‘Jersey Shore’: Snooki Was So Notorious Rival Fashion Houses Would Gift Competitor’s Bags to Cheapen the Brands

Influencers get stuff for free from designers all the time. Big name brands will send celebs and social media stars their products, hoping that fans will notice them using it. It probably works, too.

It’s a nice perk for the influencer, but it’s also a cheap way for a brand to score what is essentially an advertisement. The fact that celebrities get free stuff is well known. But most people don’t know there is such a thing as an un-influencer.

Someone so reviled by society that their flaunting a product might actually turn customers away. It’s not clear how many of these un-influencers are out there, but there’s at least one — Snooki of Jersey Shore. It turns out, she gets free stuff too

Snooki from ‘Jersey Shore’ is the opposite of an influencer

Snooki
Snooki | Jason Merritt/Getty Images

When Jersey Shore first aired, Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi stole the show. She and her cast mates spent their time drinking and shouting at each other, which made for good TV.

In fact, the show wasn’t at all scripted. Even though scenarios are arranged by producers for a lot of reality TV, the Jersey Shore team didn’t seem to have that problem, especially with Snooki. But just because she was on TV, doesn’t mean she had fans. 

Brands noticed Snooki’s love of designer bags right away, and they also noticed that her style wasn’t exactly catching on. Snooki has a distinct look, and while some fans may have copied it, brands didn’t want to be associated with the reality TV star.

So they started sending her merchandise, just like they would with any influencer. Only it wasn’t their own stuff. Brands like Coach and Gucci apparently sent Snooki bags from their competitors. 

Designers used ‘counter-branding’ to disassociate themselves from Snooki

RELATED: Snooki’s Skincare Routine Uses Cat Litter in an Unusual Way

In the beginning, Snooki seemed to always carry around Coach branded bags. When she switched to Gucci, fans got curious. They didn’t have to wonder for long.

Apparently, there are no secrets in fashion, and it was revealed that the Gucci merch had been gifted to Snooki. But it wasn’t Gucci who sent it to her. Instead, Coach marketing execs decided to try and get Snooki to switch brands. 

Barney’s Creative Director and fashion know-it-all Simon Doonan spilled the tea back in 2010. “Call it what you will — “preemptive product placement”? “unbranding”? — either way, it’s brilliant, and it makes total sense.

As much as one might adore Miss Snickerdoodle, her ability to inspire dress-alikes among her fans is questionable. The bottom line? Nobody in fashion wants to co-brand with Snooki.”

What is Snooki up to today?

Brands didn’t want to be seen with Snooki in Jersey Shore’s prime because of her outlandish behavior. She was arrested for public drunkenness in 2010. Many of her cast mates also had run-ins with the law.

Now that she’s older and wiser, however, Snooki may seem like a more befitting brand partner for her favorite designers. In fact, Snooki has proven herself the most mature of the Jersey Shore cast. She came back to the show for its rebootJersey Shore: Family Vacation, but left after four seasons.

Snooki is a mom now and didn’t want to leave her kids to live in the Jersey Shore house. Plus, she’s not into getting drunk and partying all the time anymore. Now that she’s older and more mature, she’s slowing down.

When describing her reasons for leaving, Snooki said: “There’s a lot of reasons why, but the main reason is really … I’m just like, I just can’t do it anymore.” Now that she’s less trouble, designers may want her representing their brands. If they don’t, it doesn’t really matter for Snooki. Either way, it’s free stuff. The difference now, however, Snooki has her own brand she’s promoting.