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That’s Fashion, Sweetie: What do I buy? And with what money?

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It’s hard sometimes when you are in transition between brands or only want to buy one item, and when in doubt, collaborations are the perfect compromise. Bigger brands this year have been pushing collaborations. One of the biggest collabs in the luxury market is Jacquemus x Nike, which shut down Jacquemus’ site and created warehouse and shipping problems, and as of Aug. 25, Levi’s x GUIZIO.  Fashion

Collaborations also tend to be more cost-efficient, especially when it comes to luxury brands working with “regular” apparel brands. For example, with Fendi x SKIMS, although $120 for a bodysuit seems arbitrary when considering Fendi’s luxury prices and the fact that SKIMS bodysuits often retail for $60, for a collaboration, it’s a fantastic deal.

Yet, there are other brands that seize this opportunity to increase their prices to match the status of the more affluent partner.

This is not news — we all are aware of this when browsing brands’ socials. So then why am I bringing this up?

Because The Business of Fashion reported that large apparel companies such as Walmart, Target, Victoria’s Secret, Urban Outfitters and Kohl’s  had to offer deep discounts due to a cutback in spending from their customers.

Part of this comes from  consumer preference for deals and their willingness to pay for items. Whether this means they are entering stores with a budget in mind or are deciding between options, personally, unless I am in LOVE with one item over the other, I’ll often choose the cheaper and more cost-efficient option. And, almost everyone would rather spend $50 on three items instead of one.

Simultaneously, what I’ve noticed is a change in what people are wearing in my demographic. While brands like UO and VS were the major companies in the world during my adolescent years, as I’ve gotten older, I have been straying away. My age group is getting older, and as a result, companies that have passed their prime are losing us in lieu of professional attire and capsule wardrobes.

This isn’t solely because we’ve all discovered Pinterest, Aritzia and Matilda Djerf; we’re simply entering adulthood and the professional world, and in many traditional business settings, we can’t wear tube tops and parachute pants to give a presentation on quarterly sales reports or cybersecurity breaches. And, facing the beginning of paying our first month’s rent, understanding taxes and our first call to AAA, I, too, would rather build a capsule collection I could mix and match to save money for the scary unknowns of the future.

Still, Margiela has created a new pair of shoes with Reebok, DIOR by BIRKENSTOCK has released a  $1,100 pair, and Adidas has just given us a preview of its collection with Thebe Magugu.

So, do we “treat ourselves” every once in a while to a collaboration of our dreams as a way to be cost efficient? Or should we turn our backs once and for all on our younger days of begging our parents for overpriced necklaces and skirts?

With a pullback on spending, could this be an attempt for high(-er) end and luxury brands to prove their status again? Or is it their slow transition to more affordable prices in an attempt to gain more customers amidst the beginnings of global economic decline?

What does this mean for our newly rebirthed trend cycle? And how does this affect the role of influencers whose job is to stay “on-trend?”

I don’t have the answers; I am merely a 19-year-old fashion enthusiast. But maybe you do! Take this in, digest it and let me

know what you think.

Hadyn Phillips is a sophomore writing about fashion in the 21st century, specifically spotlighting new trends and popular controversy. Her column, “That’s Fashion, Sweetie,” typically runs every other Monday.

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