ZIMMERMAN FOREVER

If there was one designer I would have to wear forever, it would definitely be ZIMMERMAN. Each season, I browse through the collections, staring at each piece thinking “I’d wear that”. Is that even possible? To fall in love with every single piece? In my relationship with Zimmerman the answer is ABSOLUTELY YES.

Honestly, I don’t have a single Zimmerman piece, because well, who are we kidding, the prices are a bit higher than what I would like to spend on a piece of clothing like a dress or blouse… BUT one day, I will find that perfect piece and make the investment to buy my first Zimmerman piece. I promise you that.

Okay, let’s have a look at some of my favourite pieces:

// Verity Gathered Yoke Dress, $950 // Goldie Scallop Short Dress, $750 //

// Goldie Spliced Frill Top, $480 // Goldie Spliced Frill Short, $375 // Goldie Spliced Short Dress, $850 //

// Honour Pintuck Panelled Dress, $1150 // Zippy Frill Dress, $795 (now $565) //

DESIGNER DIARY SERIES: ALEXANDER MCQUEEN OVERSIZED SNEAKERS

It’s been a while since I’ve written a “Designer Diary Series” post. It’s been quite the busy month and I haven’t really had a moment to sit down and really pour some thought into a post, so I thought it was a good time to post this one; that a wrote a while back. It’s all fully relevant, as it’s a continuation of my designer purchase journey!

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It all started like any other designer item. I see a specific piece, fall in love with it, do extensive research on it, and then make my purchase. Although this one started off like any other, it developed into something much bigger.

I first laid eyes on the Alexander McQueen Oversized Sneakers, like many other things, on Instagram. I follow many different accounts of individuals all over the country, as I like to gather my style inspiration from the global perspective – I find this to be most impactful and influential. I believe they caught my eye at first, simply because they looked much different than your average white sneaker – and I was on a mission to find the perfect white sneaker, without falling in line with everyone else. What can I say, I don’t like to follow trends, I like to fall in love with trends which I can relate to and wear over and over again.

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After doing my research on these shoes on social media; I wanted to get a true and natural view of what they looked like in real life first, not just on the brands website, I ventured off to the brand itself. This is where I was able to get a better look into the make, design, quality, and of course, the brand’s story behind them. Obviously, I fell more and more in love with them with every page I opened and browsed. Next, the time came to actually go into a store and physically try them on and analyze them – clearly the most important step. I usually like to save this one for last, because I think I’m scared I’ll try it on first and convince myself I need the item, when in fact, background research will prove that I in fact don’t, and it’s not that great or worth it.

Anyways, I walked in to the store, asked for a 38.5 and 39 of the lace up white with light blue suede model. Both pairs were brought out, I started with the 38.5, and as soon as I had slipped on the first shoe, I knew we were meant to be. I followed with the second, and walked over to the mirror – SOLD, I NEED THEM. I WILL NEVER TAKE THEM OFF. I was stunned at how comfortable and cute they were, clearly all the research was worth it and I had not wasted my time! I put them back in the box, thanked the sales associate, and walked out of the store with a smile. JACKPOT. Now, it was time to find them for the best price possible – it just feels better when you can buy an item with some sort of sale or discount. I searched far and wide, and made up my mind that I would purchase them in England, where I would save 20% on VAT on my departure. This trip was planned for  May 2018, it was at this point, June 2017. I’ll wait it out, it’ll feel great, I convinced myself.

In September 2017, my husband and I travelled to California for a family reunion on the west coast. One lovely sunny Californian afternoon in Los Angeles, my husband decided we should go for a drive…so here we are, driving down the enticing Melrose Ave, we drive by the Alexander McQueen store, my heart starts beating faster, he turn the corner and into a private parking lot, and parks the car. My mind is racing, “have we just parked in the Alexander McQueen parking lot? What are we doing here?” What a silly question that was. I have the best husband in the world of course! We walked into the store, and naturally walked over to the footwear section right away. I died for a second and went to heaven; I can’t recall my exact emotions because I was literally on cloud nine the entire time; champagne included. Needless to say, I walked out of the store with my FIRST PAIR OF ALEXANDER MCQUEEN OVERSIZED SNEAKERS! Since the store carried every single colour possible, my colour options were unlimited (unlike department stores I visited before), and I chose the white with grey suede! I still get butterflies with I think back to this moment! Unfortunately to my theories, I didn’t get them on sale or with any other discount, but I think this makes them even more special – plus, they will always remind me of that California trip!

