A semantic tragedy:
“Bespoke” used as
a catch-all word !



as you probably noticed, our so precious word “Bespoke” is nowadays abused by marketers of all sorts, and this is truly tragic. It has become a word used indiscriminately to sell everything from  olive oil to bed sheets… Unfortunately this is far from being a recent phenomenon. Mass communication is a steamroller that flattens everything it touches, often turning it into a fad, with the consequence of voiding words of their essential meanings. Just this morning I have come to realize that the bakery (who is by the way rather mediocre) right below my flat has recently become a “publisher of bread” while “masters” titles of all sorts are now blooming. A common cheese retailer in my neighbourhood market has also  recently raised his grade to “master cheese refiner”.  All this is quite distressing…

This major trend of ascribing various meanings to a word is disastrous because it drags everything down with it ; it induces confusion, and in the end, is not much more than a ploy to sell mass produced products as genuine craft products.

In an attempt to stop this “semantic theft”, some reputed tailors from Savile Row have recently made their case to the AAA (Advertising Standards Authority) to point out that the use of the word BESPOKE needed to meet several very precise criteria to be used properly, including the essential condition of making a 100% unique pattern for a unique creation. But as you all probably noticed, that didn’t prevent the blatantly dishonest misuse of the word from becoming common practice. We’ve even seen ads for “Bespoke” suits at the bargain price of 190 euros !! Of course, the case was rejected under the flimsy pretense that the word had “slided” into other uses, and further that “nobody, buying that type of product at that price will expect a product that is entirely handmade”. Outrageous.

Gentlemen, the marketers of menswear megabrands like Hugo Boss have recently realized that men are once again interested in properly-made products, and as such are shamelessly surfing on the “Bespoke” wave,  thus trampling down on several centuries of culture and know-how. From hereon, let us tread carefully in our quest for style and beauty. Trust in your judgement and knowledge – educate yourself about what makes a quality suit what it is, and don’t be fooled by shameless marketing practices.

Here at PG we are declaring war on blatant semantic manipulation. Our ideal will not be trampled upon. For your next suit, visit blogs and websites – the resistance is here, on the internet, and it is getting increasingly organised. Seek the passionate connoisseurs who will provide you with genuine information, and above all, once again, trust your judgement.

While the battle is not being fought with equal firepower, David has always been far more stylish than Goliath.

Cheers, HUGO