Shops were already fucking up shopping, but ecommerce has truly wrecked it.
Crafted by engineers and optimised to oblivion, we've been conditioned to evaluate purchases based on banal specifics - price, release date, colour and other such functional nonsense. They govern the dropdown menus and filter selections of the internet, guiding us to rational indecision.
That's despite decades of studies informing us that those are really secondary factors in our choice.
What matters more? Having the right brand. Fitting in. Getting something we’ll never have to re-buy. Showing off our status. Getting the job done.
So here's an overlooked, less boring and hopefully more useful set of criteria. Classic versus Avantgarde.
Classic is obvious. It leans on tradition. Some might find it a little boring. But it's the same today as it will be tomorrow, and it's the same as it was yesterday. It's dependable. It's hard to put a foot wrong once you've found the right fit.
Alternatively... the avantgarde demands attention. It pushes boundaries. It isn't afraid to throw out the old and experiment. Maybe those experiments will pay off, maybe not. But who cares? So long as we push the game forward.
Classic is a Mercedes, a Negroni, Le Caprice, a diamond band, a Wesley Anderson film, an Hermes bag.
Avantgarde is a Tesla. An experiment with mezcal. An Ace Hotel, a black diamond, a Gaspar Noe movie, a Comme des Garcons clutch.
You might have guessed, I've used this criteria in everything from cars to cocktails; hotels to wedding rings. You could use it to buy anything from a jacket to a home.
It's also a useful shit-test for mediocrity... is this, within the bounds of what it is, in some way timeless? Or does it push the boundaries somehow? If not then it's probably blandly mainstream. Fine for right now, but forgettable.
As Barry Schwartz told us, the amount of choice we have on offer today compels indecision, and bad decisions.
Don't let someone else set your filter.