This week, the much-anticipated Maison Martin Margiela collection for H&M to hit stores. Other high-end designers to work with the retailer include Versace and Karl Lagerfeld.
Other designers have recently worked with value-based stores like Target and Kohl’s.
But it’s a horrible idea for designers to work with fast-fashion and value brands because it results in poorly-made clothes with the designer’s name attached to them, according to Eugene Rabkin, editor-in-chief of StyleZeitgeist magazine.
“Fashion,’ in the sense now being co-opted by the high street, used to mean designer fashion; that is, something made by a creator who puts care and thought into what he or she is creating. It means carefully crafted designs made with attention to detail and aesthetic sensibility,” Rabkin writes.
He is particularly disappointed by Margiela’s collaboration with H&M since the designer was considered to be more of an artist than a maker of clothes.
Making affordable clothes isn’t the problem, it’s that designers are encouraging a culture where people don’t value the things that they buy. Because the cost of clothing has gone down over the last century, people started buying trendy and disposable pieces instead of staple pieces, according to Rabkin.
Lines like Margiela’s encourage “irresponsible consumer behaviour has transformed the act of shopping into a leisure activity,” Rabkin writes.
“If you are willing to buy into this collaboration, please do, just don’t think that you are buying ‘fashion’ or a part of Margiela’s legacy — what you are buying are assembly-line knockoffs that you will discard by next year,” he writes.
Rabkin’s op-ed hits on a sentiment felt by many consumers, who are beginning to resent cheap clothing and shell out for more expensive stuff.
Read his thought-provoking piece here.
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