Apr 18, 2009

Pimp hat

During the winter months, my house cleaner— a woman in her mid-50's, straight from the countryside, and a diligent worker — would show up at my apartment wearing a bucket hat (you know, the style Gilligan wore on the show?).

Now that spring is upon us, she's switched it up a little. She's upgraded to a wide-brimmed, gold trim pimpin' baseball cap like this one:

My house cleaner is a hustler, baby! If she's got a grill next time I see here, I think I'll pass out.

On a serious note though, this is one of the nice things about China. Regardless of your age and income bracket, many more people have a shot at being fashionable here. In the US, if you're on a restricted income or if you're just plain economical, you'll probably do your shopping at K-mart or Wal-mart. You don't have much of a chance at getting anything fashionable there.

In China, however, you can spend a lot less money bargaining for a piece of clothing at a local market than you would paying retail at a chain like Wal-mart. As an added bonus, at the local markets you'll often find name-brand clothes originally meant for export. They might have been snuck off a truck, pirated, or otherwise discounted, but somehow they make it into general circulation here.

As a result, you tend to see senior citizens and other people with no huge interest in fashion who are wearing some really decent clothing, and don't seem to care where it originated. When it first came on the market, the gold pimp hat was surely a status symbol for many a youth in Detroit. In China, it's just a hat. It's the same price as many others, and it has an extra wide brim to afford better protection from the sun.

I think what we've learned here is that the pimp hat manufacturers should now have a clear idea where they can unload their excess inventory once the fad passes in the US. If only I had more great business insights like this, I could become a highly paid China Consultant.


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