THE BRAND HUNTERS
I have made a conscious decision not to work with any of the big name designers, it was important to me not only to give a success chance to independent designers but also an opportunity for the women who shop here (whom we call "First Ladies", long story, another time) to be able to choose clothing based on style, no label pressure.
I wanted to work directly with the designers, know their values and make sure they have the right "energy" that surely comes with their clothing to the boutique and on to our First Ladies. I wanted to know where they are producing, I wanted to know their story, so I can tell it to every women that shop their collection, just like you would expect when shopping for art.
I used to go to the outlets in NY with my sister every few years, we took the whole day to shop the biggest brands and it was very exciting, shop til you drop type of thing, it was the time that I preferred a used Prada coat over a new coat by an unknown designer that was produced locally with higher quality.
I feel like I have grown up, I am more educated about the process and I deserve better.
THE MAGIC OF MYSTERIOUS
One of my clients is rubbing shoulders with the upper Washington DC circles and she just LOVES attending a luncheon or party with an edgy, different outfit that no one can recognize from the magazine or the department store. It makes her feel strong, creative and mysterious, like she has a secret group of up-and-coming designers working just for her to make her look gorgeous.
Can you imagine Cinderella running out of the palace losing her red sole Christian Louboutin pump? Can you imagine the queen of England holding a small Gucci bag and waving to the crowd?
TRY IT AT HOME
Having said all that and looking at my shopping habits, I am still a big sucker for certain brands, but getting better. I will look for the same designer because I know it fits me perfectly, because I love the arch support or because I just love the style.
When I go shopping or even online shopping (YES, I do that too while my husband is watching football, especially when his team wins!), I deliberately try not to look at the brand, I am trying to be impressed by the design.
I am always happy to discover a new designer I didn't know before, maybe a new crush? It's a good self-test to know if I am one of these "brand hunters".
It's not as easy as it sounds, I noticed I tend to be much more forgiving on horrible styles when I know they belong to one of my favorite designers and it works at the other direction too, complete turn off by a gorgeous item if I don't recognize the designer.