Designer Does Not Mean Fashionable

Just Because You Wear Designer, Doesn’t Mean You Look Good

For the love of all things holy, stop buying designer that is literal garbage.

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This last summer I went to Italy. It was blistering hot and I was waiting outside of the Vatican in a small tour group when I spotted a woman walk towards us. She was probably 50 or so and dressed head to toe in Gucci. At first, I thought to myself, "Damn, go off" but that soon turned into a big "Oh no." She was wearing a bomb fit, but it didn't actually fit her well. It looked like she was trying to be a 20-year-old fashion blogger when in reality she looked like Regina George's mom from "Mean Girls."

I'm not bashing designer clothing. Designer clothes are usually well made out of materials and tailoring that you can trust. Not to mention, wearing designer is always a mad flex. But I can't tell you how many people I see that wear things just because they're designer. I think the main culprit of this is our society. For whatever reason, we have developed this mentality of "more expensive is better" as our society has evolved. A lot of times this mentality isn't particularly wrong. The truth is, maybe it's a better idea to eat at a nice sushi place than to eat the sushi they sell at your local grocery store (not to hate on your grocery store, but I promise you that sushi at Nobu is better than sushi at Ralph's). But things have changed, now that fashion designers have decided to come out with literal trash for fashion with sky-high pricing.

My favorite example of trash fashion are those purposefully beat-up sneakers that actually look like they came out of a dumpster. You know, the ones that designers have labeled as avant-garde. A bunch of designers have come out with a few different "takes" on this. All of Gucci's Screener Sneaker line are just trashed sneakers. Balenciaga once came out with a sneaker a few years ago that was similar just, you know, Balenciaga. It's depressing knowing that brands are so desperate for new material on the runway that they have literally resorted to dumpster diving.

I guess the moral of this story is that labels are absolutely worthless to your everyday style unless you actually pick out an investment piece that works for you because you like it, not just because it has a fancy label. The world of luxury has capitalized too much off of making mediocrity and marketing it as a luxury, simply because we allow them to. We keep giving them our money for them to continue making mediocrity.

I don't know about you, but if I'm paying upwards of a grand for a pair of shoes, they better be damn good and they better actually fit. And they for sure will not be pre-trashed.

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13 Brands That Have College Girls Looking Cute For Great Causes

Great clothing for great causes.
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Everyone loves giving to charity, helping to make the world a better place.

Something better than giving money is getting a shirt or a bracelet that symbolizes you giving money to different charities around the world. There are plenty of different brands that are advertised on social media and more that aren't that give a portion of your profit to a charity weather it's for research for cancer or saving animals.

1. Pura Vida Bracelets

These bracelets originally started by two friends going to Costa Rica for a graduation trip and running into two guys that are artisans making these bracelets. Before going back home they asked these artisans to make 400 bracelets to take back home, they put a few of these bracelets in some bowls in boutiques. They instantly ran out of bracelets and were asked for more, that is when these two graduates realized that these bracelets could be a lot more. They ended up partnering with the two artisans in Costa Rica and much more around the world to make these bracelets. Originally these bracelets symbolized living in the now rather than the later because Pura Vida means Pure Life in Spanish. Later they realized they can make this even bigger than it is now, they started partnering with different charities. They currently have a charity collection and are partnered with 190 different charities.

2. Pawz

Pawz was created for homeless animals that have to be put down because animal shelters don't have enough resources to provide for them. Each purchase you make with Pawz a portion of your profit goes to Stark Humane shelter.

3. Shelly Cove

There are seven different kinds of sea turtles that swim in the oceans around the globe, out of those seven, six of them are endangered. Shelly Cove donates 10% of net profits to The Karen Beasley Sea Turtles Rescue and Rehabilitation Center, the donations help support medical treatment and rehabilitation of sick and injured turtles. They also support a turtle hospital or a conservatory monthly.

4. Ivory Ella

Like the other brands on this list, 10% of their profits go to Save the Elephants and to other charity organizations. Ivory Ella also tries to inspire us to live a life with the same ideals of elephants; empathy, creativity, strength, and loyalty.

