Fashion is all about image. One only has to recall Miss Daniella Westbrook smothered head-to-toe in Burberry checks, back in the day, to appreciate that an association with a erm, less-than-stylish celebrity can kill a brand in its tracks (NB way to make a come-back, Burbs).
So when we heard news from New York of a plan so sneaky and yet so simple, that was threatening to bring about the downfall of a major fashion house, we couldn't help but love it. And trust us, this is Ugly Betty levels of comedy evil.
Simon Doonan, Creative Director of swanky New York department store Barney's and gossip-monger par excellence, has claimed in his New York Observer column that the fashion world has masterminded a simple-yet-brilliant new twist on industrial sabotage, which has been dubbed 'counter-branding'. And the woman at the centre of the scandal is none other than Jersey Shore star Snooki.
Work that Gucci girl!
As Grazia Daily Glossip blogger Annabel Jones has previously mentioned, Jersey Shore is a US reality show that features tacky, perma-tanned morons who spend their time partying, hitting the beach, and talking rubbish. Snooki is their neon-orange crispy-haired, scantily-clad gang leader. In short, she is every fashion designer's worst nightmare (image-wise, at least - you KNOW all those designers are watching the show in private).
And here is where the evil genius kicks in. Doonan claims that Snooki has been gifted a distinctive (read: large and logo-tastic) Gucci 'Sukey' handbag, not by Gucci (of course not by Gucci) but by a RIVAL fashion house. He writes 'allegedly, the anxious folks at these various luxury houses are all aggressively gifting our gal Snookums with free bags. No surprise, right? But here's the shocker: They are not sending her their own bags. They are sending her each other's bags! Competitors' bags!'
Doonan claims that Snooki is the perfect target because, as he puts it; 'her ability to inspire dress-alikes among her fans is questionable. The bottom line? Nobody in fashion wants to co-brand with Snooki.'
Meanwhile, Snooki has been spotted out and about delighting in her lovely new $900 Gucci handbag from her generous anonymous benefactor.
Katie Price, your Elle subscription is on its way.