Saturday, 8 December 2007

Diffusion or Confusion

I am starting to get slightly confused by the number of different brands and ranges by some designers. We have couture and ready to wear, then diffusion brands, then diffusion ranges on the high street. So whats the difference and whats the point? I thought I would find out.

Many designer labels have diffusion brands such as See by Chloe, Marc by Marc Jacobs, DKNY, D &G, Moschino Cheap and Chic. They seem to have originaly been set up as a cheaper version of the main line to increase their market potential. They are generally made of the same good quality materials and high quality workmanship. Some are almost as good as the main brands and recently some diffuson labels have started to set trends in their own right such as Miu Miu which no longer sits in the diffusion section at Harvey Nics but alongside the main designer ranges . I think they are a great way to get some designer clothes at a slightly more affordable price. Although they are probably still quite expensive for a lot of people.

But what about the designer diffusion ranges in high street shops. These ranges are usually a lot cheaper and mass produced, so you are likely to see lots of others wearing your outfit, but then they will be a lot cheaper. This is a classic example of designers wanting to have their cake and eat it by profting from the high end and mass market. Why not, if they can get away with it, the high street makes a tidy profit from ripping off designer clothes so why shouldn't the designers get a slice of the cake as well (I seem to be obsessed with cake today). The designer high street ranges are quite variable some are better than others, they are also usually quite limited with a few pieces. I like to have a look and occasionally pick and choose some items from them as I do any other High street range but would definitely not buy from them just because they are associated with a designer.

I really like some of the premium ranges that high street shops are now introducing as the latest weapon in the fashion retailers arms race. They are bit more pricey than the usual shop range but seem to be better designed and slightly better quality. I think these are just as good as the high street designer diffusion ranges. It looks like the high street is upping its game and I think its great that we get even more choice. As always it doesn't matter where I get my clothes from as long as I love them and I think they are worth the money.
My favourites are:

High Street Designer Diffusion Ranges: Not sure if I have any at the moment but I quite like Julien Macdonald for H Samuel.

Julien MacDonald Facet Collection Swarovski Crystal Bracelet

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