Saturday, November 04, 2006

Waste Is "In" This Season



I Love Fashion. More definitely than the average person, and possibly more than the average fashionable person. Truth be told, I really don't have the time or the resources (or the body for that matter) to always be on the up and up, but rest assured, if I did, I would be. Having said this, there is one thing I will never in a million years or a billion dollars understand and that is how anyone can spend 10,000 dollars on a single handbag (let alone buying the newest one each season).I honestly can't imagine spending that much money on a handbag even if I really could afford it. I would hope that if I ever came into that much money that there would always be that little voice in my head, let's call it the voice of reason for funsies, that said "Hey, isn't there possibly a better use of this money?" And in the case of 10,000 dollar handbags, the answer is ALWAYS a resounding YES!!!Imagine if the few (but you'd be surprised at how many) people that could afford this uber luxury took 500 dollars out of the ten thousand to buy what I would always consider to be a very high quality and still designer handbag and then spent the remaining 9,500 dollars in any of these socially responsible ways:


--To feed x amount of starving children in the US for x amount of time
--To donate to our public school systems and largely improve them in many ways
--To create scholarships for deserving teens that couldn't otherwise afford a college education
--To donate to the habitat for humanity and fund the building of homes for the homeless
--To improve playgrounds for inner-city kids
--To improve conditions in foreign orphanages
--To buy and send medical supplies and vaccinations to third world countries

You get the general idea I'm sure. I just can't understand how anyone could spend this lavishly when there are so many that lack basic needs for living. It's almost as if the designers invented the concept because their clients were running out of things to spend their money on, you know sort of like a "Brewster's Millions" for the fashion world.

But Social responsibility aside, even if I were given one of these bags for free, I think I would sell it and buy myself and my husband a new wardrobe. Or a home gym. The other thing about this that irks me is that these are handbags--they will be tossed around, set on the ground, possibly marked by pen, and I'm sure that someone would eventually spill something on it. Not to mention that I have a very hard time even imagining that it took anywhere near that much to manufacture it thereby justifying it's price. I mean is it lined with gold leaf and diamond chunks? Does it come with a car? Does it clean your kitchen and pick up your dry cleaning? Will it entertain you when you are lonely?

Then of course is my conspiracy theory. I have this fashion theory that there are designers out there with an enormous sense of humor, and that a certain percentage of what they produce is purely to mock the die-hard fashionistas of the world --the ones that can't think for themselves without consulting vogue magazine. I developed this theory when I first saw those hideous Louis Vuitton bags with the little L's and V's and flowers printed on them (I'm sure you have seen this in one form or another, it has been done to death and there are knock-offs everywhere). I imagined that the head designer for Louis Vuitton was getting a hearty chuckle out of all the fashion drones that were actually buying this uglier-than-sin bag just because he put it out there and said it was "in." Imagine the power that these designers have over a percentage of the population.

So I think this is how it went down in the office of Ralph Lauren (one of the designers responsible for the 10,000 dollar bag fiasco):

"Ok, everyone gather around, I have a new idea. Remember that ostrich skin bag that we designed? Well we are going to raise the price from 1,000 dollars to 10,000 dollars just to see if anyone is dumb enough to buy it."

"No way would anyone be that stupid, Ralph."

"Sure they would, that's the kind of power I have over people. If I say it's hot people will buy it no matter how extravagant the price--I'll bet you 10,000 dollars."

"You're on--prepare to loose your money old man."

And we all know who won that bet.

And if you are interested in purchasing the pictured handbag, it is available for a mere 14,000 dollars on www.ralphlauren.com and apparantly it is one of their holiday favorites.

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