Do We Really Care About Designer Labels?

Let’s start with the not so big news this week – Victoria Beckham’s line was released at Target to mixed reviews such as “Willy Wonka-ish” and “brights that look like you should be working in the construction zone.” Target’s past collaborations with Lily, Missoni and Zac Posen caused uproars that made the nightly news and sold out in hours. This collection is rumored to still be hanging full size runs in the stores, except for the pieces that immediately made their way to Ebay. (There’s always an opportunist that’s looking to make a buck, or five.)

So, the question is, is it Target, is it Victoria or is it the consumer? My guess is, it is the consumer, their taste level, their budget and their belief that the label just isn’t that important! When it comes to ‘mature’ shoppers, their tastes have changed, evolved and in some cases just plain backed out the door in favor of budget and comfort.

But let’s rake it in a bit and not focus on the few that are living in moo-moos and acorn slippers.

My clients include C-suite executives, women emerging from the Mommy decade, women launching their own businesses and women retiring and recreating themselves. But honestly in the last 7 years I have had less than 5 women use an actual designer name on my introductory questionnaire when answering the query, “Where do you like to shop?”

Answers do include stores such as Ann Taylor, J.Crew, Banana Republic, Black White Market and the like, but those are stores, not designers.

Then there are those who name department stores like Nordstrom, Lord & Taylor, Neiman Marcus, Saks and Dillard’s. All department stores that carry true designer labels but no one specifies a designer name! And rarely do I hear about free standing designer stores like Tory Burch, Michael Kors, Vince or Victoria Beckham!

How many of you have ever perused through the designer names on the department store drop downs without being on the search for one particular name? How many names do you actually recognize or can you spell? Any clue what the styles of those designers are or are you assuming ‘designer’ equates to out-of-my-price-range?

Let’s re-think that just a bit! There are definite sky high, albeit ridiculous price points – found one here – a Valentino green leather mini-skirt for $2690 bucks – seriously?

There is a bit of a sliding scale when it comes to designer clothing meaning that you can slide the scale down, out of the Ozone layer and peruse where you won’t need oxygen. As much as you might recognize names like Alexander McQueen and Akris, you could also make yourself aware of labels like Ellen Tracy, Tahari, Vince Camuto and the like. Warning – that does put you smack in the middle of the debate, is that a designer or a brand? But quite frankly, you might not give a flying squirrel if it looks good, is stylish, sassy and sophisticated and makes you feel like a million bucks.

Bottom line here is peruse away. Search with abandon because no doubt the more you know, the more you will increase your choices, vary your wardrobe and bump up your style. Start noticing names because they can serve you well. I often find that certain names (designers/brands) will fit you only in certain categories. For example, your work wardrobe may come together with all Vince pants, all Lagerfeld jackets and all Calvin Klein blouses – a combo of designers and brands.

Shopping across the lines will help to solve the riddle once you see the fit, fabric and style of many different options, usually ending up simplifying the search going forward. And remember while perusing online, you can always filter out the Valentino green leather mini-skirt by using the ‘price range’ option!

Need more help solving the riddle? It’s time to outsource your style. Start with a complimentary consult!

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