"just because I like it" production + interview.

My grandmother is a tailor. When I asked her why she makes clothes always by herself, she cut it short answering: "just because I like it" -.-

After that episode I decided to search for someone else who makes clothes by itself (and wants to talk more about it). I found Martina, a girl who's studying Fashion in Florence. Not always, but often she makes some clothes by herself. Here below her quick interview.

Why do you make clothes on your own?
Principally for school. I practice and make lots of pieces to improve my passion for fashion. Recently I started to make clothes also for me: I think it's funny wearing something original, that nobody else has got or can find in stores.

As you produce clothes, do you think that prices of fashion items are too high nowadays?
Absolutely yes. I buy tissues and all the materials I need in the haberdashery and it's not so cheap but neither expensive. What I mean is that if you make, for example, a cotton t-shirt all by yourself you will spend more of your energy but surely less than 20,30,50,100 euros (it depends on the brand) that a t-shirt costs. 

Where or from who do you take your inspiration?
I follow lots of fashion blogs and read lots of fashion magazines. I always pay attention to the latest fashion news and I try to redesign my own one "copy" or even better "recustomize" or restyle it. Often I also draw clothes and dresses which come directly from my mind.


Self-made production.

As we are talking about low-cost fashion, I can't help mentioning the one we can make by ourselves: self-made production includes all the items that are made by oneself or the old-fashioned clothes that we can renewed with some little tricks.
Even if you're not a professional tailor you can customize or redesign old items of clothing, making them more original and personal. 

Add some details on an old jacket.

Cut an old pair of jeans.

Restyle a basic shirt.

Reinvent a man's shirt.

Play with tissues and old clothes, have fun! ;)


Collaboration with luxury brands.

In the past few years we have seen a quite huge number of collaborations between luxury brands and low-cost brands.
If we think about the implications, we can observe three main reasons behind collaborating with a mass market brands:

-Good publicity for the brand in the mainstream market to attract potential customers that already have the funds to purchase high-end brand items but did not notice the brand before;
-Giving to their customers a taste of high-end designer tailoring and styles to capture future large ticket clothing purchases of customers that want to buy upscale items once in a while;
-The majority of mass market customers would grow into the luxury brand segment as their disposable income increases with age.

Judging by past evidence of collaboration designers, it appears that high-end brands are able to retain their high-end customers and, at the same time, gaining a ton of publicity in the mass market. So it, apparently, doesn't hurt luxury brands.

Mass market brands have continued to grow and it has conditioned its customers to enter the store on a weekly basis to check for new products. Collaborations throughout the year with different designers attracts the attention of the press and retains existing customers by giving them an entirely different and exclusive product line for a limited period of time. The marketing and PR side of things, it's definitely benefiting these chains.

Collaborations with luxury brands reflects how haute-couture can be real for lots of people. Thousands of women dream about wearing a "prestigious" dress and now it is possible thanks to this amazing collaboration. By now, luxury and low cost brands are mixing together to develop the idea that wearing cheap is cool because it requires personality and have the ability to choose mix items!


Here there are some example of these collaborations.

From 2004 the democratisation of luxury operated by the big fashion brands inspires H&M: Karl Lagerfeld creates a mini collection of 10 models. The sober and elegant collection is quickly sold in the 28 stores in France.
Both has found its purpose: Karl was amused as his creations were then sold on the status of collectible pieces on specialised sites, and H&M opened the way for partnerships with the luxury. It’s the beginning of loud fast fashion collaborations with luxury fragrance, in which the partners are considering the profit without a second thought to the consequences of this "marriage".

In 2005, follows Stella McCartney. Her romantic style and her commitment to the fight in the protection of animals brings a new dimension. H&M can communicate a fashion image and simultaneously engage itself in a noble cause – 25% of the sales of the collection Stella McCartney were donated to the association of animal protection supported by the stylist. The collection was sold out in a few hours.
The H&M “bridal couple” in winter 2006 are the nonconformists Viktor & Rolf. The twins confirm their vanguard style with the theme “Coup de foudre” for the required collection. "If haute couture is fashion at its most sublime form, H&M is fashion at its most democratic one".
In 2007, glam rock and Roberto Cavalli are the new trend. Fascinating stars like Beyonce, Jennifer Lopez and Victoria Beckham, he is the perfect choice for the H&M customer who now lives in the rhythm of "luxury designer infusions become available".
In winter Comme des Garçons makes waves. Loyal to her unmistakable style, Japanese Rei Kawakubo creates an eclectic and deconstructed collection which, faithful to the tradition of the Swedish brand, is totally different from those of previous creators.
For the winter 2009 – 2010 the trends focused on accessories. Obviously, H&M invites a star for a mini collection of shoes and clothing in leather: Jimmy Choo.
Sonia Rykiel makes the clients crazy with underwear and clothes, ruining the wallets in December.
And the last one, this year, with Lanvin.

