MY EXPERIENCE ON HOW TO ‘SHOP SMART’. I have realised that a lot of my friends are either interning or working at fashion houses which means that they have certain perks that most fashion- obsessed people would envy. Even corporate discounts allow 10%- 20% off at most high street stores. I would check with your connections about their company policies, but a lot of places are quite relaxed about letting their employees buy gifts for their friends.
I know that places like Burberry have 40% off for staff, and their sample sales are invite- only but take off up to 90%. Christian Louboutin have an invite- only sale of 40% off, Â and net-a-porter.com has something in the region of 50% for employees. I have been to Christopher Kane (they gave out free t-shirts once), Nicholas Kirkwood (shoes forÂ Â£100!),Â Erdem, Dolce and Gabbana, McQueen (chiffon white floor- length gown forÂ Â£99 anyone?) and they have incredible reductions. I think this is the way to go if you are on a budget, your size constantly fluctuates or you want to ‘shop smart’.
People I know that have interned at the HQ’s of certain brands also know the ‘real worth’ of some of these items. So if you think you have seen something similar in a market in Asia for significantly less, perhaps that piece is not worth payingÂ Â£300, even after 50% off. Personally I have been inside fashion PR offices and that little price tag that they hang there for fashion buyers reveal just how high some department stores mark up their goods. Of course this is normal for profit and nothing new. However as these wholesale prices are inaccessible to normal shoppers, it is always worth waiting for sales which somewhat equalizes the buyer’s price from the retail price.
Those that know their style well might do better aesthetically, financially and space- wise to focus on a curated wardrobe. I think bloggers like Chicmuse do this well, she reuses many pieces but it is never repetitive, and in fact I always associate Prada satin platforms with her style.
Sample sale seasons occur roughly around twice annually in London, in November and late April- May, so it is worth investing. At least for me, impulse shopping throughout the year often leaves me with odd pieces that I end up giving away a few months later. Divorcing old clothes is just too expensive and messy when things are said like, ‘you were always too big for me anyway’.
UPDATE– Dover Street Market sale last day 13/05/2012 70% Comme des Garcons and 75% off all other brands (YSL, Lanvin, Proenza Schouler)
UPDATE #2– Christopher Kane 2012 Mercer Street 31st May, Alexander McQueen 29th- 1st May Clerkenwell Road, East London
Also search on TimeOut for See by Chloe, True Religion etc.