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Why are people so obsessed with brands? I myself, if I could afford it, would probably buy Versace (although I’m not entirely sure about that – I get way too happy when I see a sign that says “kurtis for Rs. 399 only!”)
The thing is people think of brands as being – well, comfortable, I think. Not in the real sense, but in terms of fashion.
Let me explain: some people like to experiment with their style. They like to look stylish, fashionable, push the envelope – but when you see something strange-looking in T. Nagar, you probably won’t buy it, because you’re not sure how it’ll look on you.
On the other hand, if you see something strange, but possibly fashionable in a Guess store, you might try it on, give it a shot. You might even wear it – why? Because it’s Guess, because you hope that they know fashion, and because you can always fall back on – “Hey! This is Guess!” So you’ll carry it off with a little more confidence.
Then there are the people who are conservative – who like to wear a certain set style all the time, don’t really experiment – the “Classics”. These people stick to a select few brands because they’re happy with the way these brands look on them, and they can’t scout for the same look in the cheaper stores because – “well, who’s got the time, darling?”
Then there’s the people like me – I don’t know so much about being fashionable, but I do know about cost-cutting. If a cheaper version of what I’m thinking of buying exists, then I will buy that. If what I absolutely love is above my budget, then I will find something cheaper to love (you know that adage about women and buses? Well, I don’t know how far it applies to women, but for me, it definitely applies to clothes). There are people who speak of how they absolutely can’t live without a certain something they saw in a store. I’ve come to realise that the one thing you absolutely can’t live without – is food. Everything else is unnecessary drama, and I refuse to overspend on something that I might not like as much tomorrow.
As for style, if I can find style in Big Bazaar, then that’s okay. I don’t have to go looking for it in Guess.
That’s how I would like to think.
But when you walk past the showrooms – the Vero Moda, the Zara, the Steve Madden – don’t you just wish you could go in and buy everything? And if there’s a sale – and what was originally Rs. 5,000 is now Rs. 2,500, doesn’t that make you sigh in joy? No matter how much you buy at Max Collections, don’t you just have to buy that one thing at Zara’s?
And let’s admit it – wouldn’t you love for people to see your bag and see Louis Vuitton written on it? Wouldn’t the expression on their face be worth the price you paid? (Ok, not Louis Vuitton – that’s way too much. Maybe Aldo)
And when I see these girls on the red carpet, in their Christian Diors and their Falguni and Shanes and their wonderful, wonderful clothes, and accessories and shoes, that’s when I wish I had an eating disorder, and all the money in the world!
I think that's the thing - brands are the devil's temptation, and resistance is, mostly, futile.