Luxury goods retailer Dolce & Gabbana is selling a Jurassic Park hoodie for $675 and a Jurassic Park t-shirt for $425. Plus, Coach has teamed with NASA to sell a space collection, where a varsity jacket costs $895, as does a purse. (Prior to this, Rodarte and the Blonds had Star Wars and Batman collections, respectively.) In other words, brace yourselves, and hold onto your wallet in case of impact. The luxury market is targeting geek culture.
Who are these luxury retailers marketing to? Geek culture may be accepted as pop culture, but it still only appeals to a fraction of the mainstream population. While luxury goods also target a sliver of consumers, there’s not much crossover appeal.
The crossover appeal is lessened further when you realize that all but one of NASA Coach purses have no side pockets to hold your cell phone—and what female scientist leaves her home without her smartphone? As for the Jurassic Park shirt and hoodie, they’re likely made with a more expensive cotton, but the new design elements are in the fabric (exposed seams, contrast stitching), rather than the logo. Dolce & Gabbana have added minimal value to a shirt you can purchase online for $25.
I always thought that I couldn't put a price on my fandom. I publicly retract that statement. Still, if you have the financial means and genuinely crave them, you could buy these expensive items. Or you could do one better:
Geek culture has a long tradition of makers, people who haven’t been able to find what they love, and so they have to create it themselves. These people are our friends and fellow fans, and the entrepreneurial ones have their own sites and Etsy stores. Pay them to make something for you.
You won’t just be buying a shirt or a purse. You’ll be contributing directly to a fan’s livelihood and to the world of geek culture. And that’s something a Dolce & Gabbana bag can’t buy.