Funny business

Seriousness is the new provincialism

Ana Andjelic
5 min readJul 29, 2022

At the couture week, Daniel Roseberry, creative director of Maison Schiaparelli and l’homme du jour, shared that in his designs he wanted to avoid that “dreary self-seriousness.”


There is little worse that a fashion brand taking itself literally. Earnestness in following traditional luxury codes veers dangerously in the bourgeois territory, reserved for premium brands, aspirants, and aging American fashion executives. Pathos is often mistaken for elevation, gravitas. Look at the high-end US legacy brands and their mass market imitators, and you get the Euro luxury vibes of the 1980s — or their idea thereof. It’s understandable: nothing masks provincial taste better than self-seriousness.

Self-seriousness is not just dearth of creativity, but also a losing strategic proposition.

Serious brands are dead brands.

It is infinitely easier to be earnest than to be playful — but playfulness and…



Ana Andjelic

Brand Executive. Author of “The Business of Aspiration.” Doctor of Sociology. Writer of “Sociology of Business.” Forbes most influential CMO.