Lanvin blocked our Midlife account on Instagram and I am befuddled by the action. With more than 3 million followers how did someone at Lanvin decide that we are the women they don’t want to hear from?
I’m not supposed to have a favorite, but I do. My favorite shoes are a pair of Lanvin Mary Janes that feature a brass chain. They are the kind of shoes that you wear when you want compliments all day long.
My second, third, and fourth favorites are also Lanvin. I have slides, I have ballet slippers, I had athletic shoes but there was an unfortunate kitten event when he got locked in my closet… I have flats and I’ve bought footwear for both my husband and my son. I am a ridiculous human being. No one needs these shoes but they bring me pleasure, so I buy them. I love dressing my family nicely. I buy some of the ready to wear as well. I adore great style. I am light on fast moving trends.
Admittedly, at 47 years old I understand that I am the target demographic for few brands. I had assumed that folks will sell me clothes because I can pay for them. But never truly embrace women over 35 in their finery.
For most of my life I had acknowledged the disappearing 40+ woman as a harsh reality and chosen to ignore the phenomenon. Giggled even. And then last August I started an Instagram account with my friend Stephanie. We were both tired of the world pretending we were invisible.
We Are Midlife is the name of our website and of our Instagram account. It’s made some of our friends recoil in horror. One had a meltdown that she almost got into a photo with us. Midlife is a hard word for some folks to say.
We live in the space between Free People and Chicos.
I have no reason to buy dowdy clothes just as I have no reason to wear my teenage daughter’s clothes. Lanvin was one of those brands right in the middle.
Lanvin blocked me. Like we just don’t exist to them anymore.
At first I was really sad, and I didn’t want to wear my shoes or my blouses. Then I remembered that it was just one person with access to one Instagram account. Maybe they were having a bad day? I tried to not take it personally.
But later when I went to go open my blue shoe boxes, and loosen the silky bows that hold them closed, I didn’t feel very good about the brand.
Why would they block our account? Are we too old? Too ugly? Too suburban? Too white? Too enthusiastic? Too American? We’re too something, we just don’t know what the something is.
It’s unlikely that we ever will know. I’ve DM’ed @LanvinOfficial from my personal account, the one with the puppy pictures and the tennis store with the dusty taxidermy owl. No response.
I understand that there’s a push and pull with brand management. You want young and willowy women with toothy Kennedy smiles posing for photos bedecked in Lanvin. And then you want those photos cross posted to Pinterest where they will be seen by women a tiny bit younger who will save for an investment piece. All of this will happen if Lanvin happens upon the trend du jour. Or if their moms buy them a gift.
I did note that of the 427 people @LanvinOfficial follows on Instagram there are a few in my age group. A Frenchwoman I cannot identify, Linda Evangelista, and Michelle Obama. We share an adoration of Michelle Obama’s style, me and whomever it is that runs the account.
Women like us, who are devoted to quality, wear their investment pieces everywhere. We know that saving things for special occasions simply translates into never wearing nice things. Later never comes.
And maybe this sounds a little Single White Female of me. But Lanvin, I will always love you.
And I will most likely continue wearing Lanvin clothing and shoes on Instagram, I just won’t tag you in it, because you blocked me. And I’m not sure why that happened when there were so many other options, including the option of clicking twice and untagging @LanvinOfficial.
I did notice that even though the Lanvin account has more 3 million followers and mine has yet to hit 30,000 we routinely have more comments and interaction with our community. Maybe there’s a great strategy in being aloof and never responding to anyone? You know, like that really popular boy in high school who never noticed you and your crush grew deeper.
I strongly suspect that this block has to do with a number. And the number was unlikely the thousands of dollars I’ve spent in your shoes.
Also published on Medium.