Category Archives: Women’s Fashion

Until We Meet Again…

FullSizeRender

I’ve been saying it for a long time, but I suppose my voice got quieter about it as the decades passed. As I prepare to close Louis I want to make sure you know I that have always felt like it was a privilege to have the opportunity to express myself in the way that I have for all of these years. You have all given me the freedom to evolve, and ultimately create Louis for you.

Besides my role as a business owner I have always viewed myself, and my true function at Louis, as an interpreter of style. I made it my life’s work to go out into the world to see what I could find, interpret it, and bring it back to the city we all call home. When I reflect on the legacy of Louis I understand that my father, and my grandfather, and even my great-grandfather Louis, who made his interpretations though previously worn clothing, did it in much of the same way. I’m grateful that we’ve had a devout, supportive audience for nearly 85 years.

While I’m curious about what my future will look like without Louis in it, it’s no secret that my biggest fear is that other stores like Louis will all but disappear. Big business is taking over and I

worry that innovative minds won’t be given the opportunity to do what we did, and that people won’t have the ability to experience anything quite as magical as Louis has been throughout the years.

I talk often about evolution and appreciation, and while sometimes I feel like both have nearly been lost on ecommerce and big box superstores, I trust that someday they will come back. And I believe Louis will be there when they do, for the next generation.

**

I must take this opportunity to thank all of the amazing sales consultants who have shared their talents with all of us for so long, including Arthur Jordan, who has been a part of our family for 48 years. I’m not sure where he’ll land yet, but when he does…make sure you find him. I’m proud to have had the best in the business by my side year after year. There is not another group of people in the city as devoted to their mission as those who have walked the floor at Louis throughout the years. I have seen them work tirelessly with their clients to make sure each and every one of them walked out of Louis satisfied.

I also need to thank the other members of the staff that stayed behind-the-scenes with me and did everything in their power to make sure Louis was the best experience around. I don’t know what I would have done with out you.
In my years at Louis we have pioneered some of the top designers, past and present. It was a pleasure to bring you Public School and Tim Coppens, Greg Lauren and Simone Rocha, Rosie Assoulin and Rosanna Getty, to name a few. I will miss their love for their craft and the energy they brought to my travels.

I’ll miss my incredible vendors including my dear friend Mossimo Bizziocchi, and of course I will miss lunch at Sam’s. But most of all I’ll miss all of you…our loyal customers.

Thank you for patronizing Louis since 1930.

Until we meet again…

-Debi

Keeping Up With Kendall Jenner (And Her 16 Million Instagram Followers)

Forget about Keeping up with the Kardashians, how on earth will we ever keep up with Kendall?

On November 21st the New York Times published a rather lengthy article about Kendall Jenner – daughter of Kris, sister of Kim, and sister-in-law of Kanye – and the new face of legendary beauty industry empire Estée Lauder. This coveted contract has been in the possession of several talented actresses and supermodels in years past, but now…they are handing it over to Kendall.

Forgive the hint of sarcasm here, but I, like a lot of you, can’t seem to quite put my finger on why this family, and this sister in particular is deserving of any such coveted honors. Is it because she’s a leader in fashion and beauty? Is she a style icon in the industry? Has she has earned the spot by working her way up in the fiercely competitive world of modeling?

It turns out the answer is none of the above. It’s widely reported that she got the coveted contract because she has more social media followers than all of us combined, and this is her reward.

Foregoing the route of traditional publicity driven press releases, Vogue magazine broke the news of the contract on their website (their headline read “Kendall Jenner Social-Media Sensation Turned Beauty Star), and the New York Times reported that Kendall (she is trying to drop the “Jenner”) was encouraged to spread the word on her own social channels, and boy did she ever!

Her Instagram announcement post was “liked” more than one million – Yes ONE MILLION – times. The rest of her social media stats are also staggering. Believe it or not, she has 16 MILLION Instagram followers, 9.1 MILLION Twitter followers, and 7.3 MILLION likes on Facebook.

And I’m back to asking myself, WHY?

Why is this generation okay with famous people who are only famous because of the social media followers they have that made them famous? Is this Kendall Jenner’s credibility, and is this the new standard for credibility? Does it mean your fashionable because you have 9.1 Twitter followers?

I’ve addressed it before, but where have all the icons gone? Are you an icon because you have followers or because you truly have a sense of style and walk out the door looking sensational.

I don’t know about you, but I kind of liked it when the collective standard was a lot higher.

