Do you take your Prada with a side of Old Navy? How about that Jimmy Choo shoe with a Hanes white t-shirt?
Last week Women's Wear Daily reported that there's a new shopping trend emerging in the retail world that embraces this intense high-meets-low mix.
WWD partnered with MasterCard to look at the spending habits of a sample of “100,00o anonymous cardholders who made at least one purchase at one of the nine high-end retailers last year.” The patterns among those shoppers showed a tendency to shop more frequently at discount department stores (like Kohl's), but spend more money at high-end and luxury retailers. They're calling it “The Extreme Cross-Shopper.”
While we know that cross-shopping is nothing new when it comes to fashion, we can't help but wonder if this purchasing trend has anything to do with the rise and popularity of style bloggers. After all, we're master mixers of high and low! Any given post might find Aimee Song of Song of Style pairing an H & M top and a Chanel bag, or Blair of Atlantic-Pacific wearing Zara shoes with her Celine handbag.
We chatted with Saks Fifth Avenue Senior Fashion Director Colleen Sherin to find out her take on the extreme cross-shopper and how style bloggers can influence the retail landscape.
Do you find that this demographic of “the extreme cross-shopper” applies to customers at Saks?
“More and more we’re seeing that customers are very savvy. They may want to splurge on a designer shoe or handbag, then may buy other pieces at H & M and American Apparel. It's just the way people dress today. There are peices worth investing in and customers know they’ll have for many years, and pieces that are more of the moment that they may buy elsewhere. [At Saks] we've seen this trend within the store as well, in our advanced designer department and our contemporary area.”
Style bloggers are known for their savvy mixing of high and low brands. Do you think this trend among shoppers could have a correlation to the rise and popularity of personal style blogs?
“It gives the consumer more confidence and endorses the look as doable. An endorsement of that type of shopping and that type of dressing – it's a visual image of what it looks like to cross-shop, and how it can result in a very interesting and very individual look.”
From the standpoint of Saks Fifth Avenue, how much do you look to style bloggers for tip-offs about trends? Since bloggers are attending shows at the same time as buyers and then blogging about it almost instantaneously, do their opinions influence buyers at all?
“We look at everything that's coming our way at that time. We look at what's on blogs, Twitter, WWD – [style blogs] are one more source of information. With everything, we have to look at it and evaluate and then decide if it’s right for Saks Fifth Avenue. We have our own specific direction, and blogs are just one outlet we look to; but they're something that didnt exist in the past, and they're real and authentic and very tuned in to whats happening at that moment.”
Do you identify with the “extreme cross-shopper” demographic? Do you think this is a trend that's been highly influenced by fashion's digital presence?