Fans of Lena Dunham’s TV series Girls will remember that Marnie used to work as an assistant in a New York art gallery. Unfortunately she was fired from the gallery in the opening episode of the Season Two. Well, not fired, she was downsized, as explained by her former boss.
In the second episode she had attempted to land herself another job as a gallery curator. As you might remember she wasn’t successful.
During a job interview with an art gallery owner she was also asked a question about her wardrobe:
Owner: “I mean, you’re clearly a bright, talented, attractive young woman. You’ve got that suit. Where does one get a suit like that?”
Marnie: “Ann Taylor.”
Owner: “Mm-hmm. I don’t see you here. I’m not sure that I see you in the art world.”
Product placement in Girls was usually very subtle with Apple computers being the most prominent product/brand. Mentioning Ann Taylor fitted the story perfectly.
Jenn Rogien, costume designer for Girls, said in the recent interview for Grazia Daily that Marnie is best known for overdressing in general and for example by wearing Ann Taylor to loft parties. Also, Marnie is most likely to shop at J Crew, Saks, Paige Jeans and Ann Taylor.
During her interview Marnie was indeed all dressed up in her age-inappropriate Ann Taylor dress suit. In a recent Indiewire blog post Beth Hanna mentioned that in the Season One finale Hannah giggled that she’s glad “all of Marnie’s weird grown-up stuff” has been vacated from the apartment. Marnie surrounds herself with this weird grown-up stuff, her blue suit included, to ward off the feeling that she’s lost and without direction.
So, is the fact that Marnie wears Ann Taylor something bad? Not really.
Ann Taylor is an American chain of clothing stores for women, founded in 1954. Ann Taylor stores compete in the “better” category, with clothing targeted at affluent career women. Heidi Klum, Demi Moore, Katie Holmes and Kate Hudson had all taken part in various Ann Taylor’s ad campaigns.
I guess Ann Taylor’s target customer is a woman in her early 30’s to mid 40’s, slightly conservative, but who likes to look nice and classy but at the same time fashionable. Ann Taylor’s range might be appropriate for women who work in the office.
So, Girls is about four young New York women in their twenties. All of them are without a regular job and are still looking how to manage their lives after finishing the university.
Mentioning Ann Taylor in Girls won’t do any good or damage to the brand, but it certainly is a very smart use of brand to develop a character.