The Bur in Burberry's Side

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Daniel Gross, writing in Slate, points out that one of the reasons U.K. fashion-plate Burberry is skipping across the pond and aiming for the heartland of America is because it's picked up the wrong kind of attention back home.

"For some reason, a few years ago, a group of undesirable customers—known in the United Kingdom as "chavs"—latched onto Burberry as their favored brand. Who, or perhaps what, are chavs? The FT describes them as "members of a sub-culture prone to drinking and anti-social behaviour." ... They're tough guys, skanks, soccer hooligans, lower-class unsophisticates, and cheesy celebrities. The king and queen of the chavs are soccer star David Beckham and his wife, not-so-Posh Spice, Victoria Beckham. Chavs, who are defined by class, not race, listen to hip-hop music, wear lots of jewelry, hang out in fast-food joints, and drink in public."

Chavs, huh? We have a different name for those people in the U.S.: celebrities. Which might answer Gross's question about why Burberry is moving to the Midwest instead of, say, the Hamptons. The east end of Long Island is just lousy with chavs.