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Sacai: I don’t understand it, I could never buy it, but I’d like to own it, although I’d never wear it

On my last visit to Dover Street Market I saw a Sacai shirt. It was white, with off-white bits and it made my heart stop. 

It’s a complex experience looking at clothes you definitely can’t afford. On the one hand you have to act like you can afford them. A bit of swagger and a modicum of relaxed insouciance is essential  — just keep flicking through the rail, utterly blasé, positively world-weary. 

On the other hand your inner voice is screaming at you to get the hell out of there. That your paltry bank balance is clearly visible in the gathering film of sweat at your brow. 

Then the crushing blow. 

“Let me know if I can help you with anything?” 

I returned home to try and find it online. But of course it’s not on the Dover Street site (why would it be?) Nor could I find it anywhere in the world that sells Sacai. Including Sacai.

I spent 45 minutes on the Sacai brand site fighting with the crappy roll-over zooms and came away feeling that the site itself:

  • Was designed by someone more concerned by the asymmetry of their own haircut than the tiresome practicality of online retail.
  • Has the remarkable ability to suck at my broadband like a digital barnacle.

Moreover, I concluded that Sacai simultaneously dislike me, while also never having have never heard of me.

In marketing it’s what you call a ‘poor brand touchpoint’.

Besides, everything seemed to be sold out. Plus Sacai don’t ship internationally. And yes, everything costs a bajillion pounds.

I still haven’t found that shirt. But as a visual metaphor, this Sacai patchwork bomber jacket pretty much sums it up my relationship with the brand. I don’t understand it, I could never buy it, but I’d like to own it, although I’d never wear it.

Sacai specialise in such baffling miscellany. Stuff that looks jaw-dropping on a runway. Terrifyingly desirable on the racks at Dover Street. But of little practical use. The perfect expression of senseless beauty.

I mean, how would you even begin wash it?

I expect it’d be pretty cosy to wear  — it really should be, it’s made from every fabric ever  — and, well, it’s got a nice white zip. But I can’t help feeling its primary function is to let everyone know you can afford Sacai.

Maybe full-price Sacai is your game? It’s not mine.

For the interested, this jacket costs £1,683. It’s a price that does include import duty, but not (as I assumed) a lifetime membership to Soho House, a case of Tony’s Chocolonely and a 1oz gold Krugerrand in a little velvet bag.

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