeavours.


  2. Awesome post. I'm surprised it took this long to pop out though. I always figured the one on Seinfeld was a spoof company because they mocked the shit out of it...!
    Btw if they read your posts they'd snap you up in a second. Feinds. YOU WORK FOR WE THE AND NONE OTHER!

    And today's word is tangiz! Like your post...


  3. you write really well. something like this wouldnt really interest me, but your style kept me hooked. :)


  4. isha - thank you :) enjoy TY, make the most of it. Before you know it, it'll be over and you'll wish you could do it all over again!

    hobo the pug traitor - Seinfeld DID make fun of J.Peterman, but in a positive way. And I dont work for "wethe" you idiot. Do you pay me? No. Do you give me health benefits? No. How about insurance? HEH? Pay for my monthly Panadols and you got yourself a deal Mister. My word is inurech.

    Anish - Thank you, lots of :) Hooking people with my saxy style is always a good thing. ps - your new blog/site has hooked me. yup yup.


The All of us.

The All of us.