I have been cursed with an infatuation with designer fashion. This obsession was much easier to satisfy when Hollister qualified as “designer” and my parents still thought it was their parental duty to buy me clothes. I soon realized SoCal hoodies wouldn’t feed the hunger forever.
In high school I found myself with a lot of spare time (like every day during physics and calculus), which only encouraged my addiction to reading fashion magazines. Thanks to Vogue, Elle and Harper’s Bazaar, my eyes opened to the real world of designer fashion.
I began referring to Michael Kors, Betsey Johnson, Stella McCartney and Marc Jacobs by first name, as if we were old friends. (Too bad we weren’t actually old friends; maybe I could have scored a discount.) While this fashion rebirth was occurring, something else happened. My parents stopped thinking it was fun to buy all my clothes. Now, as a first-year student at the University of Cincinnati, I have come to an unfortunate but inevitable realization: I have no (OK, very little) money.
Still, to a die-hard fashionista, being poor is only a minor setback. Thankfully, the design gods came to my rescue. Many of my dear, name-brand friends began creating more affordable guest lines for major retailers. The emergence satisfies the need to experience the bliss of wearing a beautiful, well-made garment, while keeping me far from over-drafting my bank account or maxing out my AmEx. I’ll even let you in on the best thing to happen to fashion since Diane Von Furstenberg’s wrap dress. Here are my current top five favorite designer guest lines:
1. Jimmy Choo for H&M – The lust-worthy stilettos and handbags arrived just in time for the holiday party season! Every girl should own a pair of Jimmy Choos and now we can. Let’s all smile as we torture our feet in the name of fashion, knowing that we didn’t torture our bank accounts.
2. Jemma Kidd for Target – Her line is always on trend with the hottest color palettes and most wearable makeup. The fun cosmetic products are long lasting and an affordable luxury. Plus, who doesn’t love an excuse to go to Target?
3. Miley Cyrus and Max Azria for Wal-Mart – At first, the thought of this collaboration made me a bit nervous. Actually, it made me cringe. But I must admit, there are some insanely cute pieces in this collection and with everything priced at $20.00 or less, you can try out several of the rock star-inspired garments.
4. Christian Siriano for Payless – Project Runway fans: rejoice! The designer lends his talent and impeccable fashion sense to this collaborative line of shoes and handbags. With edgy zipper details and gold accents the Elisa Sandal and Carolina Pump are, dare I say it, fierce.
5. Vera Wang for Kohl’s – The sophistication of Vera is now available to the masses. The collection is perfect worn in individual pieces or as an entire outfit. Plus, Vera offers apparel, shoes and handbags to make any wardrobe complete and completely affordable.