John Dambros Is Sticking It to Fashion with His Ouchless Hot Spot Designer Bandages
To be really chic, according to John Dambros, you've got to get plastered—with some attention-grabbing, multicolored bandages that he calls Hot Spots. They're not sterilized, so don't use them on open wounds, cautions his label; just "Stick 'em where you sizzle."
For Dambros, a Studio City, Calif. ad man, that means putting Hot Spots on his cheek to set off his eyes, and on his upper arms to show off his biceps. "I realized there was no single accessory you can get to accentuate your best feature that you could put anywhere on your body," explains the 31-year-old bachelor, who spent nearly three years and $5,000 developing Hot Spots in Jackson Pollock-style splashes of red, white and black, zebra stripes, solid purples and pink-and-black polka dots.
When the trendy bandages hit Los Angeles boutiques last November (a pack of three costs 99 cents), major retailers did not exactly beat a path to his door. But Dambros now is marketing his fashion first-aids nationwide through direct mail and in small outlets from Florida to Wyoming. "They're a gimmicky item," allows Gina Maione-Russell, a buyer for New York-based Brooks Fashions, which carried Hot Spots in some of its 625 stores. Even Dambros admits that the throw-away stickers probably won't be around forever. "The whole concept of wearing bandages when you don't need them strikes me as funny," he concedes. Maybe Dambros should read Somerset Maugham's immortal classic Of Human Bandage.
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