5. Love Your Melon

Love your melon originally started by just wanting to put a hat on every child that was battling cancer. After giving 45,000 hats, one for every child with cancer they made a new goal to give one million dollars to pediatric cancer research and support to the children and their families. They have donated over 2.6 million dollars today, 50% of the profit you spend after taxes and fees go to Love Your Melon's non-profit partners.

6. Beautiful Baleine

Seven out of 13 large whale species are endangered due to being hunted to near extinction for commercial use and due to being locked in captivity. Beautiful Baleine directly donates 10% of its profits to Whales.org to help provide better research and help save multiple species of whales.

7. Koexist Creations

Koexist Creations mission is to help koalas and children. They donate proceeds from every sale to Saint Jude's Children's Research Hospital. They also have proceeds from every sale go to a Kola Hospital in Australia where they have many injured and sick koalas.

8. Polar Preserve

A portion of the sale of a shirt is donated monthly to polar bear conservation.

9. Paisley Tiger

Over the past 20 years, we have gone from 100,000 to less than 3,200 tigers. It has been said that in a few decades tigers will be extinct. Paisley Tiger donates a percentage of their proceeds to Big Cat Rescue, this organization provides the shelter, food, and medication that the Tigers need.

10. Savannah Co

Savannah Co donates 10% of their profits to Lion conservation to help save Africa's endangered lions. Donations are made to Wildlife Conservation Network where the donation goes to Niassa Lion Project.

11. Makai Clothing Co

Hatching turtles emerge from their nest and make their way to the ocean, but only an estimated 1,000 make it to adulthood. Makai's goal is to help protect the turtles from natural and human threats by donating 10% to sea turtle conservation.

12. Life Token

Life token likes to think of their brand as a way to the pathway to peace, it's a choice to put love first. Every month Life Token changes what charity they are going to be giving donations too.

13. Onatah Outfitters

Onatah Outfitters donates 15% of profits to one of the six charitable partners based on the color of the shirt. They base what charities they give to off of their core beliefs which are: ocean, hunger, conservation, relief, wildlife preservation, energy security, freshwater access, and environmental health.

Cover Image Credit: Flickr Creative Commons

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Gucci’s Commodification Of Cultural Clothing Is A Problem The Fashion Industry Needs To Address

Brands like Gucci and Zara are only commodifying the culture of others rather than making any attempt to celebrate and respect them.

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Recently, Gucci faced backlash for selling Sikh turbans as hats for $790. The brand had already come under fire when the turbans were featured in Gucci's Fall 2018 show, especially due to Gucci's use of white models to wear the turbans on the runway. It seems that the previous backlash has not discouraged Gucci from continuing on to sell the turbans for a high price.

Members of the Sikh community were quick to express outrage at the monetization of the turbans, pointing out the religious significance of the Sikh turban. The reduction of the turban to a mere accessory for fashion is offensive enough on its own, but selling them at such a high price only further commodifies an item that is considered sacred to many and would normally not cost nearly as much in the Sikh community.

This incident with Gucci, however, is far from being the only instance where a cultural item has been monetized in the fashion industry. Many have also questioned Zara's new sandals, which bear a close resemblance to waraji, woven straw sandals that were once popular among common people in Japan. The main source of confusion among members of the Japanese community was the price of the sandals, which are being sold at 7,990 yen ($72) while waraji are usually only 200-300 yen (about $2-$3).

Waraji do not appear to have the same spiritual significance as the Sikh turban, but both Gucci's and Zara's attempts to sell these items for much higher prices are all-too-common examples of cultural appropriation. Even if the item does not have sacred or religious value, it is still something that belongs to another culture and should not be monetized in such a manner. Drawing inspiration from other cultures is not harmful on its own if done respectfully, but simply borrowing cultural items and selling them as luxury items at a higher price range is far from being respectful. In these instances, these items are passed off "better" than the original by a brand that does not come from the culture it is borrowing from. Zara should not be given more credit than the people of Japan who used to wear waraji. In the case of Gucci, the turban should not have been touched at all.

The monetization of other cultures is, unfortunately, far too common, especially in the fashion industry. Brands like Gucci and Zara are only commodifying the culture of others rather than making any attempt to celebrate and respect them. Hiking up the prices of items belonging to another culture is a glaringly obvious act of cultural appropriation and a trend that needs to stop.

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