But fast fashion is all about ownership and consumption – lots and lots, because each single item is so cheap. There’s no admiration component at all. And while every single thing is cheap, the cost adds up. $99-$199 is the cost of most Lanvin for H&M dresses – a tad steep for fast fashion, but very cheap for the designer items. That is, cheap enough to tempt one into buying, and often multiple items.
And this is really the thing: designer-fast fashion collabs end up costing more to many people because even though they would never buy the original designer, they buy the collabs. They are a cunning way of luring so many people to become consumers instead of admirers, of making them spend money on the brand they would never even consider before because it’s so out of their range. So we spend more, and get… what exactly do we get? Polyester, Made in China (and probably nowhere near fair labor practices) that carry a designer tag – a legal knock off, really.
So we can talk about democratization of fashion, but really, doesn’t it simply increase consumerism and exploitation of cheap overseas labor? And is it really different from the more traditional designer diffusion items, like perfume, scarves and sunglasses?