Some of you may be saying, “Oh Debi, you just don’t get it,” but I really do. It’s just difficult for me to understand that as a style icon, Kendall doesn’t have style – she has “followers,” and apparently that’s all you need…and what they say goes.

All of this brings me back to one last thought on Black Friday. As I wrote in my blog last week, Black Friday has become a manufactured holiday that maintains little to no real value. Vendors manufacture goods for this sales event to make the consumer think they are getting a deal. I was listening to NPR last weekend when they exposed that the retail giants don’t even change their Black Friday ads from year to year anymore. They simply continue to manufacture the same sub-standard products every season in an effort to dumb down anything the consumer has come to expect. Judging by the lines of people camped out in front of their stores for days and even weeks on end – it seems they have succeeded. They’re saving money and you are getting a deal. Does that sound right?

It makes me wonder, is Estée Lauder getting a “deal” with Kendall Jenner? Has her worth as their spokesperson been manufactured by her followers, so much so that the consumer thinks they’re getting what they want?

It begs the question, does the sheer amount of her followers justify the rest of us giving up standards that have merit, for something that really has none?

Is Kendall Jenner all that we can afford?

kendallpicstitch

Meanwhile, in Paris…

Each season I board a plane to Paris and expect to find some inspiration when I land. I attend shows and visit showrooms; I talk to other businesswomen and men; I meet with designers and exchange ideas with magazine editors…all in an effort to find and bring new ideas and inspiration back to Boston.

I don’t want to sound like a curmudgeon, but as my trip came to a close last week and I found myself ready to come home, I realized that overall, I wasn’t so inspired.

Actually, I’m quite happy with what I bought while I was there, and I had no problem committing to the designers and ideas that I did, but I’m glad I went into it with a definitive point of view – because when people walk into the major department stores in spring, I don’t know if they’ll be able to find one. Sure, you’ll see the trends – but inspiration? I’m not so sure.

I really enjoyed what designers like Haider Ackermann, Jonathan Saunders, Victoria Beckham, and Roland Mouret had to say, but beyond that most everything else smelled quite unauthentic. It seemed the creative air was sucked out of the city in some odd way. Paris has always been about the artistry, but more and more it’s become about going “global,” and the art is getting lost.

I understand that the name of the game is the bottom line, but we can’t forget that ingenuity has paved the road to the bottom line for many incredible designers throughout the ages. There is no question that fashion is losing its edge and becoming too commercialized overall. Authenticity is becoming lost and not only is it affecting the subconscious behaviors of consumers, it’s taking an evident toll on the industry itself.

One of the last shows of Fashion Week was Chanel. Karl Lagarfeld transformed the Grand Palais into a Paris Boulevard and it seemed, a feminist protest. Models strutted together in a large group, shouting with and without megaphones, carrying posters to protest…I don’t know what, or more importantly perhaps, why. Was it a protest of fashion? Quite honestly it left me feeling confused, not inspired.

It seemed there was a sense of anti-fashion off of the runway as well. I couldn’t help but notice the fashion bloggers who are usually very well dressed were a bit more casual in Paris. I saw a lot of boy jeans and white shirts and man-style shoes, indicating that none of them wanted to fall into fashion? I got the sense that Tommy Ton didn’t know what or who to shoot because everyone was dressed so similarly. Nary a Christian Louboutin heel or Céline bag could be found. The tone was definitely toned down and it felt unsettling to me that people were holding back.

Other unsettling news came via WWD where I learned that New York would be adding five new 250k square foot department stores to the borough of Manhattan. Why? So they can sell everything on sale? So the conglomerates that own a great deal of the fashion space can continue to seek a dominant space in the market? At what price?

Quite often I feel like Vanessa Freidman, Fashion Director and Chief Fashion Critic of the New York Times, is one of the only other people who sees what I see, and is willing to talk about it. If you read her articles it’s clear she wants to know what the purpose is of fashion these days, and why the industry is behaving as it is. What’s going on and what’s it really all about? Do we need another paparazzi picture of Kim and Kanye arriving late to a fashion show?

Unfortunately, my need for authenticity and integrity wasn’t quite satiated this season. It seemed the designers wanted to say or demand something, but they didn’t quite know what it was – and it’s for this reason that the reaction of the industry to build more toward dominance seems quite counterproductive at this time.

My hope is that the industry starts to see and dismantle the hamster wheel they’ve built for consumers to build an appetite with, and instead find ways to encourage consumption that has some meaning behind it. Find a way to encourage originality and authenticity, and understand that people want to devour that even more.

