The Hamptons have everything: drunk hipsters, passive-aggressive run ins with Gwyneth Paltrow, and, if you play your cards right, Justin Bieber sliding out of his car's sunroof to threaten you. But now, thanks to the Wall Street Journal, we know that you're nobody in the Hamptons unless you have a giant inflatable swan gliding around your gunite pool.
And in case you were wondering how the swans became THE debate of the summer, the Journal has. Got. You. Covered.
Noting that the plastic fowls have gained "tacit approval" because of their "simple color scheme," the investigation reveals that many owners appreciate both the aesthetics of the bewinged romantic creatures (did you know that swans mate for life?), as well as their factory-manufactured egalitarian virtues.
"I've seen swans in 15-foot above-ground pools and swans in the backyards of $5 million homes," says [Swan sales representative] Keiran Glackin. "The swan looks more graceful... If it was floating in a pond, you could see other swans floating up to it saying, 'Hey, how are you doin'?' "
"Rich people buy them because they don't ruin the ambience," says Bryan Graybill, a Hamptons real-estate developer. The resident of a tony East Hampton home, he inherited a swan last summer from his A-list renter, Natalie Massenet, founder of the fashion site Net-A-Porter.
"From the road we saw these enormous inflatable swans," recalls Ms. Julius. "I said, 'Forget the fried clams, it's all about the swans.' " They bought two, and when their house was photographed that summer for a local magazine, a swan was pictured gliding nonchalantly in their pool.
But swans aren't all fun and games.
"I told my husband we needed some kind of bird," Dede Reynolds, the lead singer of the band Tiny Hearts, told the Journal. "[But] It took us a very long time to blow up and four hours to deflate."
"They're everywhere. It's swan hell in the Hamptons," says the interior designer Jeffrey Bilhuber, who has worked on homes for Vogue's Anna Wintour, actor Michael Douglas as well as Iman and David Bowie. "Somebody needs to get out a sharp penknife and start liberating us."