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It might not be a big deal; it’s just a pair of sneakers really, why all the excitement, but to me, it’s HUGE. It’s something I have been researching and thinking about for months. I don’t take my designer splurges lightly, and I want to be conscious of my purchases on various levels.

So, why am I sharing this story, well simply because HAPPINESS should be shared; it motivates and inspires. I love designer items, like many others, but the manner in which I go about purchasing them has become a sort of practice or theory – I’m not spoiled and I work for my designer items, so when spending my hard earned funds, I need to be 100% certain that I will LOVE my items and be fully satisfied with my purchase. It’s an art, as my husband calls it. I fully agree.

It’s the best feeling in the world.

 

DESIGNER DIARY SERIES: CHANEL BAG

[Yes, that’s me in that picture above – back when I had blonde hair!]

For three years followed My Theory of making a designer purchse: I saved, researched, and tried on Chanel bags endlessly.

Finally, the time came, and on a trip to London UK for Christmas and New Years Eve in 2014/2015. When purchasing our return tickets back to Toronto, we ensured we were flying out of Heathrow, and at a time when the Chanel boutique would be open. Prior to leaving my sister-in-laws house, I called to ensure that the Chanel bag was available in the store.

Upon arrival at the airport, we checked in, said our goodbyes, and walked through the gates to duty free heaven. Right away, we were greeted by a customer service associate who asked us if we needed any airport information, etc. Gleaming with excitement, I quickly explained our purpose, she smiled and picked up her phone to call her colleague, Nina, who would drive us over to the other terminal where Chanel was. Nina picked us up in no time, and we were rushing through halls and terminals, and before I knew it, we were parked outside of Chanel. Nina waited outside the boutique as we picked up my first ever dream Chanel bag! When the time came to pay for my Chanel bag, neither my husband or I fainted or cringed at the sum, because we knew that, that money was already put aside for this purpose, and as soon as we got home, the saved funds would be transferred to the Visa and we wouldn’t even feel a thing. Satisfied and ecstatic with a new excitement and terror of what I had just done, we hopped back on and Nina took up back to our terminal.

ED365B3C-F216-46FD-A4DD-FEFB88E0C957I can honestly say that I will never forget the amount of information I learned about the brand and its products, and the emotions that I felt when I finally purchased the bag and knew it was mine. I realize that I could just go into the store and buy a designer bag, put it on my credit card, and slowly pay it off with time, but this manner, for me anyways, makes it so much more personal and special. Especially considering the price of this item, I wouldn’t feel right if I just walked in and picked one up and bought it. I’m the type of person that needs to know what I’m investing in before I put out my hard earned money.

I will always and forever remember January 9, 2015 as the day when I purchased my very first designer handbag; one that I worked hard for and researched to its limits.

Next up on the Deisigner Diary Series: CHRISTIAN LOUBOUTINS

DESIGNER DIARY SERIES: THE THEORY

Let me start off by saying that I am not spoiled, I come from a middle class family, and I work hard for what I have and want. Like many other humans, I am drawn to beautifully crafted designer bags, shoes, clothes, etc. Growing up between the Americas and Europe, I have been exposed to many levels of luxury, and equally to many levels of poverty. Until I met my husband, I hadn’t in my wildest drams even imagined I would ever be purchasing any designer items – my focus was on simplicity and variety.

In 2011, boyfriend and I took a mini Eurotrip, which started in London, UK, to visit his sister, Justyna. Justyna, like many European woman, was on top of her game with the fashion scene; given she lived in one of the most fashion driven cities, (on top of things is an understatement). Justyna took us to visit all the major attractions that London has to offer – including the most luxurious shopping at Harrods and Selfridges. This is where my story begins.

