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Jc Writing Sample

Jc Writing Sample

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Published by Jamila Clay

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Published by: Jamila Clay on Mar 09, 2013
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Consumerism: An Economic Inequality
Abstract
Though the recession has been considered a negative downfall for most inthe fashion industry, the recession should also be acknowledged as a positive reinforcement concerning consumerism within high fashion andhaute couture. With its positive impact on consumerism, there also has been an illumination on the some of the consumer inequality during therecession.
Industries of the Recession
Almost every market in the UnitedStates has been impacted due therecession. Businesses have gone outof business, independent corporations have merged together, andunemployment rates are at an all-time high. Automotive retail has hit a pit,with the closing of General Motors factories around the nation, and HomeDepot ha
d to close all 34 of their Expo Design Centre’s. Major department stores such as Macy’s and Sears found it
important to close various stores in order to endure hard timesduring this recession. However, with all the sad and tragiceffects of the recession, society must still survive. The fashionindustry has also undergone some of their lowest times duringthe recession. The need for fashion and retail is not as necessaryas it used to be when there was more of a value to the AmericanDollar. Even New York fashion week endured issues due to therecession. This year, fashion week was done differently due to budget adjustments for the show. For the first time, labelsteamed up for a joint runway show, and showcased less looksthan the usual 32-42. The new guidelines implemented on the2009 New York fashion week saved designers 40% in the costs.Though some designers had to format to fit the guidelines of the
year’s show, Paul Wilmot, head of Paul Wilmot
Communications, which represents Oscar De la Renta said,
“having a venue for staging presentations that were
cheap and cheerful would greatly help designers in this economy.
 
HIGH fashion collaborations
High fashion and haute couture have found ways to still allows for successful consumerism during the recession. While the high priced couture sits and collects dust on the racks around high end
retail stores, such as Saks and Bloomingdale’s, these same
designers have found a way to deliver their fashion to theconscious consumer. Swedish clothing company H&M hasteamed up with some of the high end fashion designers to produceaffordable couture collaborations. This high-street store has made designer labels keener to the reasonable recessionshopper. A recent successful collaboration was with Malaysian fashion designer Jimmy Choo, known for hand-made
women’s shoes.
This alliance allowed for the money-conscious consumers to look great at a great price. H&M hasalso done collaborations with Stella McCartney, Robert Cavalli and an expected lingerie line with SoniaRykiel. Payless shoe was sure to incorporate Christian Siriano in their line of shoes. Sirano is an American fashiondesigner who decided to contribute to world of fashion for less footwear. Payless on the runway specifically tailorsto their limited designer shoe line, which also is featured in many runway shows. Success was when Target teamedup with Isaac Mizrahi to produce great business attire for women shopping on a budget. Sadly, this epic duo came toan end in 2008. The collaborations between these stores and the designers have created revenue and fashion for theconsumer on a budget.
Co$t Effective, Quite Exclu$ive
The virtual market of online shopping hascontinued to positively influence consumerism for luxury retailers. Many of the high-end stores and boutiques are not gaining as much revenue fromtheir loyal customers due to the recession. High priced items go untouched in the departmentstores, and customers are now concentrating on theimportance of price and of quality. However whilethe doors of these stores go unstirred, the internetis flourishing with buyers. Luxury e-tailers areindividuals or companies that sell designer goodsonline at discounted prices are not only collectingrevenue for themselves, but providing theconsumer with high-end fashion at a low-low price, as much as 80% off original prices. Financial journal,
The Economist 
focuses on the financial aspect of theworld. T
he article, “Selling designer goods online: When cheap is exclusive” gives an in
-depth look about thediscount fashion websites. Though these websites are available, they are only accessed by invitation only. Boss of 
Hautelook, Adam Berhard says, “
This
lends them an air of exclusivity and creates the sort of buzz marketers crave”
(par.2). The same consumerism that occurred in the department stores is able to prevail with the e-tailers. Thesewebsites are also quite beneficial for designers because they use the sites to quickly get rid of surplus inventory.These companies are expecting hundreds of millions dollars in revenue and will attain it with selling designer apparel, spa services, even yachts and apartments. Not only have they provided affordable consumerism but Rue LaLa has made their website mobile accessible through purchases made with phone applications.
 
Holiday Cheer over Consumerism
 
It’s the most debtful time of the year! Catchy jingle right? Only consumers view the holidays as the most
wonderfultime of the year. Sure it is wonderful, considering family, love, food, gathering, and celebrations, however it is notas enjoyable when one is in debt due to the high demand of gifts of the season. Consumers are pressured andoverwhelmed to compete to make purchases in order to satisfy loved ones. With the state of the economy,consumerism has blinded society into thinking that it is always okay to buy things, even when one does not have themoney to fund the purchases. In order to keep up the holiday memento, many stores ensured major sales on Black 
Friday. Best Buy has continued the competition with their new marketing plan of “Better than Black Friday” sales
that occur every Friday and Saturday after Black Friday until the end of the holiday season. It creates a season of competition, rather than ensuring quality goods and a fair price for their devoted consumers. None the less, criticshave not considered the consumerism during the holiday time such an evil until the recession hit the United States. Itis now viewed as a distortion of what the true significance of the holiday season truly holds. Consumerism has not
 just taken over the winter holiday season, but has made an exception for every holiday. Valentine’s Day stores are
 promoting purchas
es of fine chocolates, diamonds, and romantic getaways at the 4 Seasons Hotels. Mother’s day is
 just as bad; buying mom that expensive kitchen appliance or high end jewelry. People line up outside stores for their grand opening of the gift society deems a necessity. Consumers want to make the fiscally hard year finally joyous during the holiday season, and for some it means adding on more debt in order to fulfill holiday fantasies. None the less, there is one organization who is promoting consumer abstinence during the holiday season. Buy
 Nothing Christmas is a national initiative that was started by Canadian Mennonites. Their website states that “they
offer a prophetic no to the patterns of over-consumption of middle-
class North Americans.” They stand with
open
arms to Christians and others all over Canada to participate in the movement of “de
-commercializing Christmas andre-
designing’s a Christian lifestyle that is richer in meaning, smaller in impact upon the earth, and greater in giving
to people less-p
rivileged.” Buy Nothing Christmas is joining the movement of an anti
-consumerist holiday season.In attempt to re-
 patch the nation’s economy, organizations like Buy Nothing Christmas are informing and hoping
that society can calm down on the consumerism an
d get excited about what the holiday’s truly mean.
 
Values that set con$umer$ apart
 The attempt of economic equality through consumerism during the recession has had both negative and positiveresults. Author Sidney Verba of 
 Equality in America: the view from the top
has discussed that economic equality is
more political. The dominant economic model states, “Equality and inequality result from the decisions made in
market encounters among rational, utility-
maximizing individuals” (2). These utilities she spe
aks about are personaland basic beliefs, and are revealed in the market behavior of the individual. However, she shares how Lester Thurow
observed that utility functions are, “just a fancy way of saying that individuals do whatever individuals do. By
definition, there is no such thing as an individual
who does not maximize us utility” (2). Sure,
everyone has the basic belief of desire and necessitywithin consumerism, but the individuals who liftdesires onto a pedestal while others lift necessitiesonto a pedestal, an economic inequality is created.The Marxist economic view analysis denies thateconomic inequality is due to culture, but objectiveclass interests. The values within individuals andseparate classes shape economic behavior. Thevalues of these separate classes breeds economic inequality, and until each class realizes the rationality of necessitiesover desires, economic inequality will always remain.

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