Ever heard of the book Fashion Babylon? Written by Imogen Edwards-Jones and a few “anonymous” fashion insiders, it reveals the dark and extremely catty fashion world. Although partly fictional (to avoid defamation lawsuits), the book is an eye-opener to the ugly side of what we all know as the most glamorous industry. Out of all the revelations, one of the most shocking was the practice of burning and destroying of deadstocks by certain fashion houses to avoid their labels ending up in the wrong hands or rather, on the wrong bodies.
Images by Chic Outlet Shopping
Whether the rumour is true or pure sensationalism, it does make you wonder where all the expensive stuff goes when trends shift and that once sought after design has run its course. Some brands will organise members only sale or have them sold under authorised dealers and special websites at a marked down price. But what happens to designer houses that rather keep 100% ownership of their products yet don’t have the time to continuously hold “closed-door sales” until all old stocks have been cleared? Thus, Chic Outlet Shopping – a more viable alternative was born.
Chic Outlet Shopping is a shopping village that is sort of a mini Rodeo Drive, minus the lavish frills and hot off the runway pieces. There are usually 60-80 lots all accommodating brands such as Alexander McQueen, Yves Saint Laurent to Fred Perry, 7 For All Mankind and more. Design houses and some high street brands wishing to take up space have free creative range on what goes on inside the boutiques – dÃ©cor, staff uniforms, finishing and so on but the exterior has been prefixed to a look that is uniformed throughout all villages.
There are around 9 villages across Europe and HANGER was invited to check out 3 – Wertheim in Frankfurt, Germany; La Roca in Barcelona, Spain; and Kildare in Dublin, Ireland. Each village presents a unique experience for example, Wertheim that gets a lot of businessmen and women, has a shoe-shine machine outside the toilet, Kildare has outdoor activities like foosball tables and La Roca has such a festive vibe about it. And since all villages are situated in cities that are hot tourist destinations, it’s easy to map your travels around it. They are also usually near cool, must-visit places like the Roald Dahl Museum, Antwert Fashion Museum and Guinness Storehouse where the aerial Gravity Bar is and heaps more. Check with your tour agent on places that are more your cup of tea and if this to you is all about budget shopping, then get your hands on a map and plan your own trip!