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confessions of a designer fashion label whore turned brand ambassador


Label whore.

No offense taken. I whore myself out several times a day, with no reward needed. I'm a voluntary slave to food porn without shame, because life is incomplete without endless chocolate scrolling. Heck, I was willing to sell my body for a puppy back in the day. I mean they are obvs the new accessory of the decade. So the thought that I would work a pole for a custom Birkin bag? You damn right I would!

Label whore. What a sweet phrase, carrying with it all the connotations of a brain dead shopper who swipes her plastic for pieces of the fashion pie simply because they are more expensive, trendy and high in status. Hello me! Or maybe not? After being suckered into purchases that made me one of the many faceless brand shoppers I was, for a time, easily offended by the slightest suggestion that I cared more about brand names than originality and personal style. My crusade, if left to its own devices, would have surely ended in a massive public bonfire where I ran around the flames like a bohemian rabid animal preaching on the evils of runway fashion and the trickle down theory. Okay, so I might be exaggerating a little, but the truth is, I had to come to terms with my brand preferences and that a little whorish ways isn't so bad when we realize the dud nugget who made up the term really meant "brand ambassador". In fact, I've come to believe that knowing and loving a designer brand is an excellent way to become a conscious consumer whom can authentically engage in, what can be, a highly superficial world. In simpler terms, I want to love, wear, and advertise for designers that reflect my values and tastes. And there is nothing that makes you a sell out for that. For example, I value ethics, fabric choices, fit, tailoring, simplicity and now minimalism. I think its important to shop local and to make lifestyle choices that are environmentally friendly. However, if I only fill my closet with shit that doesn't reflect any of those sentiments, I become a walking billboard for hypocrisy. So it begs one to wonder - what the hell are all those "top fashion bloggers" valuing when they wear everything from Anthropologie and J.Crew to Forever21 and Azzedine Alaia or Alex Wang mixed with classic Chanel all at the drop of a paycheck for their c/o shenanigans? Well, we may never know since their blog posts lack substantial thought, but I'll tell you one thing, they're redefining what it means to be a working girl. #justsayin

Design houses and brands work hard to capture their own values and express them in the items that they create, so long as Francois Arnault and the other big wigs don't dilute it with profitability cries (which might explain why my Ralph Lauren pieces these days are as durable as a dollar store bandaid soaking in water). These designers work countless hours trying to curate their lines so that they grab the attention of like-minded consumers. Naturally, I think we all are attracted to brands and designers that fall into line with our own set of standards. Let's take one of my long-time faves from back when I was a magazine editor and heard about this new brand Fleabag via a press release. Their pitch was what it is now. Something like...

Shira Entis, a fashion designer and lover of all things tiny and over-sized, and Alex Bell, a lawyer and seeker of adventures, have been fleamarket addicts since they met at Brown University. Frustrated by the inconvenience and environmental hazard of accumulating plastic bags while marketing, they craved a convenient and fashion-hot tote that could fit all of their wares. Fleabags are designed as their ideal solution - dapper, large, lightweight and sturdy carry-alls - that are also eco-minded.

Standards

Fleabags strives to create products that are as green as possible while maintaining high quality and covetable design. Fleabags are made with organic and vintage materials, vegetable-tanned and re-purposed leathers, and other parts all sourced in the USA. All silkscreens use water-based ink. Fleabags are made in the USA with good old-fashioned sewing.

LTD ED.

Fleabags are locally made, in Limited Edition, by hand, in small production runs.

Support Small Businesses And Feel Good About It.

Um, yeah. Sign me up. Sold. Wrap up that purchase because its a done deal. Anyone who knows me can clearly see that even if I were broke I'd be on the dirty city sidewalks in some crocs with a sign that says "Will Work For A Fleabag". Now granted, it might stir some controversy and confuse my potential patrons into donating a hairy dog or worse, but you get the point. So when the bags are this sexy to boot, it's a sundae waiting to be devoured by a phene like me.



Label monogamy has grown on me. In fact, I find that wastefulness (especially in the fashion industry) comes from our inability to choose or commit to anything. Seriously. That is how fast fashion works, but we can't keep pointing the finger like spoiled little brats. As soon as you get tired with the top that you have worn a total of five times, you give it up and get something new from another cheap store in which you rarely show any sort of regular commitment to. Does this mean that I only buy items from several particular brands? No because I'm an explorer, that's my customer archetype. But I do invest my time and energy into connecting with brands that I love via their social media and online shops so that I can check back often to see if they have anything new that might be drool-worthy. Since I know you're a bunch of nosy bees, here is much of my current list:

  • The Row (those Olsen twins know fashion, like no joke, even if they do sometimes look like Marilyn Manson just woke up)
  • Acne (about as minimalistic as I'm willing to go)
  • Stella McCartney (for all my vegan needs)
  • Lover The Label
  • Jeffrey Campbell (trendy but downright covetable)
  • L'Wren
  • Bless'ed Are The Meek
  • Hopeless Lingerie (a brand born of Etsy that actually gets it right)
  • Dannijo (just because I knew them before all the glitz and fame)
  • Zara (the ONLY fast fashion brand I'm willing to shop)
  • Calvin Klein underwear (yes just the underwear)
  • Cheap Monday? (not sure yet but I have a gut feeling)
  • Celine (do I need a reason?)
  • Givenchy (see above)
  • Kimberly Ovitz
  • Diane Von Furstenberg (a girl needs good waist definition)
  • Fleabags
  • Helmut Lang
  • Michael Kors shoes (always on sale at Macy's incredibly)
  • Sass and Bide
  • Victor & Rolf (the Flower Bomb perfume is my to-die-for sensual Parisian fragrance)
  • Elva Fields (upcycled statement pieces that make a good statement)
  • anything Karl Lagerfield does

MY LABEL LOOKBOOK


So, I offer a challenge. Be a good label whore. And if you can't do that, at least be a decent brand ambassador. Find products that you love and designers that inspire you and invest in their company. There is no rule that says you can't be an explorer and a conscious shopper at the same time. With that, go scurry on over and see my NEW just for your Mindful Shopping page!

Oh, and I still totally only drink Smart Water because Jennifer Aniston says so.

 Are you loyal to designer labels that meet your standards? Do you care about the story behind the brand names? What are the deal breakers for you when it comes to shopping? Let's chat in the comments!


4 comments

  1. I adore this post and your blog in general. Soo wel written and the points you make are spot on.

    Faye

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh thank you Faye, that is really kind of you. I appreciate your comment and am delighted you are enjoying my blog. Come again!

      Delete
  2. Wonderful post I liked it :)

    www.dilarakoseler.com

    ReplyDelete

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