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3 In fashion

designer | what actually is the appeal?

Right now, I’m not at a point in life where ‘designer or high street?‘ is a question I ever need to ask.  No way José could I remotely justify spending such large sums of money on clothes.  That’s not to say I’m a saving saint who only ever spends money on totally necessary and practical items… far from it!  Oh how much happier my bank account would be if that were true.  However, even if I did have the cash lying around to splash on designer garb, I don’t know whether I would.  Like with anything ‘aspirational’, I don’t know whether designer actually appeals.

As far as I can see, designer items fall into 2 camps:

1) Classic, timeless, super high quality investment pieces, where you can see exactly where the extra design is in the ‘designer‘.  Tailoring that has clearly taken way more planning, care and time… craftsmanship that requires real skill… high quality well sourced materials… genuinely different design… all that jazz.  You’re paying for a totally different quality of product to the high street version; even if the differences appear subtle at first glance, the extra attention to detail is clear on a closer look.  I totally understand the appeal there.  Not something I can currently buy, but if I could then I bloody well would.

2) Items that are essentially the exact same as any high street item, but with a great big logo on the front.  Let’s take *that* Gucci belt for example – I’m sure I don’t need to explain any further for you to know the exact item I’m referring to.  A plain black belt with a double G for a buckle.  A plain black belt, that has become a ‘must have’ item in itself.  *That* Gucci tshirt (plain white tshirt with a Gucci logo across the boobs) is another example.  Chanel espadrilles (plain ol’ espadrilles with ~those~ double Cs) are another.

You see, what I don’t quite understand is… what makes that belt more stylish than any other plain black belt with a buckle?  How does a double G suddenly make an item that would cost maybe £70 from a leather craftsman, suddenly worth £200+?  Like I said, many designer items seem totally worthy of their hefty price tag because you can see exactly where the extra money is being spent.  But surely the scope for careful design and manufacturing is limited when it comes to a strip of leather.  Or an untailored tshirt.  Or simple espadrilles (although I will concede that designer shoes may well be crafted better).  I’m probably going to get shit for saying this, but the only possible explanation I can see for buying designer items with obnoxious logos on pretty basic (and to be perfectly honest, boring) items, is to shout from the rooftops ‘look I’m wearing designer’.  And you know what, iIf that’s how you like to spend your hard earned pennies, then hell yes go treat yourself!  I’m certainly no Sensible Susan to judge.  We’re all entitled to spend our money on whatever the hell we like, be it lattes and avocado toast that means we’ll never be able to buy a house or whatever.

I’ve just never quite understood the appeal in logos or branding for branding’s sake though, be it a particular high street brand or designer or anything tbh.  In most cases I’ll shy away from anything where the branding is obvious; personally I’d rather buy an item because I like the item, not because it’s from X store.  I’ll buy Primark plimsolls year in year out because save for the little ‘All star’ logo on the heel, they’re exactly the same for a fraction of the price (and let’s face it, who can keep white shoes pristine for long anyway?).  Whilst I love me a good bargain, I wouldn’t say I’m always a cheapskate – spending is fair enough when you’re actually paying for a different product and are getting value for money.  But an identical product with a more flashy logo?  I just don’t really understand.  Maybe that’s just because I never have been cool or had an ounce of street cred and certainly haven’t acquired any lately.

I actually just tried to think which designer items which could stand the test of time would I choose if money was no object, and even then I could only think of 2.  (Burberry trench and a classic Mulberry Bayswater FYI, if anyone’s feeling generous for my 21st birthday).  Beyond that my mind goes blank, and I can’t see myself ever aspiring to anything more ‘luxe’ than high end high street.

With designer items popping up more and more often across the blogosphere and Instagram I wanted to start a discussion on the topic – does designer actually appeal to you?  Would you buy it if you could never post a photo of it online?  Do you think logos are really worth it?

Lily Kate x

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  • Reply
    5th March 2018 at 1:04 pm

    in short, no. Your number 1 type items, maybe. Often I look for what materials an item is made out of. So if it is real wool, I may pay more for it, but if it is acrylic, I wouldn’t buy it no matter what label. Also, if I am paying 7000 for a dress instead of 300, I think I would be way more fussy. I am unlikely to post a picture on insta of any new fashion accessory, so maybe I am not the target market for this stuff. I have a Fendi purse, but I have never taken a picture of it. I have a Billingham camera bag that I did take a picture of before I even used digital photography. A bit weird that.

  • Reply
    5th March 2018 at 8:49 pm

    No! I mean, I wouldn’t say no the a Hermes Birkin bag, or a Cartier watch. But designer jeans, a simple white tee and all that stuff…. no not in a million years.

  • Reply
    7th March 2018 at 6:02 pm

    LMAO @ the picture of the Gucci logo over your belt. I would definitely spend my money on items in category 1, I’m all for timeless and quality pieces. I might buy something in category two but that’s if I really like it. I honestly don’t see myself buying something really expensive just because it’s designer, I find that sort of ridiculous. But to each his own at the end of the day. Great post Lily Kate! 🙂
    Coco Bella Blog

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