Meanwhile…I’m walking around the city streets of Paris wearing pieces that I brought from Boston. Pieces from Louis, past and present – all mixed up but with a distinct point of view. People were stopping me, asking me how I put things together – finally something to talking about!

…and so I ask, do you really care where Kim and Kanye are today?

Haider Ackermann

Haider Ackermann

Jonathan Saunders

Jonathan Saunders

Victoria Beckham

Victoria Beckham

Roland Mouret

Roland Mouret

(all images: style.com)

No Categories. No Repeats. No Hesitations.

I suppose it makes it easier for everyone when fashion and fabric are separated into categories. And it’s probably safe to assume that when the typical consumer walks into a department store, large or small, it’s easier to ask where the silk blouses are so both they, and the sales person, will know exactly what the shopper is referring to.

But to be honest with you I’m beginning to feel like the “category” has seen its day, and that day is passing – at Louis anyway.
Right now, when you walk into Louis, you’ll find carefully curated pieces that don’t fall absentmindedly into any particular category, and that’s just the way I wanted it. Designers including SUNO, GOAT and Proenza Schouler have all created spectacular garments in matching and/or coordinating fabric that ironically make them some of the most versatile pieces you’ll find for the Fall 2014 season. While pants are pants, and skirts are skirts, and dresses are dresses – what goes along with them are not tops, blouses, or jackets. Instead they are pieces that compel you to discover how you want to embrace and incorporate them into your life. Wear them together or wear them apart – they are stunning, and they are going to allow you to really own your individuality.

The other half of the affair I’m having with fashion this fall has arrived in the exploration of innovative fabrication. From GOAT’s denim wool crepe fabric, to Proenza’s viscose knits and razored leather and wool, to Otto’s ultrasuede, to Simone Rocha, Alice Roi, Jonathan Simkhai, and Jacquemus’ bold and beautiful use of neoprene, technology has gone further than it ever has and is ultimately answering the needs of a generation.

Neoprene? Yes. Neoprene. Invented by DuPont scientists in 1930, it thrills me to no end that designers have taken hold and are using it for something other than what it was originally made for – as they should! The fabric has incredible flexibility, provides stunning shape and volume, and keeps you warm without adding any additional weight.

Even after all this time that I’ve been in the business, I still find a fashion season like this to be incredible. Overflowing with innovation that gives us all an opportunity to honor those who refuse to fit into a category and purposefully create things that should be seen and touched and APPRECIATED.

For those who find satisfaction in discovery…I look forward to meeting the women who are bold enough to wear these looks this season.

IMG_2984

GOAT

IMG_3013

SUNO / Proenza Schouler Shoes

IMG_3019

Jacquesmus / Robert Clergerie Shoes

IMG_3030

Proenza Schouler / Paul Andrew Shoes

Thomas Tait – He Belongs To The World Now

If you’re into design – and if you’re reading this I know that you are – you already know that Canadian-born, London-trained designer Thomas Tait won the Inaugural LVMH Young Fashion Designer Prize yesterday.

What you may not know is that I literally searched for and found Thomas Tait when he was finishing his MA at Central Saint Martins in London way back in 2010. Shortly after he won the Dorchester Collection fashion prize that year I saw his work in an editorial spread in some British fashion publication. I sent my assistant on a wild chase, and of course she found him, and we met for the first time in his publicist’s office.

If memory serves, he had 10 pieces in his first collection, and in January of 2011 I placed my order for fall. After that we were the only store in the US to carry his line – for at least two seasons. Since that time, WWD is reporting that Tait has found a home in only 10 specialty stores…and that number still includes LOUiS!

When I reflect on what it was about Thomas that made me fall for his work, I know it was because he fulfilled my never-ending quest to find something new. I’m never interested in regurgitation, but I am always interested in innovation that moves fashion forward. And that is what he is doing! Also, I had done a lot of work with Jil Sander in the 90’s and Thomas’s minimalist approach and astute attention to the detail of his craft reminded me so much of her. If you’ve ever seen a piece from any of his collections you know that nothing he creates leaves the factory until the garment is absolutely perfect, inside and out. These are not qualities you can learn necessarily, they are qualities you are born with.

Yesterday, after hearing the news, I was thrilled to be able to send him a text message to congratulate him and let him know how proud I was of him and all that he has now accomplished. His endearing response of, “I can’t wait to tell you all about it,” left me feeling, well…special.

