Thursday, September 10, 2009

Designer Brand Downfall…Is it the end?

By: Aliya Ewing

Everywhere we turn in the opulent world of celebrities we are smacked in the face with layers of high-end designer duds, jewelry, and accessories. I know women that would forgo next month’s rent to get their hands’ on the Gucci heels recently rocked by Beyonce. For quite some time now, rappers have had an ongoing, unofficial, “who has the most carats” contest. Keeping yourself draped in diamonds is a part of the persona–you have money, thus you have power. Or, you have money, thus, you must be really good at what you do (but we all know that’s HIGHLY questionable lol). But their fans and general public tend to follow suit to at least some degree. Not everyone is a label-whore, but yes, the world is filled with them.

But here’s my issue:

With a slumping global economy, many high-end design houses like Prada and Gucci begun to manufacture many of their items in China (Yes, China, possibly in the same buildings their Canal St. knockoffs are being made), so is the same quality and craftsmanship involved? Yes, to some extent we were always paying to wear the name, but I personally look for quality too. I would never wear an expensive dress that isn’t made well from quality fabric. Also, there’s been a HUGE uprising in online designer discount sites. Generally these sites are 40%-70% off, but I’ve seen reputable sites on occasion go up to NINETY PERCENT OFF OF RETAIL for a designer name!! And I’m 100% positive they are not knockoffs. These are from the invitation only shopping sites like Gilt and Hautelook that have direct deals with the designers to off load their overstock (btw, if you want an invite, just ask me lol).

So when the public can find a $900 purse or pair of shoes for $90…will more and more people begin to catch on to just how marked up this merchandise is???? Will these companies be forced to lower their price points permanently because of the growing masses of people like me who just buy sale items? I have no problem with waiting till an item is past season and getting 80% off. There’s absolutely no shame in my game with that lol. I rarely, if ever buy a designer name full price. It’s a rip off.

What do you guys think?

update: since multiple people have asked, the invitation link to Gilt Group is

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