The Urban Dictionary defines a label whore as “someone who only wears brand name clothes, with the name of the brand usually placed somewhere for all to see. A walking advertisement for a clothing store or brand.” That’s actually a pretty good definition. Even if it weren’t, a label whore is sort of like pornography. You know it when you see it.

Like the kid who wears a hoodie plastered top to bottom with Chanel logos to a pickup basketball game. The woman who wears designer DKNY eyeglasses, non-prescription because she doesn’t really need them, and keeps the clear plastic sticker with the DKNY logo on the lens directly in her line of sight. Or the guy who wears a very large and gaudy belt buckle consisting of the letters to the Timberland logo, and nothing else. Just the letters.

Some among you will observe that the word “logo” appears in all three of these examples. That is because the designer logo, and the imagined prestige that comes with it, is the very definition of a label whore. Forget product quality. Forget fashion sense. It doesn’t even matter if the logo actually interferes with the functionality of the product, as with the logo-obstructed eyeglasses and hole-riddled belt buckle above. All is subordinate to the pageantry of the consumer.

A label whore can be male or female, black or white, gay or straight. A “tag hag,” on the other hand, is a label whore who is either a female or a nellie queen. Neither is to be confused with a “fashion victim,” defined as someone who rushes blindly from fad to fad, almost always taking it over the top in terms of taste or style.

BrevityQuest 2007

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