04 4 / 2012

In my quest to understand why on earth a company would send such a ridiculous catalog, I consulted my dear friend, Google. This May 2011 article from the Wall Street Journal, Restoration Rewired, explained a lot.

Favorite quote:

"We said, ‘Let’s forget about the customer for a minute,’ " Friedman says. "I don’t mean that in an arrogant way. We believe that great brands don’t chase customers, customers chase great brands."

Hoo boy.

And then this, which explains the catalog. Pardon me, I mean the “Source Book”:

The most visible signal of intent, apart from the store-design revamp, is the “source book,” as the company calls its catalog. “It’s 384 pages,” he says. “Find another home book that big.” There are no products on the cover; rather, an inviting photograph of the gallery in the gloaming, lights aglow, everything symmetrical. Inside, there’s a portrait of Friedman, and a kind of editor’s letter. The “book” is short on product descriptions and long on large, immersive photographs (squint and it just might be a coffee-table interior-design book).

You guys. No amount of squinting makes this a coffee table interior design book.