I’ve always been interested in fashion and the monster that is called retail. I grew up in a household where my mother and her mother before her were seamstresses, so I had the luxury of seeing my mother create beautiful dresses which won fashion awards and were featured in the media. Her creative streak always impressed me. Her ability to see colour, texture, shape and beautiful in one garment was amazing.
Along with a fascination with beautiful things, half of my career was also tangled in the examination of human behaviour…and why people buy things.
We are living in a commercialised and a consumer driven world. What goes in your pocket, many industries want to pull out of your pocket to enhance their own bottom line. And depending on where you are emotionally, physically and mentally in your life, you will invest in things that are for now, or for the future. One is fleeting, one ever lasting. For the sake of this story, one is fast fashion and the other is classic luxury.
After working in the retail industry at senior level for many years, I had the opportunity to see high-end designer garments sell for $600 in store, but I knew they only cost $11 to make. Some designers gloated about this, and others just went along…business as usual. I was disappointed to know how much money was being made from an inferior product projected as being one of luxury.
In addition to this, greedy companies who have monopolised the retail market for decades have trapped Australians in a holding pattern. It’s only been in the last five years that the internationals were permitted to land on our shores to shake up the industry.
Until that time, I had only bought my clothes from overseas. Travelling to New York with an empty suitcase and filling it up with high-quality cost-effective garments. This shopping spree would last me for the next five years and cost me a tenth of what an Australian shopping spree would.
Why so expensive in Australia? Well, add in luxury tax, international fees and commissions to the government for imports, and currency exchange, you have an overpriced inflated product that costs half the amount if you purchased in Spain or the USA. Disappointing? Yes. But retail and fashion is a business.
So to the title of this article: There is always a sale…yes there is! And today, it is perfectly acceptable to shop at an outlet store as long as you know your personal style. As you read through the pages of ‘She’s got the look’, you will find a common theme about personal style. And if you are ready for the life changing exercise of gaining a personal style evaluation, then do let us know!