Thursday, August 11, 2016

In the Market Report

Cheap Thrills 

Coco Chanel famously said,” The best things in life are free. The second best are very expensive”. Of course one can never underestimate those priceless, unmaterialistic blessings such as freedom, good health, love, having a positive outlook on life, sunsets, walks on the beach, and most recently, watching as Donald Trump’s campaign implodes before our eyes lol. But in terms of fashion, while there’s no problem finding very expensive items, unless you happen to be a celebrity, when is the last time you got something that was free? Other than a shopping bag that is, and usually, you have to have bought something to get one. But don’t laugh. I collect them when they’re distinctive.

Chanel shopping bags free with purchase

For example, the Chanel shoppers (in glossy black and white)  are so iconic, they are being sold on EBay (I kid you not), and several years ago, Karl Lagerfeld showed kitschy leather versions on the runway, that sold for well into the four figures. One is currently available for $3295 (Click here to see bag) With the purchase of a pair of Gucci loafers, I received a very handsome and sturdy shopping bag in white, trimmed with black, which looks chic rather than ‘schleppy’ and as such, is good enough to tote around town. FYI, Alessando Michele showed a black leather shopper on his fall 2016 runway that will carry a hefty price tag no doubt.

Urban Outfitter reusable tote

And I recently found myself at a local Urban Outfitter store where I was in search of some running paraphernalia. Instead of a run of the mill paper bag (which would ordinarily be tossed immediately), it was presented to me in a marvelous reusable, sturdy, ecofriendly black shopping tote graphically printed with the words Urban Outfitter in bold white letters on the bottom. Because the letters are jumbled on one side, you can’t really see what it says and it does not look like an advertisement for the company, but rather, a chic, graphic bag which instantly compliments my otherwise black and white ensembles. I use it quite often as it is lightweight, small yet roomy, and perfect for very hot days when I prefer not to carry a heavy leather bag.

But in any event, while Coco Chanel’s assertion may well ring true, between very expensive and free, there is nonetheless, an unmistakable middle ground; it has undeniably become easier and easier to find well-made inexpensive versions of their very costly counterparts. To illustrate my point, I selected 10 items and showed two versions: one that is pricey juxtaposed alongside its less expensive doppelganger. While they may not always have the same degree of quality vis-a-vis material and workmanship, surprisingly, quite often, you’d be hard pressed to tell which is which unless you are up close and personal, and maybe not even then. And the bottom line, is, who cares?

Roger Vivier slip on sneaker with crystal buckle and Michael Kors slip on sneakers

The Crystal Embellished Patent Leather Slip On
Roger Vivier Strass crystal buckle slip on sneaker, $1325
Click here for more info/buy

Michael Michael Kors Michele slip on sneaker crystal buckle embellished
Click here for more info/buy

Prada studded two-tone leather kiltie sneakers & Michael Kors Keaton Kiltie sneakers

The Two Tone Kiltie Sneaker
Prada two tone leather studded kiltie sneaker, $690
Click here for more info/buy

 Michael Michael Kors patent leather two tone kiltie sneakers
Click here for more info/buy

Chanel black and white cap toe lambskin pumps
 and Zara mid-heel shoes contrasting cap toe

The Low Heeled Cap Toe Pump
 Chanel cap toe lambskin pump, $825
Click here for more info/but

Zara mid-heel pump with contrasting cap toe, $39.90
Click here for more info/buy

Gianvito Rossi velvet ankle boots & Sam Edelman Taye velvet ankle boots

The Plush Navy Velvet Ankle Boot
Gianvito Rossi velvet ankle boots, $995
Click here for more info/buy

 Sam Edelman Taye velvet ankle boots, $160
Click here for more info/buy

Burberry gold buttoned military coat.& Zara black coat with gold buttons

The Gold Buttoned Officer’s Coat
 Burberry military inspired black wool and cashmere double breasted coat with gold buttons, $3695
Click here for more info/buy

 Zara black double breasted coat with gold buttons, $199.00
Click here for more info/buy

Burberry Sandringham short heritage trench coat & Zara water resistant trench coat

The Classic Short Tan Trench
Burberry Heritage short trench coat, $1695
Click here for more info/buy

Zara mid length water resistant trench $149
Click for more info/buy

Chanel tweed and metal backpack and tween mini backpack

The Tweed Backpack
Chanel tweed backpack, $3100
Click here for more info/buy

Zara quilted tweed backpack, $39.90
Click here for more info/buy

Azzedine Alaia leopard printed calf jacket.& Zara leopard printed jacket

The Leopard Printed Jacket
 Rare vintage Azzedine Alaia leopard printed calf jacket, $6900
Click here for more info/buy

 Zara leopard printed cotton biker jacket, $99.90
Click here for more info/buy

The Row Bindle knot hobo and MM6 by Maison Martin Margiela black mesh tote

The Slouchy Oversized Hobo
12a The Row Bindle knot suede hobo, $1190
Click here for more info/buy

12b MM6 By Maison Martin Margiela mesh triangle tote, $195
Click her for more info/buy

 Gucci appliqued metallic textured leather bomber &
Zara limited addition bomber jacket

The Appliqued Bomber Jacket
 Gucci metallic leather appliqued bomber jacket, $4200
Click here for more info/buy

Zara limited edition reversible bomber jacket, $189
Click here for more info/buy

If it seems as though I used a disproportionate number of Zara’s products, while it was hardly planned, it should not come as a surprise, because they happen to do a consistently good job of offering a good product at a popular price.

- Marilyn Kirschner

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