Wal-mart is targeting affordable fashion.
Turn on Vogue, a big fall fashion magazine, and you’ll find an unlikely source, wal-mart’s eight-page spread. In from the high-end designers like ong, advertisement, high-end designers from wal-mart had a man named Brooke (Brooke) actress, he through the match a jacket and cords, cheap fashion. The total cost was $30 and we called Teri Agins, a senior fashion correspondent for the Wall Street journal, to talk about the AD.
Ms. TERI AGINS (” Wall Street journal “) : many middle-class and upper-middle-class shoppers are mixing cheap clothes with designer clothes. In 1999, I wrote an article in an article called “Cheapskate Chic.” I interviewed people like Blaine Trump and one of GQ’s fashion editors, and they started out with shopping at wal-mart and Kmart. And I think a lot of shoppers have realized this over the years, so walmart has gone from being just a T-shirt and shorts to a real fashion sales.
Mr. AGINS: oh, yes, the other thing is, there are a lot of retailers out there now. You have companies like H&M and Zara, who can eliminate the hottest looks from Prada, Chanel, Armani, and they look hot, usually under $100. And I think Target really pushed this point with brands like Massimo and Isaac Mizrahi, and they’ve been able to launch fashion products at really affordable prices.
MONTAGNE: but I can say that many of target’s people at this time called the tar-zhay call to be cool. Can wal-mart really be that? And it should be able to do that, right? What about the base? I mean, people who really don’t want to be cool, they just want cheap stuff.
Ms. Atkins: well, I think wal-mart can hit two walls. They can provide more basic knowledge of style and can do more fashionable things. Keep in mind that clothing is still a small part of wal-mart’s products, but the margins are so high that they can’t resist exploration in this area. So why not give them the latest fashion mix in their grocery store and everything they’re going to do.
Ms. Atkins: yes.
MONTAGNE:… What’s in there?
Mr. AGINS: you know, in terms of fashion, I think most people should read the details. I mean, obviously, the trickiest thing about these companies is customizing fashion, like trailblazers, with a lot of detail. I like – when I’m in these places shopping, I like to try to find something that’s kind of stretching, because you know, it’s probably closer to what you want. Sometimes the printed fabric is good because it hides some defects because some of them are cheap. But some of them are beautifully crafted. I know that in 1997, consumer reports began testing clothing, and one of the things they tested was polo shirts. The polo shirt that comes out of the tower is Target. This is $7.44. That’s Old Navy from Ralph Lauren and others. And I think a lot of shoppers have become so savvy. You know, whether they’re in rural Arkansas or Chicago or New York, they want to be in fashion. If they want to, they can do it now.
Montana: Teri Agins is a senior fashion writer for the Wall Street journal. Thank you very much.
Ms. Atkins: oh, thank you for having me.
Montana: NPR’s morning edition. I’m Renee Montagne.