What's in a brand name?  Think Tank Regarding Fashion Brand Names ...

Think Tank 

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In my opinion, consumers should not care so much about "brand names".  When I walk into a store, I wish to judge by the appearance of the garment and not the brand label.  When I say the "appearance" of the garment, I also mean the quality of the item.  Yes, I can often judge the quality from the garments physical appearance.  Anyway, when we are making our clothing selection, shouldn't our primary focus be on fit, color, fabric, and silhouette.  Why does the designer name or brand name enter into the equation?  Does the word vanity ring a bell... Who are you trying to impress???
Many people may say that a particular fashion brand name represents "quality" and a "consistent fit" for the consumer.  However, isn't that asserting that consumers are not very clever.  Are you saying that I have to buy a specific brand name to determine the quality of a garment?  Do I have to buy a brand to know if the garment will fit me properly?  Possibly, buying a particular brand name will help give me guidance, but I do not think it is truly necessary.  Can't I touch the fabric?  Can't I look at the loose stitching, uneven seams, puckering, etc.?  Can't I enter the fitting room and try the garment on to see if it fits?  The reality is that I do not need to have a brand name on my clothing to determine quality or comfort.
Imagine walking into a luxury fashion store and seeing rack after rack of beautiful fashion from Armani, Chanel, Dior, Prada, and ten other famous fashion designers.  The gowns, jeans, handbags, and blouses are stunning.  Although the garments are exquisite, you do notice that none of the traditional designer logos are visible on the outside of the garments.  This is OK, because after trying on a leather jacket, you quickly realize that the brands are marked on the inside.  The store looks fantastic, and the styles you see before your eyes are exactly on trend.  You have found the fashionista paradise.  Now, walk out the door.  Yes, you heard me..  Walk out of this store. 
OK, now image the same exact exquisite garments.  The same colors.  Same fabrics.  The same exact stylish store...  Same everything... The only difference is that in this version of our imagination, the garments do NOT have a brand identity inside or out.  Would this be a problem for you?  Personally, if I loved the fashion with the label, I would certainly love the fashion without the label.
To take this one step further, what if you could be the same dress without a label and pay less money for it?  Again, the same exact dress, but no label...
Please tell me, why does brand matter?  Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comment section below. 
Note: If I owned a popular brand name, certainly my opinion would be different...

Article by ML September 4, 2008

If you have thought provoking ideas that are relevant to apparel or textiles, please share your ideas with the Apparel Search Think Tank.

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