How fru­gal fash­ion­istas can stay on trend

The Times Herald (Norristown, PA) - - BUSINESS - By Court­ney Jes­persen

Nowa­days, it’s not just celebri­ties who wear high-end cloth­ing and ac­ces­sories. The in­flu­encers fill­ing your so­cial me­dia feed likely wear them, too.

Mil­len­ni­als love buy­ing lux­ury names, ac­cord­ing to Thomai Ser­dari, aca­demic direc­tor of the Fash­ion & Lux­ury MBA at NYU Stern School of Busi­ness and brand strate­gist at Brand(x)Lux.

Some younger peo­ple are en­vi­ron­men­tally or so­cially conscious and in­vest in higher-end la­bels, buy­ing one qual­ity item that lasts for years or spend­ing more money for a brand with a mis­sion they be­lieve in. Oth­ers sim­ply want to treat them­selves to a pre­mium hand­bag, watch or pair of shoes ev­ery once in a while.

“They like to be seen and they like to be pho­tographed on In­sta­gram

car­ry­ing all the big names,” Ser­dari says. “Chanel, Louis Vuit­ton, Prada and all these lux­ury brands.”

Here are a few ways to save money on prod­ucts from some of the most sought-af­ter la­bels. These tips can be ap­plied to dif­fer­ent lev­els of brand pres­tige and price points.

Shop the se­condary mar­ket

Per­haps your best shot at sav­ings is in the se­condary mar­ket.

The RealReal is a mar­ket­place for con­signed lux­ury goods, where you can get some items for a frac­tion of their re­tail price, ac­cord­ing to Sasha Skoda, head of womens at The RealReal.

“If you were to pur­chase a cur­rent sea­son Gucci sneaker, they’re prob­a­bly go­ing to be priced pretty close to re­tail be­cause they’re so in-de­mand,” Skoda says. “But if you were to pur­chase maybe a past sea­son Tory Burch dress, you could po­ten­tially get it for up to 90% off the orig­i­nal re­tail price.”

There are other places to shop for these types of sav­ings, too. But if you’re not shop­ping at a trusted es­tab­lish­ment, you could be vul­ner­a­ble to phony goods.

“The more brand aware­ness that ex­ists about a spe­cific brand, the more peo­ple try to coun­ter­feit the prod­uct,” Ser­dari says.

Stay safe by stick­ing to rep­utable sell­ers. The RealReal, for ex­am­ple, has a team of ex­perts that au­then­ti­cates the items it sells. On the other hand, snag­ging what looks like a low­priced Prada tote listed by a seller you don’t rec­og­nize on eBay can be much riskier.

Check out the out­let

Out­let stores, where brands sell their prod­ucts straight to con­sumers, can also be sources of sav­ings, but they likely won’t of­fer the same items you would see from the brand else­where.

Ser­dari says prod­ucts are of­ten man­u­fac­tured specif­i­cally for an out­let store. They’ll usu­ally be the same qual­ity but not the cur­rent col­lec­tion from the brand. De­spite this down­side, out­lets are still a good op­tion if you want the so­cial recog­ni­tion and logo of a la­bel without pay­ing as much for it.

Scout out sev­eral places

Do your due dili­gence by scop­ing out prod­ucts in per­son (when it’s safe to do so) and ex­plor­ing

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