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  • 08.29.08

High Fashion at Low Prices

To my amazement while flipping the pages of People yesterday, I saw that the youthful, high fashion label, Alice + Olivia, now has a collection at Payless.  Has everyone gone to the cheap side? Not that I’m complaining in the slightest. As the tagline of Sarah Jessica Parker’s low-cost label, Bitten, says: "Fashion is not a luxury." If the fashion industry’s royalty dubs it a right, shouldn’t we all be able to look as good as we want?

To my amazement while flipping the pages of People yesterday, I saw that the youthful, high fashion label, Alice + Olivia, now has a collection at Payless.  Has everyone gone to the cheap side? Not that I’m complaining in the slightest. As the tagline of Sarah Jessica Parker’s low-cost label, Bitten, says: “Fashion is not a luxury.” If the fashion industry’s royalty dubs it a right, shouldn’t we all be able to look as good as we want?

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Target just premiered longtime guest designer, Isaac Mizrahi’s fall women’s collection (newsflash: vintage is in…again). On August 3, Fashion Avenue’s rising star, Richard Chai, debuted his Target collection to rave reviews (personally, I had to have his purple plaid trench coat, and it was an absolute steal at $44.99).  Target isn’t alone in its quest to spread haute fashion to the masses. Swedish clothing giant, H&M, has brought countless prominent designers to their racks, including Stella McCartney, Roberto Cavalli, and Karl Lagerfeld. On Monday, the discount department store announced they would launch a new line with Comme des Garçons this November.

But why has this development become the it-trend of the fashion business? You could say the economy is helping it. Many young people can’t afford to dish out $60 for a t-shirt at Urban Outfitters anymore. But now they can buy an equally fashionable (if not more so, thanks to the designer label sewn inside) product at a fraction of the price. Plus, it’s great exposure for these designers and for building a customer base that could stay loyal to a particular designer as it gets older (and richer). Thanks to Target, Mizrahi has really become a household name, and he has recently been courted and signed with Liz Claiborne as the fashion house’s new creative director.

More and more top designers are spreading their brands to the middle class. I think this is one trend that will not be going out of style anytime soon.