Remember 5 years ago when Karl Lagerfeld collabbed with H&M and the whole world went bananas? Then Stella McCartney followed suit, and now all of a sudden every darn designer worth his/her salt -- Luella, Viktor & Rolf, Vera Wang, Tracy Feith, Anna Sui, Thakoon, Matthew Williamson, Temperley, Alexander McQueen to name a few -- seems to be putting out bargain priced collections for chain stores such as Target, Kohl's, the aforementioned H&M and so on.
Upcoming designer/chain store collaborations this fall/winter include Rodarte for GO International /Target and Jimmy Choo for H&M... and obviously I was excited when I first heard the news, but aside from the fact that these collabs make it somewhat easier to get your hands on great designs without breaking the bank, they just don't feel that exclusive or like a big deal anymore. Am I the only one who thinks like that? There are so many of them being announced on a regular basis these days that I can barely keep up - and to be honest, I am not always that impressed with the resulting collections....
Also, there are definitely cons as well as pros to formerly hard-to-get fashions all of a sudden being highly affordable and easily accessible to everyone and their mother. As I see it, at least half the fun of buying designerwear is the feeling of getting something unique and exclusive.... but stepping out on 34th St and seeing all the 20 something budget fashionistas wearing the exact same Comme des Garcons coat as the one you just acquired at a 2-digit price kind of kills it for me.
You think I'm whining? Well, fortunately it did not take more than a quick visit to Payless on the way home from Pearl Studios today, in particular their Christian Siriano display, to shut me up (pictures from the store on the right and below). After some serious reconsideration, I actually do think that New York is big enough to hold a few thousands of mass-produced teal/gold Slither Zip booties or buckled Strut pumps without any serious or even noticeable effects on footwear diversity in the streets... meaning I could indeed acquire a pair without feeling like a total cheap clone.... couldn't I?
Siriano's designs have never impressed me that much in the past, and him being a reality star just makes it a little more difficult for me to take him seriously. But I do like his Payless line! It's surprisingly stylish and well put together for being one of these endless chain store collaborations, with luxe looking material, print and color choices that are pretty spot on throughout the whole line. The shoes retail for $49.99 and less, but they actually look much more expensive. Nothing wrong with that!
Now, the question is, could I really put on a pair from his collection every morning (or even just once in a while) without hearing a nasal "f-i-erce!!" inside of my head? Well, maybe that would be a welcome change from "I die!", which seems to be stuck in there at the moment. Reality TV slogans suck! Another (slogan-less) option is of course to instead get those very nice red Alice + Olivia boots, also at Payless, that I raved about a couple of entries ago and saw in person today. Or should I just cut up my credits cards and start saving for retirement? :)
Man in a Can, 57th & Madison. - Because we all need a break now and then.
4 years ago