Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Fashion for the Masses

It might be New York Fashion week and Narciso Rodriguez's Fall 2010 collection will hit the runways but for those who don't have the money to afford his eponymous, designer threads can now get a little piece of the action with his new line for eBay. Yes, eBay. Forget about Target, H&M, Top Shop and the other usual suspects. This time the famed online auction seller has found a new niche in featuring a "designer-for-less" line of their own.

Narciso Rodriguez for eBay launched this week and perusing the line I have to admit I was surprised by the prices. The jersey dresses are simple, like most of Narciso's signature line, but I don't think they have enough of the seaming or contrast color blocking that warrants a price tag of over $125. Yeah, there's the now ubiquitous "exposed zipper" detail which is nice but I want more design especially at a $250 diffusion price point. Personally I love the simplicity of the scoop neck jersey dress; it's slightly reminiscent of a staple DVF dress I own. And yes, if it was DVF for $270 I wouldn't balk. But for some reason the $270 price point for a diffusion eBay line seems a bit steep. If I could feel the fabric and be convinced that it's not cheaply made, I would think about it. But what really got me going (and in a bad way) was the $450 price tag for the canvas espadrilles. Four hundred and fifty dollars...really? I love a good espadrille, but trust me when I say it's all about CastaƱer (a Spanish shoe company) and you won't be breaking the bank. The mark up on these Narciso for eBay espadrilles makes me seriously wonder about the mark up on the dresses...like I said, a $125 price point seems more appropriate.

I like that Constance White, the Style Director of eBay, who used to be with the New York Times and WWD is using her clout to bring something different and new to the eBay marketplace. While it's nothing new to have designer clothing for less, I appreciate this new approach to it. I just wish it wasn't mid-priced and instead more affordable for the masses. Or else I wish she made it strictly an auction-only line with limited availability.

What do you think of this eBay line? Are you going to place your "bid?"

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