Friday, December 02, 2005


Did a google search and then another... and then some more... on the acronym CAPPIE and found 2 things:

Firstly, CAPPIE means, from the original Face definition "Consumer of Alternative Pricey Products" and

Secondly, I found a synopsis of an article called "Ya Bl**dy Cappie!". I quote:
Sean Aylward Smith identifies an emerging aesthetic practice and asks "what is to be done?" He argues that 'the cappie' -- as in 'the consumer of alternative pricey products' --, a creature obsessed with the conspicuous display of an eclectic and obscure register of signifiers, is the aesthetic manifestation -- that is, the subjective embodiment -- of changes in global process of capitalism and production.
Its taken from this article from Media Culture and sheds a wee bit more light on the term, first used by The Face magazine, along with a brilliant discourse on the topic.

Had a read through Sean Aylward Smith's essay and there are a lot of big words in there... but, hopefully, I caught the gist of his argument:

Basically, the Face's argument was that the CAPPIE was just as much a consumer as the YUPPIE... it's just that they bought obscure things like rare trainers and Japanese denim. Their argument was that they both had economic capital and spent it... just on different things. Sean Aylward Smith's argument was that there is a fundamental difference between the CAPPIE and the YUPPIE - The CAPPIE has CULTURAL capital... in that its about knowledge, not necessarily about spending a fortune... its knowing what has value and the information/time to search it out, throughout the world... its about knowing what is "bleeding edge" or obscure or rare... not what is trendy and designer and expensive... Yuppies enjoy the status that comes from others knowing what labels they have, be it Porsche or Armani or Prada; whereas cappies benefit from people not knowing the importance of the labels. Just as cost was the factor that determined whether you were a yuppie or a wannabe... knowledge is the determining factor for cappies - you don't want everyone to recognise the label or it loses its cache... only the select few in the "gang".

Price is not an essential factor for a cappie, as the Face suggested... the cost of an item is irrelevant, if it is the right item. I have Nike Air Woven trainers that I bought in TK Maxx for £20. Typical cappie product but not expensive.

Therefore, CAPPIE should/has been shortened to Consumer of Alternative Products...

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