Then I got this text from an old friend I approached about investing in Thomas Tait years ago:

“I should have listened to you.”

That was all it said.

And this is where things become bittersweet for me because I know that Thomas Tait belongs to the world now. My hope is that the industry will do their job well and continue to elevate him, with respect, to exactly where he should be.

Of the 11 finalists in the LVMH New Designer competition, Louis carries 8 of them; so now there are 7 other designers, including Suno, Simon Porte Jacquemus, Tim Coppens, and Simone Rocha, yet to be discovered at 60 Northern Ave. Are you going to wait for LVMH to tell you how spectacular they are, or should you simply come and see so for yourself?

ttait_ss14

ttait_ss14_3

ttate_ss14_2

 

Jason Wu Fall ’14 Preview @Louis

There really are so many good things; but one of the best…about being Louis, is the relationship I have with some incredibly talented designers. And it’s because of these relationships that we are able to bring some really unique experiences to Boston season after season.

While all eyes are now on the signs of spring that alluded us for so long and are beginning to come to life right out side of our walls (or should I say magnificent windows), ours were on designer Jason Wu a few weeks ago when he brought a preview of his Fall 2014 collection to Louis.

Jason debuted his first collection in 2006, we hosted a party to celebrate him and other young American designers at the ICA in December of 2007, and by 2008 he had been nominated for the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund award and won the Fashion Group International’s Rising Star award. Also that year, Bruce Weber shot the designer for an editorial spread called “Summer Camp” in W magazine. Since that time he has certainly amassed some very well known clients, the most “famous” perhaps, being Michelle Obama.

Assuming you’ve been here and assuming you’ve been following my blog, you know that I’m currently quite excited about a new crop of designers and interesting pieces that reflect an aesthetic of urban and athletic luxury…but that’s not what I appreciate about Jason, or why he fits in so well with what we do here.

I like to call Jason Wu the “lady collection” in my mix. However, he’s really never too ladylike, and there’s an edge his designs possess that continually keep me interested.

Presenting to a rapt audience, Jason showed us some gorgeous pieces for fall. In addition to the sportswear and bias dresses in beautiful colors and fabrics he’s known for, he brought some striking dresses and bags that truly turned heads.

The collection was loved by all of course, but for me…it was really about his coats. A category that has sadly been lost to the “North Face” set who haven’t been able to slip out of their “puffers,” Jason’s coats were sexy and sophisticated and as always tailored to perfection.

So when the chill comes back (after it hopefully leaves us for good this spring), remember, you have some pretty incredible options…

Wu_1 Wu_2 Wu_3 Wu_4 Wu_5 Wu_6 Wu_7 Wu_8

Wu_2

Wu_3

Wu_4

Wu_5

Wu_6

Wu_7

Wu_8

(All images from Style.com)

One Style Does Not Fit All

Rhetoric (n.): The art of effective or persuasive speaking or writing…

There’s an evolution going on in fashion, and my hope is that you’ll take the time to find the pieces that have meaning to you, before the rhetoric of new trends are spoon-fed to you from the pages of magazines.

While those glossies have always been around, and serve a great purpose to many, it’s important to understand that most of the trends they write about are manufactured by an industry to suit the season.

In other words, it’s no secret that some women (and men for that matter) are being force-fed a “one style fits all” mentality. And clearly our society is NOT one style fits all. Not every body is meant to fit in skinny jeans, and not every breast was meant to be revealed in a skin-tight top. I understand that yoga pants are a “thing,” but there’s a time and a place. We don’t all want to see an ass wrapped in spandex while in line at the dry cleaners. (I’m sorry, but it’s true)

People seem to be spilling out of their clothing lately, and for some reason they think that’s okay.

But, it’s not.

Creating a trend to push people into buying is not the only way.  As a matter of fact some of the most exciting fashion “trends” actually originated in society, based on an authentic sign of the times.

The 70’s were a shining example. People didn’t wait for “Punk” to appear on the pages of Vogue before they sought it out. The clothing was part of a bigger, cultural movement before it became “The Punk Look.” It was completely organic before it was pursued, embraced, and ultimately devoured by a generation starved for something unique and different.

Another obvious example was “Deconstruction,” or “Grunge.” The movement, initially, had nothing to do with fashion, but everything to do with music and culture and a severe socioeconomic backlash that was sweeping the world.

