The Hairpin: Why Buying From Emerging Fashion Designers Costs More Money (and Why That's Okay)

If you know anything about me and/or my store, then you probably know that I’m in-sync with everything this post says.  I would also recommend you check out this thoughtful companion POST BY ANJA VERDUGO (whose stuff I will be carrying soon!).

I could probably add volumes to these thoughts, but I will stick to what I think is most important to remember:

EVERYTHING IS A CHAIN

When you pay less for a mass-retailed item, the retailer also has to pay less for it.  This means they are paying the designer and the seamstress less.  While it’s true that buying from an independent designer puts a face to what you wear, there is NEVER not a person behind your clothing.  As far as I know, there is no 100% automated clothing production, there’s just a person making a lot less money. And you can’t change a system by continuing to go along with it. If you want seamstresses to make a decent wage, you have to go to a brand that’s paying one.  Unfortunately it can be hard to know with total transparency, but odds are high that a $10 Old Navy t-shirt is not making anyone any money… until it’s someone who can sell millions of them.

I know most of the argument is “But I don’t make any money either!”  And oh ladies, do I feel you!  We all have to pick and choose our battles; this is one that’s important to me. After all, “put your money where your mouth is” is an expression for a reason.

The article also singles out four designers.  You can buy STUDY here at Myrtle, and you’ll be able to buy THOMAS SIRES here in the fall.  Jesse Kamm lives right here in Los Angeles and you can buy her clothing up the street at Vivier & Bentley.  You can buy Collina Strada on the westside at In Residence.  Buying any of these brands is also supporting a local retailer, which is a lovely plus.

{And if I want to be snarky I will add: If independent designers can’t afford to keep doing what they’re doing, H&M (etc) will have no one to knock off and you won’t have any clothes anyway.  Karma’s a bitch!}

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  1. shopmyrtle posted this

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