On the rack
As Kate Moss's collection hit Topshop this morning, we found ourselves on the rack for covering it.
"Congratulations on your marketing efforts on behalf of Kate Moss. Each time you mention her name a wave of apathy runs around our household", said one viewer. "Philip Green must be laughing all the way to the bank" said another. While "Look at those lemmings piling into that shop" was how someone else summed it up.
So why did we feature it? And why did we feel we needed to mention it on two consecutive days?
The first question is easier than the second.
Love her or loathe her, Kate Moss is a modern icon. Just look at the level of press coverage she generates.
Topshop - a privately-owned company and a big employer - have taken a commercial decision to involve her in their design process, just as other retailers have done with the likes of Madonna and Lilly Allen. That, in itself, is an interesting shift in fashion retailing.
There's also the issue of modern consumer behaviour. Witness the scenes at Primark's Oxford Street launch.
Is it 'a story'? Well, it's all about popular culture and - as I have said before on this blog - news content needs to include popular culture if it's to retain its relevance.
But why did we do it twice? This is a trickier one for me. We focussed on the launch, in a preview piece yesterday, because we thought it would be odd not to look ahead to one of the biggest retail launches of the year. Our package included an element of critical review, from a fashion writer, in order to make it feel like a proper piece of objective reportage.
This morning, it would have seemed odd not to be there for the opening of the doors, so our reporter Susannah Streeter was live in the queue. Keeping a sense of critical review, amid the excitement outside the store, was tougher. However, we included voxpops from a couple of shoppers who were somewhat underwhelmed by the offer.
Among the criticisms this morning, a few of our viewers pointed out that there are many young British designers struggling for recognition. Why don't we feature them? The answer, of course, is that they are 'not Kate Moss'. But I must admit that those comments did set us thinking about how we might tell that 'story' too.