Speaking of sweeping the world…have you met the Millennials? They’re young, influential, and sitting in various positions on the current socioeconomic pyramid: Some have more money than they know what to do with (Yummies), and others can’t seem to find a job…even with a very expensive University degree in their pocket. But regardless of their position they’re demanding and consuming everything, even (sadly) the skin-tight trends.

But it’s also because of this that the world seems to be on the brink of real change. And it’s important to notice again how THIS is what can propel people, and therefore fashion, forward.

So turn off your smart phones, shut your magazines, and take to the streets. If you do you’ll see that a compelling mixture of volume, athletic luxury and urban flavor now embodies an evolution of fashion design that hasn’t really been done before.

Today, the architecture of clothing has taken center stage. “Volume,” in fashion, might sound intimidating, but it’s not. Volume, done correctly, will enable you to feel comfortable, but look interesting and impeccable. It’s not about larger sizes or cuts of clothing, it’s about moving fabric away from the body. It’s about evoking a bit of mystery. And in this world, obsessed with fast and furious consumption, where almost nothing is sacred, mystery can be a very good thing.

Additionally, athletic influence in fashion has become a legitimate game changer. Where blazers and jeans and yoga pants held court, athletic influenced jackets, shorts and pants are taking over. Pieces are being created to be comfortable, fashionable, acceptable, and ultimately coveted.

And all of this is reflected in an urban sensibility that has been woven so prevalently into our society today: In life, and music, and fashion…on the streets of New York and Paris and Milan.

What you find in the streets is not rhetoric…it’s life.

Haus Alkire jacket and skirt, Proenza Schouler top, Balenciaga sneaker

Haus Alkire jacket and skirt, Proenza Schouler top, Balenciaga sneaker

Haider Ackermann jacket, Proenza Schouler pant, Robert Clergerie shoe

Haider Ackermann jacket, Proenza Schouler pant, Robert Clergerie shoe

Bogden top, Long Journey pant, Roland Mouret shoe

Bogden top, Long Journey pant, Roland Mouret shoe

Piece d'Anarchive shorts and sweater, Balenciaga sneakers

Piece d’Anarchive shorts and sweater, Balenciaga sneakers

 

 

 

Although it’s a Season of Black and White, Here is a Word About Color

Three Cheers for Color and Pattern

So I can tell you right now by the time the collections are complete in the stores for Spring/Summer everything will look black and white. After two springs of “color, color, color” EVERYONE went back to black and white. But by April the stores will look so boring and unappealing consumers will be begging for some color.  As a buyer you choose from what is in front of you. But as I have been telling you for many years there has been this consensus before the shows even start and the media and stores are forced into a storyline. “These are the TRENDS”. If you are not careful as a buyer you might fall into this trap. But I find these trends leave little to the imagination of the consumers, making the consumers feel like mindless idots who can’t dress themselves without a STAR in a magazine showing them the way.

I am so excited about the merchandise in the store right now. It’s design at its’ best; modern, fresh and yes colorful. We will have our share of black and white, but why does everything have to be all or nothing? Here are some examples….

The Mix of Colors in this Dress are So Special!

Though the “trend ” for printed trousers started a few seasons ago, I think some designers are mastering the art of partnering patterns with high tech fabrics.

The Print on these Trousers Really Need to Be Seen in Person

Mix and Match is Half the Fun

One last photo of a cute little dress from Suno…nothing loud or on TREND just a cute little dress from Suno that you would love to wear all summer.

Stretch Silk and So Easy to Wear

After All That Movement Where is The Real Fashion?

I just got back from Paris where the much anticipated shows from Dior and St Laurent produced a wild media frenzy for collections that were …um …OK. Yet again the media created controversy for the big houses with tons of copy and air time, and I am pretty sure the luxury consumer could care very little about the outcome . My take on these shows was that they were derivative of other designers work and the press gave the credit to these mega brands. Let’s start with St Laurent. The good news about the St Laurent show is that Mr. Slimane used the foundation of St Laurents original looks from the 70’s for his 2013 show.

St Laurent in the 70's

Now St Laurent 2013

St Laurent 2013

 Rachel Zoe’s has always been accused of copying St Laurent (but updating the fit). Here are pictures of her past shows and advertisements….

