And now - designer jelly beans
We have fashion impressario Bill Blass to thank for the newest wrinkle in haute couture and haute food: designer chocolates. For $15 a pound, you can now buy a box of dark or milk chocolates stamped with the designer's initials, the B's back to back. The promotion ads suggest: ''The Bill Blass reputation is built on exceptional taste. Now, more good taste from this prestigious American designer and Godiva, the purveyor of elite chocolates.''
After designer sheets, designer lipsticks, designer bath towels, and designer duffel bags it was only a matter of time. Now it's arrived: couture food!
The mind boggles at the retailing vistas this opens up, much as designer jeans have captured the multimillion dollar blue denim market, scrawling the names of Calvin Klein, Gloria Vanderbilt, and Diane von Furstenberg across some of the best-dressed derrieres in the country.
Seventh Avenue must be salivating over the possibilities: designer pizza by Valentino, designer quiche by Yves Saint Laurent, designer jelly beans by Adolfo , one of Nancy Reagan's favorite designers.
We are obviously in the midst of a national obsession with designer labels which suggests people don't trust their own taste and want to buy instant prestige like instant pudding. With that in mind, designers could revolutionize the food industry: designer peanut butter, designer yogurt (a whole promotion, color keyed to the designer's spring line), designer potato chips. Or perhaps designer pastrami on designer rye. Or designer dog food (Gucci for your poochie).
After they've run through the most obvious possibilities in food couture, designers could move on to other unexploited but still commonplace objects: designer rubber bands, designer paper clips, designer toothpaste, designer chain saws. Ultimately there might even be a designer consumer, smartly packaged, with a famous name stamped on it, available in a choice of 23 fashion shades including beige, with a price tag outrageous as its promotion.