Devil Not Only One Wearing Prada

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Gucci, Chanel, Burberry, Dolce and Gabanna: these are the glamorous brands society has come to know as well respected designer clothing. Despite America currently struggling in one of its worst recessions in history, why are people still willing to spend hundreds, or even thousands of dollars on brand name merchandise?

A shopper strolls down the junior clothing department at Target and sees Skinny Cargo Pants priced at $21.99, but she knowingly buys an almost identical pair from True Religion at $227.00 the next day. One might think she purchases the True Religions instead solely because she wants to flaunt wearing a designer label, but Catalina Mendoza disagrees. As the manager of the Brass Plum Juniors Department at Nordstrom in Stanford Mall, she has had 3 years of experience selling brand name clothing herself. Wearing a colorful printed chiffon fall dress that just arrived in the store, paired with chic tights and 3 inch black booties, her attire marks her seriousness about working in a high-end department store. Displaying her professional attitude and clean and proficient look, Mendoza says, “It’s the quality [of the clothing] and the philosophy of the company. At the end of the day, it’s your experience in the store. It’s not only about the clothes, but the customer service you can count on.”

While some people buy merchandise just for the name, many people actually purchase them because the quality is better. The material of the clothing is less likely to rip or tear, and the stitching is proven to last years longer than a generic branded item. As Mendoza says, the customer’s experience in the store keeps them continuously buying their brand named products. If the customer bought an item in the store before and absolutely loved it, they are very likely to come back and buy another piece of clothing. Also, brand name clothing will be bought over a generic brand item if the customer service is excellent. If an employee assisted a client in picking out their new favorite shirt and were incredibly helpful in general, the customer will return buying goods from that store. The same goes if the store has a reliable return policy. Even though the item is expensive, the customer will feel more comfortable spending their money knowing they can always return it if they have second thoughts. Although Mendoza has witnessed a customer purchase an $8,000 dress at the St. John Fashion Show a couple weeks ago, she believes that the true reason buyers splurge on brand name merchandise is more for the quality of the product and the philosophy of the store, not the glamour of wearing brand name attire.





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IntrepidRose This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Aug. 30, 2011 at 10:07 am
Interesting idea, but I'm not sure it's always true. Great article.
 
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