Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Quality vs. Price: The Future of Consumption

One of the interesting trends over my 20 years in fashion is the rate of the cycle between the popularity of a particular vintage item within my customer group of designers and Japanese and the time lag before the same remade items become hugely popular in North American fashion markets. Vintage trends have always been 2 years ahead of the North American Street.
This year Red Wings et al have become the hot boot trend in new footwear. What is fascinating to me is the way that Red wings, bluntstones and other boot companies have produced a reasonably priced replica vintage boot. The irony is, they are replicating their own, better made higher quality original boots. This begs a question, what is the difference between a 140 dollar pair of boots and a 600 dollar pair of boots. I can tell you while slight, to get to the kind of sewing, hand cutting and leather in a 600 dollar or more pair of boots you need to have the care and respect that went into boot making 50 or more years ago. Hand made boots were made to last for years because one pair might be the only pair you owned. On that note, after watching Obama's opening notes on the new global era, isn't responsible shopping about buying one good thing (expensively) and keeping it for a long while. Isn't that why I love vintage, if you make it right once its good for a long, long, long time!