MEMPHIS, TN – Like the stethoscope, the white lab coat has not only been a magnet for bodily fluids and random food products, but also a steady symbol of medicine as an institution. But maker of lab coats and other medical apparel, Landau, seeks to change things up and make lab coats both relevant and popular again by introducing health care professionals to a new line of eye-popping lab coats, from classic white to purpuric purple.
“Everyone wears a white coat these days,” states Landau spokesperson Richard Albright, pointing to a member of environmental services with a personally embroidered white coat. “It’s hard to tell anyone apart any more. Where’s the individuality? If we can wear scrubs of different colors, why not lab coats? Don’t you wake up some mornings and think, ‘Boy, I wish I had an orange lab coat?’ I know I do.”
Over the past few years, Landau has watched competitors boost their sales in innovative ways. Michael Kors’ surgical gown line led to record sales since their release 2 years ago, while one Chicago hospital ditched lab coats with tremendous success in favor of black fleeces just earlier this year.
Landau does hope to boost profits, but admits that there’s another goal: preservation of the lab coat, even if it means no longer sticking to the classic white color. “Lab coats absorb blood, ketchup, feces in a way that even the best of fleeces can’t replicate,” explained Albright. “Besides, if two doctors were treating me, one in a white coat and another in a gold coat, which one would command your attention?”
“You better believe I’m excited,” said fourth-year medical student Alicia Keal, browsing Landau’s web site. “When I’m an intern, no way I’m wearing a boring long white coat after all these years wearing a boring short white coat. I’m going rose gold, baby, just like my iPhone 6.”
Landau’s new lab coat line should appeal to the generation of Apple and Android users by offering a large array of different colors: arterial red, jaundiced yellow, peau d’orange, light bile, dark bile, venous blue, purpuric purple, fecal brown, silver, gold, rose gold, space gray, and last but not least classic white for the totally boring health care provider.