At the shy age of 20, walking into an actual Chanel boutique was just a dream; I was still working part time, living at home, driving my parents car, etc. The thought of owning one of those immaculate handbags wasn’t even on my radar; I could have 40 or more bags from somewhere like Zara for one of these… and then it hit me… I could have 40+ “Zara” bags, or ONE Chanel bag.

The realization hit me like a tonne of bricks; with my boyfriends advice and conversation of course, it all made sense and my life was flipped upside down. I could ACTUALLY own one of these bags if I played my cards right.

I took full advantage of the shopping in London and the rest of Europe that summer, but as soon as we touched down in Toronto, I was a girl on a mission. Together with my boyfriend, we put together a plan of action for how I was going to walk into a Chanel store, swipe my visa, walk out with a Chanel bag, and not feel like I have to eat dry crackers for the rest of my life.

That’s what it’s all about really, and I think that’s the secret to purchasing a designer bag if you’re on a budget. It’s easy to just walk into a designer boutique, pick an item, swipe your visa and BAM it’s yours. But, there really is a method to the madness of a savings account, especially in this situation. In my opinion, the art of putting a little bit aside from each paycheck, even if it’s just a few dollars, is much less stressful that carrying that balance on your visa.

My theory to buying a designer item without draining all of your funds, consists of four steps:

STEP ONE

Open up a savings account, separate from your current accounts, and dedicate it towards that *something* special that you are dreaming to purchase. Each paycheck you get, put a little bit aside, whatever you feel your lifestyle can handle, and remember, don’t over do it or you’ll be forced to pull funds back out. Keep in mind that you still want to continue living your current lifestyle, which for me means being able to still make clothing, book, etc. purchases once in awhile without feeling like I’ll be broke.

STEP TWO: 

Do your homework! Once you decide what item you want to purchase, do a tremendous amount of research on it. Learn about the brand, the specifics of the item, compare sizes/colours/designs, read about the history of the brand and item (if applicable). Then, once you have all of the information from the designers perspective, check into social media, where you will be able to find more real-life examples from actual customers of these products; what are they saying, does it align with what the brand portrayed? This is comparable to searching for a vacation; the hotel looks five-star in the catalogue or on the hotel website, but that’s from the hotels marketing perspective. Once you open up expedia and see the customers photos, things usually look a bit more realistic and different.

STEP THREE:

Try it on! Try it on! Try it on! Yes, you might feel like the most annoying customer standing in the mirror examining the purse on your shoulder, adjusting the straps to wear it differently, asking for different sizes for comparison and then walking out without making a purchase. I’m sure this doesn’t make the sales associates too pleased because you’ve just “wasted their time when they could have been serving someone else who would make a sale”, but hey, you will be making that purchase soon ,and it’s not a $20 purchase, in fact, its MUCH more. Put that perspective on, and don’t stress yourself out; you will be spending a lot of money on this item, so you need to be 100% certain that this is what you want and will love and use it a lot.

STEP FOUR

Once you are 100% certain that you NEED this designer piece, and you will love and use it forever (that’s how I like to make my big purchases; the forever makes it more intense), think about where you should purchase it from. Of course, depending on the product, as some are available at department stores like Holt Renfrew or Saks Fifth Avenue, but some, you actually have to go to the actual boutique. Think about if you will be travelling anytime soon; will this product be available in that other country; if yes, if you buy it there will you be able to receive a tax return and therefore save a percentage? Is the exchange rate better in that Country; if yes, check if the price of the item is comparable?

By following these above four steps, I was able to make the most expensive designer purchase of my life so far.

Maybe my theory will inspire you, maybe you already know this, either way, I couldn’t just keep this to myself. As much as I love the fashion industry for what it gives us, I do think their pricing strategy frightens many people out of buying something they really want/love. I want the world to know that there ARE ways, intelligent ways, of making these types of purchases, even if you are not a millionaire.

Dream big, save smart, and do your research. I hope that designer item of your dreams is yours one day soon!

Next up on Designer Diary Series: CHANEL BAG PURCHASE