I’m often cautioned by my clients (all of whom I’m quite fond of) that, as a New Yorker (translation: cosmopolitan, fashion-conscious, hip, etc.), I may be out of touch with the rest of America. In essence they’re saying that middle America isn’t truly aware of, concerned with, or particularly discerning about design, style or the latest beauty trends.
Well I beg to differ! Thanks to the web, cheap travel and Target stores, EVERYONE has a keener eye when it comes to design and style. You know beyond a shadow that this is so when everyday commodities like gum, dish washing liquid and even tampons make an effort to design their packaging with some style, flair and artistry. (Take a look at Stride, Method, Kotex.) Even Omaha has its own version of Fashion Week!
So you can imagine my joy when I saw this month’s Fast Company. The magazine published a story on the extensive decor changes at McDonald’s (Making Over McDonald’s). There’s no way that Americans’ design sensibilities haven’t risen when THE most democratic, Americana, functional institution has recognized the need to beautify. And it’s not like Mickey-D’s is doing it out of the goodness of its heart. They’ve reported significant increases in sales in those stores that have been through a beauty make-over.
I often lament our country’s devaluation of aesthetics (compared to that of France, for example), but I’m really psyched to see that we’re all beginning to recognize and demand a more aesthetically appealing environment. We want our buildings, our restaurants, our everyday goods and our wardrobes to be, well, appealing, beautiful.
Watch out New Yorkers. Soon we’re going to have stiff competition from our Middle-American neighbors when it comes to fashion, beauty and design. And I can’t wait!