Those damn Facebook ad algorithms just got me again. I fell down a dark and disturbing internet hole, and it all started with a $450 pineapple side table from the “CB2 x Fred Segal Venice Studio Collection”. This naturally led me to a number of questions:
- WTF is a Fred Segal?
- WTF is CB2?
- WTF is up with all this pineapple shit these days?
- Who is even the target market for this?
- IS IT ME? IS THAT WHY I TOTALLY WANT IT?
To tackle these difficult topics, I let Google be my guide. Turns out that Fred Segal is some sort of LA pop culture store that started with jeans? Or something? I think he/it/they designed costumes for Elvis. Look, in my defense I didn’t realize that Macy’s was a store and not a Thanksgiving parade until I was 18, so I definitely am not up on California retro-cool styles or even moderately popular retail chains.
As for CB2, it’s some sort of fun/modern branch of Crate & Barrel. I actually vaguely knew that one, because I walked into a CB2 once looking for a basic convertible couch and walked out refusing to pay four figures for one. I’m cheap, and I’ve promised myself that if I’m ever going to spend that kinda money on a sofa it’s going to be huge and made of velvet. Hopefully chartreuse or emerald green, but I’d take a deep purple if I had to. #LifeGoals
Anyway, apparently those brands came together for an exclusive collection of housewares, and presumably the “Venice Studio” part of the name has nothing to do with Italy. And the pineapple thing, which I mistook for a more recent trend, has actually been a decorative movement dating back basically to when Christopher Columbus got lost and “discovered” the Americas. Pineapples from South America became a hit when they made it back to Europe, and ended up a rare status symbol in the North American colonies as well. Eventually they came to symbolize hospitality — the idea being that if a pineapple was on display, then the hosts were sparing no expense. And from there they ended up on door knockers, light fixtures, wallpaper, and other shit. The modern equivalent, I suppose, would be going to a party and finding the host’s fridge stocked full of different flavors of LaCroix.
Basically, nothing is new. Not even pineapple tables.
The items in the collection all look super kitschy, and more mid-century modern than “modern” to me, but that’s not a terrible thing. Well, except for the denim throw pillows. Those are tragic. And all the weird shag rugs, neon lights, and $150 acrylic storage cubes. But honestly, there are a lot of things that I’d happily put in my home! In addition to the “Fresh Cut Side Table,” as the pineapple & glass creation is dubbed, there is a $400 palm tree floor lamp and… um… these $15 bird scissors?
Yeah, I dunno. I’m not hip. This looks like shit I’d fight tooth and nail for at a yard sale, or drag home from a thrift store. Provided the price tags were under $40. Part of me is selfishly happy that home decor is leaning toward whimsy these days, because then I might actually find these in a thrift store sometime in the next 5-10 years. Living in the frozen north, I would be delighted to surround myself with palms and tropical fruit and anything remotely beachy. And I’d feign shock that anyone would spend $400 for a floor lamp, regardless of shape, but mostly I just can’t think of anything I’d spend that kind of money on period. That’s X-Box money, not mood-lighting money.
Though for the frugal out there, CB2 has another “table” on sale, one that doesn’t have anything to do with Fred Segal but DOES have something to do with the bottom half of a stork or something. For a cool $109, you could have a basket on bird legs that won’t hold a drink, but will hold a decorative pile of junk mail and/or balls of yarn.
If any of you already own this table and are looking to sell it, I’d throw you a tenner plus shipping. And I’d fill it with fucking pineapples.