What do Jason Wu, Missoni, Phillip Lim, Narcisco Rodriguez, Marchesa, and Prabal Gurung have in common? These designers have been involved in major fashion collaborations with discount retailers across America. This is where runway meets real life. Couture and haute fashion designers have found a huge fan base in the regular woman. She wants trends and cutting edge details, but craves the price point that stretches a budget further. $1100 jackets just don’t work in a lean economy, despite being very beautiful to look at. So, mass market made some strategic choices with fashion’s largest and greatest names to add glamour to the lineup. These capsule collections can often be pricey at the start of the launch.
Fashion collaborations are also in limited supply, as these designers produce capsule collections for a limited time. This builds exclusivity and the ability to have more of a designer flair mass market. After all, couture items are often in limited amounts because only so many were produced and only the lucky client will get to own one. Mass market allows women to own the coveted designer pieces at fractions of the cost. There are times that these special buys are put on sale.
How does someone get the very best deal on fashion collaborations? First, the customer should know what stores carry these labels and for how long they should last in the store. These garments are usually in the very front of the department and have major advertisements and signs. Watch the web to see what the launch dates are. There are commercials that indicate these dates. The launch date is typically crazy and the customer that isn’t as price conscious yet highly label conscious will come in droves and wait in lines to find the ideal dress or item that was heavily advertised on television or magazines. One may recall the Missoni launch at Target. That was a really huge turnout and it even crashed the website.
As one looks for that label, keep in mind that discounts are taken only after the item has either run its course with the schedule featured time or has very low interest level in each store. These markdowns are initially subtle, with tags being slashed to perhaps 25-30% off the retail. One exception as of recent was the Neiman Marcus collabo with Target; this launch was heavily hyped with designers like Diane von Furstenburg, Marc Jacobs, Rag and Bone, and Marchesa. The products didn’t sell as quickly as anticipated, so the Christmas gift ideas went on clearance at a quick pace. I was fortunate enough to get the Brian Atwood studded opera length gloves at 60% off.
Watch the clearance departments in each store for markdowns. These items can be found interspersed with other reductions. Sizes may be at a premium at a clearance stage, so look closely for items that are collection related. It may necessitate traveling to a store in a different location to find sizes. Also, many collaborations include shoes and accessories, so look in these departments for clearances.
Online shopping for collaborations can be more difficult, as the warehouse may give out of certain items before store level. It may be advisable to find the perfect look online(color preference, cut, style) and take this to the store for price and item comparison. Sometimes it is hard to find things online because of the sheer popularity of the collaboration at the initial launch date and many of these items are limited editions and will not be made again. Patience and a willingness to search each rack in the clearance department is required to discover these finds.
Fashion collaborations are the latest way that high fashion designers have connected to the real beauty woman. Every size from 2-14 is represented and there are no VIP sections. Accessible and price conscious, mass market brings style along with convenience. Find your fashion forward collaboration look and score a major bargain.