Skinny-fit jeans, sponsored by Alfa RomeoEnlarge Photo
If TCC doled out awards for bizarre press releases -- and believe us, we've thought about it -- the latest missive from Alfa Romeo would be the hands-down winner for 2009. It's impossible to summarize, but we'll do our best.
The focus of the press release seems to be a limited-edition series of skinny jeans for women. Production of the jeans was sponsored by Alfa Romeo as a stunt to push the Alfa MiTo (and here's where it starts to get complicated). Riffing on the theme of "genealogy", Alfa Romeo intended to use clothing as a metaphor for the stylish design heritage of the company's product line. That's convoluted enough, but throw blue jeans in the mix and the inevitable jeans/genes puns that go along with it, and the focus really goes off the rails.
But wait, it gets worse! The two designers tapped for the project -- who apparently work under the moniker "Bjork and McElligott" -- seemed to have joined multiple pairs of jeans to create their final product. In other words, not only did they take the theme of genealogy and mutation quite literally, but they introduced some version of recycling into the mix.
Then, in the middle of all that, comes the most confusing non sequitur in recent memory:
"Significantly most Alfa MiTos feature a DNA button that alters the responsiveness of the accelerator, brakes and traction to suit different driving conditions – Dynamic, Normal and All Weather."
"[Designer] Sophie McElligott said: 'The DNA button gave us an extra framework to operate within.'"
That, ladies and gentlemen, is what we in the industry call "a stretch".
Proceeds from sales of the jeans will benefit a charity called Jeans for Genes -- and ordinarily, that would be enough to shut us up. However, Alfa Romeo's London-based publicists at Performance PR don't even bother to mention what the charity's about, nor do they give us a link to the organization's website. (We looked it up on our own: JeansForGenes.org. They "help children and families affected by genetic disorders by funding support services and research into the causes and cures of these conditions".) At £75 ($121) a pop, the jeans ought to generate a fair amount of dough for charity -- provided you can find enough skinny women to fit them -- but but the release would be far more persuasive if Alfa told us what the money is going to do.
You can read a copy of the draft release below. Let's hope they polish it up before the "final".
ALFA MITO DNA IS IN YOUR JEANS
UNIQUE FASHION PROJECT CELEBRATES ALFA ROMEO’S GENEALOGY AND RAISES FUNDS
Conceived to celebrate the unique genealogy passed from the breathtaking Alfa 8C Competizione supercar to the head-turning Alfa MiTo, the Italian sporting car manufacturer, Alfa Romeo, paired up with TV’s fashion expert, Louise Roe, to challenge two up-and-coming fashion designers to create a line of women’s jeans that would be as cool and desirable as the Alfa MiTo and, and at the same time, raise money for charity.
The result is a one-off series of limited edition skinny fit jeans – available via www.mitojeans.co.uk - that echo the genealogy concept by deconstructing first generation jeans to create new, high fashion jeans complete with a high quality leather waistband and Alfa Romeo red stitching.
London-based fashion designers Bjork and McElligott, who have already created outfits for a number of celebrities, also introduced other distinct and attractive styling touches including embroidered rear pockets – one featuring the serpent from Alfa Romeo’s iconic badge on the right plus their own logo on the left pocket – to create recognisable and distinct jeans.