April 1st, 2020
On My Mind

To Shop, Or Not To Shop

Navaz Batliwalla, editor of the fab blog DisneyRollerGirl and author of my fav style guide The New Garconne: How to be a Modern Gentlewoman, addresses the question should we stop shopping? in a post today. I wholeheartedly agree with Navaz that supporting the small, independent brands is imperative to their survival. Even larger brands, like my beloved Frame co-founded by Erik Torstensson, get my support during this crisis.

Image © Frame

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BRUNELLO CUCINELLI

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Dunkled putty bonded cotton 3/4 coat

BOTTEGA VENETA

Bouclé jacket

GUCCI

1955 Horsebit grained-leather shoulder bag

BOTTEGA VENETA

A-line bouclé skirt

MARNI

Clog sandals

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Classic B-15

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Gold-plated necklace

GUCCI

1955 Horsebit grained-leather shoulder bag

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  • Owners of some the brands will have to say good bye to their audience, unfortunately or fortunately. I still buy some “brands” (need a new Barbour waxed jacket!) but try to create most of my clothes, shoes and jewelry with local artisans. I really think it’s the best support (unless it’s something unique of course, available only in certain countries or from certain brands). Take care, stay safe & healthy!

    IsabelApril 1st, 2020  10:06 AM

     
  • This is a great post! Not only did it introduce me to some independent retailers I hadn’t known about, but it talks about what we’ve all been thinking about.. Is it frivolous to buy now? What do we need? Is it our moral duty to support the merchants we Llorente and rely on. Can my husband tolerate opening another package with un-needed clothing in it ( the package opening process is a team effort and nothing escapes scrutiny, proper handling,etc. ). So I’m not buying right now ( a few sweats before the quarantine and that’s it). But I have hope for the future.! And who can’t use another cream cashmere sweater. But, maybe that’s the point. Maybe wear the ones we have. .

    Paula BApril 1st, 2020  10:19 AM

     
  • Thank you so much Preston and Navaz for addressing this severe issue. While the world is paralyzed and waiting to see what happens, small businesses like mine are hit hard and struggle to support their infrastructures, employees, manufacturers and artisans who supply them. As we are not tone deaf to what’s happening, it is difficult to promote shopping during this time, yet we need to continue in order to support – it is affected exponentially down the supply chain and beyond. Thank you both so much for spreading the word. Hope we can all learn from this and be stronger for it and get through it together.

    Kendall ConradApril 1st, 2020  11:51 AM

     
  • I think we should be concerned about the future of apparel brands we value, the same as the future of local restaurants we enjoy. I don’t think it makes sense to throw caution to the wind in terms of personal budget constraints, but if you are inclined to purchase something, don’t hold back just because you are currently self isolating and don’t need it right now. Let them know you support them and want them to be here in the future!

    AprilApril 1st, 2020  11:58 AM

     
  • What happens when a company as big as Net A Porter has to shut down its distribution centers? It may seem frivolous but also may be better to buy now while things that are not essential can actually be shipped!

    JenniferApril 1st, 2020  12:51 PM

     
  • Maybe you could post on some of the small brands, like one at a time and what you think the best of the brand offers? For example, I’m waiting to see Kendall Conrad’s Spring/Summer line of bags and jewelry….

    KathyApril 1st, 2020  4:03 PM

     
  • Thank you Preston and everyone for the nice comments. In fairness, for the likes of Preston and I (and most people commenting I imagine), we are generally quite sensible, discerning shoppers anyway. I think April hits the nail on the head with the key message; spend within your means. And if you’re in a position to spend, spend wisely to support the brands and retailers you care most about.

    disneyrollergirlApril 1st, 2020  4:33 PM

     
  • I agree wholeheartedly with April. Regardless of the size of the business, every single sector of our economy needs customers and support right now. My vote is to shop as you normally would.

    PaulaApril 1st, 2020  5:23 PM

     
  • I am afraid my favorite retailers are going to go out of business and my retail friends on commission aren’t getting a pay check. I am trying to support them by buying through them at their store if I can, instead of buying it independently of them.

    TracyApril 1st, 2020  7:45 PM

     
  • I think we buy maybe a little less than we did but please keep buying! The supply chains are global. Whilst this may not affect items made in the UK, thanks to the government paying up to 80% of salaries with a cap of GBP 2500/ month, the repercussions in the developing world are dire and especially for women who tend to make the clothes. I do think retailers need to do their part and start the sales/incentives sooner as we all know that two months of a lockdown is inevitable now with a very gradual opening. We know the margins are awesome so help out the consumer too.

    MMSApril 2nd, 2020  4:25 AM

     
  • I have probably slowed down, but still make some purchases from small companies, and I will continue to do so. We are retired, so the past few years have seen a ratcheting down of buying, but my situation is relatively stable, thank goodness, and I will continue to spend wisely in these uncertain times.

    SharonApril 2nd, 2020  7:43 AM

     
  • Dear MMS, we should think more local than global, especially now. Retailers are mostly huge “multinational” conglomerates transferring out their money to the tax free ports. I lived in one of them for a couple of years. Do not owe anything to them, neither people in India or China which manufacture this, what could be manufactured locally.

    IsabelApril 2nd, 2020  8:54 AM

     
  • Isabel raises an important consideration, especially regarding filing in tax free ports. I stopped purchasing brands/merchandise made in countries which undercut wages and quality and do not reflect my values long ago.

    PaulaApril 2nd, 2020  2:18 PM

     
  • I am hungry to see companies find solutions for this new reality so that we can support them while not endangering others. While I know the small businesses we love need our support to make it through this, I cannot make a purchase in good conscience knowing that warehouse workers, delivery workers, etc. are put at risk for what is ultimately an unnecessary purchase. How about a “buy now, ship later” option to keep the money flowing but no rush in shipping an item to me right now? I understand this is complicated, but I think there is a lot of grey area in this that is not being explored by brands – it’s not shop or don’t shop, but shifting how we shop and acknowledging all that goes into an item making its way to our closet.

    JessApril 3rd, 2020  1:20 PM

     

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