Friend Truth had been wanting to buy a Versace shirt for some time now. We had told him that he was a seeker of glamour and thus wanted to. He said no. He wanted to because he had been wearing fake Versaces since childhood and he couldn't resist now that Versace was in India.
Last Monday, he came back with an expression which was part incredulous and part humbled. This is apparently what happened.
Truth with two others enter store. They find a shirt which looks like a old shirt sold in the Anjuna flea market. They obviously know that this would be way out of their range. They check the price tag just to make sure. 26000 it is written in small bold letters. Which is more than the per capita income in the country.
Not wanting to concede defeat they call the sales assistant.
"Don't you have any formal shirts?"
The sales assistant looks at their sneakers, their Nike T-shirts and Levis jeans with disdain. Putting on his tired look, he sighs and says,
"Versace has three lines. Line 3, which is casual wear, is what is selling here. Line 1 has formal wear. However, that may be little too expensive for India."
Snooty behaviour such as this is a part of the overall value proposition of a few retail brands in the country. Be it Italian fashion labels, or elite restaurants, their appeal is based on a sense of exclusivity which general bad behaviour is guaranteed to bring.
And if the forbidding exteriors (I remember a dark dimly-lit exterior marked by a narrow solid wood door in a particular Italian-label shop in a mall), the frowning security guard and the price tags weren't good enough for that, they have these shop assistants from hell.
In case you don't believe all of this, or in case you, like Silbil, want to uncover salacious details on my life, here's another Miss Snooty.