Buy your Fashion Accessories from Real Designers By: Connie Isidora What’s your favorite fashion accessory? Is it something that’s easily available to everyone who can afford it, something that you see other people wearing or carrying around? More likely it’s something unique. Perhaps it’s a brooch that belonged to your great grandmother or a birthday gift from your favorite person. Maybe a friend sewed it for you herself. It’s something that you value because it reflects your personality, and because you have good feelings about how it came into your hands. How Did They Convince Us? How did they convince us that “designer” accessories were something we wanted to own and were willing to pay a high price for? These products may sometimes be of decent quality, but they’re almost always made by poorly paid workers in under-regulated factories. The large amount of money you pay for them goes to big corporations: the clothing companies and the retailers. They’re not nice, responsible companies, either. Most of them sell their products by promoting an unhealthy, almost unattainable ideal for women’s bodies, and they exploit working women in poor countries. That’s not right. The designers that work for the famous labels are, in reality, whole groups of corporate employees. They design products that are calculated to appeal to a particular target market, and they sell them through advertising and celebrity endorsements. They think that people will associate their brand name with fame and luxury, and they expect that will make their products into status symbols. However, the designers’ names are nothing but brand names. The goods themselves are worth a fraction of what we pay for them. Why Be Influenced By Corporate Advertising? You are a real, unique person. You don’t look exactly like anyone else, and your taste and your needs are yours alone. Actors and actresses have a job: helping to tell stories that are recorded, played back and broadcast. You have a different job. Why look to them for your personal style, or pay a premium for items they’re seen with because they get them for free from corporations as a form of advertising? The fact that they have highly visible jobs and conform to a certain look doesn’t make them worthy role models. You have you own, equally or more important work and your own look. The way that women’s clothing and accessories are marketed is manipulative, and it tries to create value where none exists. Luxury doesn’t come from an advertising campaign. It comes from top quality design and materials. Individual style doesn’t come from an advertising campaign. It’s something you have to create yourself. Exclusivity certainly doesn’t come from an advertising campaign, or from having the money to buy overpriced accessories with conspicuous labels. Exclusivity comes from having the skills and the judgment to find items that are designed to meet your needs, that match your personal style, and that are created and sold in a positive and responsible way. Buy from Real Designers The web is providing a way for consumers to connect directly to producers, cutting out the middle men. There are huge websites devoted to marketing and selling unique, handmade items. Every one of these items comes out of the love and labor of an individual. Many are custom made to order. You can choose exactly the fabric you want, and in many cases, you can even request custom sizes and changes to the design. Clothing and accessories handmade by real designers, especially for you, are the ultimate luxury. In France, they call it “couture.” In the mainstream fashion industry, only the world’s wealthiest people can afford it. If you’re willing to step outside the corporate world and work with an individual designer, then you can afford it, too. It’s a great experience working with a designer to create the perfect accessory to meet your needs and reflect your style. Knowing who made the piece feels right. Being able to buy a unique gift for a friend or family member, a gift that shows that you care about and understand their taste, is a real treat. The variety of goods available online is greater than it ever has been before, and when you buy directly from an artist or craftsperson, you know that you’re getting something that was created responsibly. You also know that you’re helping to provide them with a decent income. That’s something that you can be proud to be part of. It's also a way to find fashion and accessories that you'll feel good about, and that will become long term favorites.
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