In today's current economic condition, it's no surprise that fashion and updating the wardrobe has become less a part of the “budget” and more a part of the “wish list”. With stocks plummeting daily and layoffs teetering in the hundreds of thousands, stocking the closet hardly seems worthy enough to be a part of the budget, not to mention the guilt that follows the $250-for-one-shirt purchase made on the spur of the moment.
Well, not to fear. With the evolution of the economy, has risen the new world fashionista, also known as the "recessionista". This woman not only has the fashion sense of celebrity-stylist, Rachel Zoe, but the bargain-hunter zeal of a woman who is determined not to let a little thing like the economy get in the way of her fashion sense. She will not only look ‘of the moment’ at all times, but refuse to pay full price or even half price to look this good. Her secret? Designers at a discount.
Women, now more than ever, feel the need to leave the house fashionably dressed and confident. Finally, the fashion world has responded with an acceptable solution. New York-based Zara, for example, offers trendy tailored pieces and wardrobe basics for the business professional well under designer prices. H&M takes the idea a bit further and adds to the wardrobe classics collection a line of fashion forward pieces, (sometimes bordering on faddish), that will satisfy any young trendsetter while labeling them as part of the new “recession chic”.
“In part, the word reflects the effort of fashion and beauty publicists to spin the economic downturn as an attractive retail trend,” says Natasha Singer in the NY Times, Oct. 2008.
Because women are in a position to spend less with more value, they are able to rationalize their purchases as “necessary” rather than “optional”.
Current, top-of-the-line designers have conformed by establishing limited-time partnerships with well-known retailers recognized for their trendy, but affordable pieces. Target started out with an Isaac Mizrahi clothing line (currently a permanent collection) and has now expanded to month-long featured designers in women’s apparel, jewelry, and handbags. Some of the more popular collections include: luxury Botkier handbags, nature-inspired Dean Harris jewelry, and cult-followed Thakoon. Retailers in hot pursuit have featured such designers as: Alice & Olivia (Payless), Roberto Cavalli (H&M), and Vera Wang (Kohl’s).
The “recession chic” movement has been featured in such reputable publications as: The Times of London, the San Francisco Chronicle, and Time magazine. Recently, it has even been given its own blog site. What’s next? A Wikipedia article encouraging the masses to embrace the new “chic” of the season? Whatever the next steps are, it seems the “fashionista” will continue to evolve and embrace fashion and all that comes with it. I, for one, am excited that fashion has finally decided to acknowledge it most avid followers. Long live the “recessionista”!
For more information on the “recessionista” and how begin your new, affordably-chic lifestyle, visit: www.therecessionista.blogspot.com.