“What do you say; me, you, and your Chloe glasses/Go somewhere private where we can discuss fashion/Like, Prada blouse, Gucci bra?...” - Jay-Z, "Give It To Me"
What we see and hear enough of, we buy into - often. Fashion is a prime example. Marketing is centered about influence. Influencing people to spend their hard earned money on the hottest items, well what they’re told is hot. No one can be upset with the ploys to move people to carry a certain bag, rock an exclusive pair of heels, no matter how uncomfortable, or stand in line for hours to have the in sneakers, just for the moment. Sometimes a brand is big enough to draw the money in all on its own - that’s what building a brand is all about. Still, the fact remains that being lured into fashion’s top names doesn’t mean you're stylish.
Take Michael Kors for instance, a well established and affluent line that you can now find every female, of any age and status, adorned in. Every woman includes high school age and the struggling college student, by the way. Nothing is wrong with Michael Kors, the brand. In fact, his bags, shoes, clothing, and jewelry are quite nice. But, it seems that what is talked about in songs most often impacts the urban world's fashion sense. Lyrics speak, they increase sales too. Parents can be found rushing out to get their preteen with subpar grades $150 jeans. This isn’t a new trend, but possibly the continued cycle of seeking labels merely for validation.
The questions can even be posed, why not Jill Milan or a Bottega Venetag bag as the must haves? Why Gucci or Dior? Because they’re talked about more? Why does it even have to be high end, and in a lot of cases, a knockoff? Faking it to fit in seems to come in all sizes and styles. Many in the young and fly demographic are missing the concept that real style is authentic.
Yes, authentic, as in your own take on what a look should be about, down to the tag, or most times the lack of an expensive one.
Tawni Fears is a freelance writer and contributor to AllHipHop.com. Follow her on Twitter (@brwnsugaT).