Fast Fashion, Big Names


fasion2 BY: Kelley Rowland

Some of us can spot a Celine bag from dozens of feet away. We covet the beautifully crafted satchel, wondering why the wearer is lucky enough to own it herself, and why we, unfortunately, are not. Or perhaps it’s a pair of Givenchy over-the-knee boots that gets you green, or a Burberry menswear inspired coat. No matter the item, predicaments such as these occur often; it’s called fashion envy. Whether I am walking through the airport, going to class, or browsing the Internet, I see women wearing something I’d likely give up everything in my closet for. Luckily, there is a solution to this style woe: high designer collaboration with fast fashion retailers.

On November 14th, French fashion designer, Isabel Marant’s line will be released at H&M. Known for her highly sought after hidden wedge sneakers, boho embroidered jackets, ethnically patterned dresses, Marant is the queen of casual chic. With a pair of short, leather boots costing more than $700, her clothes are accessible to only a few, and for the majority, something to aspire for. The collaborative line with H&M will convey a similar style to her high-end brand, without the cost. Aside from Marant, H&M has collaborated with many designers including, Viktor & Rolf, Commes Des Garcons, Jimmy Choo, and Lanvin.

What makes collaborative lines, such as Marant’s, so great is that the garments are not knock offs of the designer’s brand. I like the idea of buying something produced by the designer, rather than an imitation of their couture designs; knock offs are essentially a product of creative property theft. It’s cool to purchase a garment created especially for a market of fashionistas who love a brand that is otherwise inaccessible to them.

Target is another store that works with high fashion names. In the summer of 2012, the household brand collaborated with over 24 designers, including Marc Jacobs, Derek Lam, Marchesa, and Proenza Schouler. After a few days, the items were near impossible to find in stores. When Target released a line with Missoni about a year before, the clothes sold out instantly online and in stores. Though the clothes are not of the same quality as the original brand, they’re wearable and a reflection of the style the designers are known for. Just last month Philip Lim for Target came to stores, and the handbags, aside from material, were so distinctly Philip Lim.

What we love about the high-end wear lies is its distinction, strength, and originality. The clothing is produced with more thought, composed of more luxurious material, and often is part of a larger story and cohesive collection. It is unattainable for most and perhaps frivolous to some, but I believe the idea of such talented designers creating lines for a mainstream, lower name store, is one of genius.

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