A Rachel Zoe Ad

From a Rachel Zoe Fashion Show

Confused? So was I….what was all the fuss about? Another show, much anticipated,was the return of Jil Sander, back to her namesake (which she sold for $250 million) . Granted Jil is still getting her feet back into the business at age 68. Her show was OK….good attempt…lots of press and lots of talk about it….But the Marni show was Jil Sander at her finest (only not designed by Jil) Marni has been exploring a new version of Minimalism for a long time but the press only talks about the big advertising accounts which is not Marni. If they do talk about Marni it’s usually a small blurb about her prints not her architecture. Who do you think did Jil better?

Jil Sander S/S 2013

Jil Sander S/S 2013

Or Marni?

Marni S/S 2013

Marni S/S 2013

 

Raf Simons did a pretty good job for his first Dior Show…Over 50% of the show was decent. The press LOVED it which was over the top but of course Dior is a BIG advertiser. Here are a few shots of that show.

Dior S/S 2013

Dior S/S 2013

What’s the point of this blog? Fashion has so many dimensions and unfortunately  the public only gets about 15% of the information. Plus if advertisers are the only people that the press talks about how can anyone grow in this business? Same old houses, same old designers….no credit for the real new and different….this bothers me.

How Did We Get Here?

Every day I keep hearing the question “how did we get here?”. The only answer I can come up with is; “because we don’t want to pay for anything”. How did we manage to ship all our jobs overseas?….because we didn’t want to pay for anything. “How did we get into this healthcare mess?” ….because we didn’t want to pay for it (and then some of us ended paying too much for it)…. How is it you can’t go into a store anymore to see TV screens and only a few manufacturers still make them?…Because no one wanted to pay for them…so you can only choose from 3 adaquate manufacturers. Don’t get me wrong we WANT all these things….even though most people can’t distinguish the difference between good and bad quality….we just don’t want to pay a lot for anything. We want the big DISCOUNT of life….no matter what. That’s what drives the American consumer and it’s no secret that everyone takes advantage of that fact to give us what we want…one big DISCOUNT…because somehow we feel entilted to it!

Please read this article I ran across the other day.

The new dynamic: Off-price is not for the faint of heart

May 1, 2012 By Karen Alberg Grossman

 “What’s an off-price store anyway?” asks David Lapidos, EVP of the OffPrice Show, alluding to the extent of discounting and promotional activity in conventional stores. “Off-price stores come here to do the bulk of their buying; regular stores come to improve their margins.”

According to Lapidos, the show’s exhibitor base these days is half manufacturers and importers, half jobbers. “Jobbers can no longer exist on just clearance merchandise since few manufacturers are overcutting or taking risks. Consequently, several have developed their own lines for department stores that they also show here; others have goods made specifically for this show.”

Tom Joyce of Building 19 is a retail expert in off-price. His stores, based inMassachusetts, are famous for value product and wonderfully quirky advertising. As he explains, “It takes expertise and finesse to get good brands at good prices, especially in a tight market. There are no longer large quantities available domestically, so jobbers are going overseas. What’s more, it’s a gentleman’s business: if a jobber’s stuck with something, you help him out and then next time around, he’ll help you. With the right relationships, you can lock up exclusives, especially from department store shelf pulls. So I can sell a gorgeous designer name sweater at $9.99—maybe it’s Pantone 423 vs. 422, but who cares? Having last year’s goods is less of a factor in men’s.”

According to Joyce, great offerings are finite. “There are only limited amounts of most off-price product; when it’s gone; it’s gone. And the biggest change over the last few years is that as stores and manufacturers reduce inventories to accelerate turn, availability of the most desirable goods has diminished.”

Another issue, he explains, are the growing middle classes inChina,Indiaand other Asian countries. “Many opportunities of the past are staying in local markets overseas. If factories can sell goods in their own country, they don’t have to use quota or pay duty.”

Joyce cites another issue: chains (Bealls, National Stores, etc.) using larger quantities so that one call from a vendor could be 12,000 units—the end of that style if the chain buys it. “Several of my key vendors sold out of half their offerings by the end of the second day of the show,” he explains.

As regular-price department and specialty stores look to increase margins, off-price buys are an increasingly important part of their strategy. Concludes Joyce, “If they buy a $40 MSRP item for $5 (which means out the door at $17.99 to $19.99), they can special sale these goods at $14.99 and still triple their money. So while it’s hard to forecast and there are many frustrating variables, off-price remains a dynamic and viable business.”

Well there you have it….a whole industry built on the idea that it really doesn’t matter what it is, if it’s cheap and you can take advantage of the cheap consumer it’s on the shelves of your local stores and internet sights…..Be careful what you wish for, you’ll destroy the value of what you already have. (I sound like a fortune cookie)