These marriages, successful and carefully planned between brands of high intake and luxury, become rapidly a technique used by competitors.

Spanish Mango launches the Milla Jovovich collection: a mini collection of 25 models in summer 2007 who does not work as it should. Milla Jovovich is also the stylist of her own brand Jovovich-Hawk and has a strong fashion image, but her name is not enough to convince the customers. Mango is reorienting its policy towards their own values, addressing themselves to the Spanish sisters Penelope and Monica Cruz for a collection limited to 25 models, distributed only 400 of its shops.
Uniqlo, the Japanese leader of casual wear, has a marriage with Jil Sanders that lasted two years. The collection is called Uniqlo+J and it’s superb, even if it is more expensive compared with H&M.
TopShop in 2007 collaborates with model Kate Moss. To take a distance from H&M, it does not choose a designer. Kate has her own style, she is a fashion icon, she represents luxury and launches trends as soon as she sets a foot outdoors. The first collection is sold immediately, but soon her models are considered expensive and lacking originality. The cooperation is reduced from six mini collections per year to only two and obviously heading towards a "divorce".
GAP flirted last year with Stella McCartney for Gap Kids and gets engaged with Valentino for the winter collection 2010 – 2011 with “basic luxury” products. Gap design edition shoes collections benefit since six seasons of the stable “marriage” with French designer Pierre Hardy.


Although the initial considerations, there are some questions which appear fully justified: do we face an excessive democratization of luxury? The notion of exclusivity becomes meaningless? Why do we pay for? For a luxury product or for a common one? Are we dealing with a fake luxury or with cheap items sold too expensive?

Stay tuned!


Summer with Calzedonia.

Calzedonia is an Italian company specialized in underwearsocks and swimsuits for men, women and childrenEvery year, in spring, the brand starts to offer a wide range of swimsuits of very good quality and peculiar for their colors and fantasies.
This year Calzedonia have prepared a special present for all its customers: 
starting from 30th April until 29th May with the purchase of one women's swimsuit (bikini or one-piece) and a second women's or men's swimsuit or a beachwear accessory (men/women) in one receipt, Calzedonia will give all its costumers a Clinians sun kit to accompany your days at the beach!

If you're summer and tanning addicted don't miss it!


A low-cost-fashioned princess.

Kate Middleton proves that to be chic is not always necessary to show off expensive griffes. In fact, she chooses a Zara dress for her first public appearance.
The neo wife of Prince William, the Duchess of Cambridge, Countess of Strathearn and Baroness of Carrickfergus has always displayed taste and style in dressing even if she buys from low-cost fashion shops. 

A part from big events, Kate Middleton prefers wearing clothes from low-cost fashion chains. It's not surprising that she has been spotted shopping for her honeymoon from Golden Point, where she bought lots of italians swimsuits.
The new Duchess of Cambridge prefers a more casual look, wearing Diesel jeans and the very simple and nice blue dress designed by Zara that you can see in the photo above.
Kate was accused of being too simple but in reality she is a great example for girls all over the world. It means that it can be fine, prestigious and nice also without expensive and luxury brands.


Stradivarius quiz.

 Can you recognize Stradivarius collections? Play the Stradivarius quiz and you can win a 90€ Stradivarius gift card!
To start playing click here.

Advertisement with famous people: a guarantee?

Is using famous people to advert low-cost fashion items a guarantee?
I think so. If a really cool, beautiful and world-wide-known person wears something which doesn't cost a fortune and achievable from everybody, this is more encouraging to "normal" people to buy it. If we get the idea that high prices not always means high quality and that you can be nice also wearing low-cost, we are more eager to buy low-cost fashion items.
Low-cost fashion brands certainly have considered this aspect and we have several examples.

Gisele Bundchen, for H&M.
 Penelope Cruz & Scarlett Johansson, for Mango.

Kate Moss, who also designed her own line for Topshop.

 and Madonna, also designer of her line for H&M.