Everyone wants brand name accessories, especially in the trendy fashion circles. Many of us have been tempted to buy one of those Louis Vuitton replicas, but we surely wouldn’t want to be seen carrying it around. I think you all know my stance on replicas and knock-offs. In my little world, they are simply unacceptable. Fashion is my life, and the market in replicas undermines the stability of the industry I have grown to love.
For the price conscious shopper, there are other alternatives available. A number of the major department stores have started to carry designer accessories and handbags, at greatly discounted prices. While there are some that believe that high fashion is the exclusive domain of the wealthy, it is my opinion that fashion should unite and not divide. The love of fashion can and will continue to bring people of common interest together.
I recently went upstate for a weekend to visit some friends and family, and I was thrilled to discover a factory outlet for Coach. I picked up three amazing handbags at very reasonable prices, and I intend to go back sometime soon. To be honest, I was amazed to see a company like Coach with a discount outlet. I have spent countless hours exploring their flagship store on Madison Avenue, and from I could tell the outlet store had almost the exact same inventory. At discounted prices, no less!
Upon returning home, I did some research on sales figures for Coach. It turns out that the discount outlet I had just visited earns almost as much revenue as the flagship store in NYC. In 2005 this particular outlet store earned over 20 million dollars, and they are projecting earnings over 25 million for the current year! These are astounding figures, in my humble opinion. Why aren’t other designers pursuing the discount market?
My feeling is that is has a lot to do with the elitist attitudes that pervade the fashion industry. There is a strong feeling, in fashion circles, that discount stores dilute the luxury image that so many designers are trying to cultivate. While there may be some credence to this argument, I am of the opinion that fashion is for the people. I would love to see more companies taking the approach that Coach is taking. Purses for the People, I say!