Oh, how I wish I’d thought of this inside joke/buzz marketing stroke of genius:
Labels on most of the backpacks, messenger and laptop bags made and sold by Tom Bihn have his company’s contact information along with washing instructions in English and French along with a message reading: “Nous sommes desoles que notre president soit un idiot. Nous n’avons pas vote pour lui.”
The translation reads: “We are sorry that our president is an idiot. We did not vote for him.”
Tom Bihn, who designs and makes bags for his eponymous company of 10 employees in Port Angeles, a seaside city 60 miles northwest of Seattle, claims he has no idea how the phrase got onto the label, but credits it with doubling bag sales.
“We don’t know how it got there,” Bihn said in a dead-pan manner.
Asked if the message refers to President Bush (news – web sites) or French President Jacques Chirac, Bihn said he had no clue whom the insult referred to.
“I’m going with the idea that it refers to me, the president of the company,” Bihn said, “I do have to say it seems to have struck a chord. A lot of people seem to think that it refers to another president.”
You can read the company’s official response to questions about the label on a dedicated page on their website. The companies products are quite sharp-looking, very stylish, and seem really functional. I’d love to hear from anyone who has one of the laptop totes. (Also, a gift-giving hint: I’m digging the Small Cafe Bag in Wasabi.) Please also see the page on the company dog.
(The headline for this post was unrepentantly stolen in entirety from Wonkette, who commented amusingly on this very subject nearly a week ago. But it’s still funny.)
UPDATE: Heeding my request for reviews of the Tom Bihn bags, Christina at Inner Bitch posts a lovely and thorough review, with pictures.