Flipboard, a “social magazine” app, has no original content—it simply aggregates content from around the web and puts it into one place. The app allows users to have many mini-magazines, from the links in your Twitter/Facebook feed to topics from general news to specific blogs. Flipboard takes two of the things that are least pleasant about web browsing—curating your own content, and inconsistent design—and eliminates them, serving the Internet in one attractive package. It is a great change from aimless web browsing, and feels more like reading a magazine than wasting time on the Internet. Flipboard does not replace web browsing by any means, but nonetheless it is a much prettier alternative if you are not looking for anything specific, necessarily. Whereas normal web-browsing on the iPad is not all that dissimilar browsing on the computer, Flipboard takes that experience and translates it into something that makes sense for the iPad and is also uniquely fitted to the product, as opposed to just taking the existing way we browse and transferring it into the new product.
The desirability of a pair of Christian Louboutin red-soled shoes may not be as widespread as the number of people willing to download a free app, but the shoe brand nonetheless has a cult following and plenty of imitators. It is difficult to pinpoint the brand’s exact desirability, but the fact that its followers are willing to spend close to $1,000 on a pair of shoes is an indicator that it has succeeded. Partially, this is due to good (for this brand, anyway) PR on shows like Sex and the City along with Manolo Blahnik, as well as dozens of celebrity fans, which have given the brand both cultural cachet and sex appeal. Some of it also has to do with the red sole—the notable trademark is a signature that is recognizable by many people outside of the group that actually owns a pair of the shoes. It is an easy symbol that makes Louboutin successful in becoming a fantasy item, an aspirational item as well as a commodity. Louboutins are considered to be both fashion forward and classic in style, designed to look current for years. The brand verges on cliché, but varied collaborations with Parsons Design School, with Disney of the creator of Cinderella’s glass slipper, and with artist David Lynch have kept the brand interesting. They are not desirable in that they are practical, but the object is imbued with a cultural cachet that allows their impracticality for the sake of aesthetics and status a desirable commodity.