|Local stores offer high-end, affordable fashion|
|Written by Kelsey Stiegman, Staff Writer|
|Sunday, 03 March 2013 15:23|
They say money can’t buy happiness. Anyone who has ever set foot in a Louis Vuitton or Chanel store can tell you that statement is completely false.
That said, most college students can’t even afford to walk into a Walmart and buy everything they want, let alone a more expensive store.
Even though money is tight, it is still possible to rock the latest trends without breaking the bank.
High-end designers have taken note of the current state of the economy and turned their attention to a new target market: the middle class.
“I think the economy is a hard place for designers right now,” Vasilika Mikosz, a junior apparel design major, said.
“Money is tight for some people, so they certainly aren’t going to spend top dollar on clothing with the money they do have. Designers are making it much easier for people to purchase designer-worthy clothes on a much happier price scale,” she added.
Well-known designers like Vera Wang, Kate Spade and Betsey Johnson have come out with new lines that are not only for the starlets in Hollywood.
These affordable collections are just as fabulous as the more expensive items the same designers sell in their more costly lines. And now, middle-class people, and even broke college students, can actually afford them.
British designer, Duro Olowu, has begun a clothing collaboration with JCPenney. Students will now only have to go as far as Eastland Mall to get the stylish looks they crave. Even better: Nothing in the collection is more than $100.
Angela Fontes, an assistant professor in Consumer Services, who also holds the position of senior economist at NORC at the University of Chicago, shares her thoughts on this new approach to design.
“Clothing is one way we signal status to others; wearing brand name clothing shows our wealth and social status. Designing specifically for middle class consumers is a way to increase the potential market for clothing lines,” Fontes said.
The eccentric designer, Betsey Johnson, has also added her collection, “Betseyville,” to JCP stores everywhere. Her glitter-covered, rhinestone-laden, studded-to-the-max pieces can fit into anyone’s budget.
Mikosz admits that she is an avid consumer of these new, cheaper clothing lines.
“I shop at Kohl’s all the time. Brands like ‘Simply Vera Vera Wang’, or ‘Daisy Fuentes’ are a go-to when I am shopping. I am always happy with my purchases and my bank account is as well,” she said.
The iconic wedding dress and clothing designer, Vera Wang, recently came out with two collections at Kohl’s.
One line is specifically designed for juniors and is called “Princess Vera Wang.”
The pieces in this casual collection have fun prints and interesting textures. Wang also designed “Simply Vera Vera Wang” for the more conservative, but no less fashionable, women.
“I think there will be some demand for these lines, but it will vary by segment. I think sales may be greater in the junior departments,” Fontes said.
The Internet is another approach designers have taken to reach customers. Fashion-lovers no longer have to spend gas money to get the look they want.
Kate Spade, known for her use of bright colors and her simple style, has started an online expansion of her famous designs, called “Kate Spade Saturday.”
The new website, Saturday.com, provides shoppers with the vibrant style of Kate Spade New York for a fraction of the price. The website will be active soon, and preview items can currently be purchased at Fab.com.
Even in the difficult times of this unstable economy, happiness can always be found in the glossy face of a new Kate Spade watch. People may be more money-conscious, but everyone still needs that one little indulgence every now and then.