Spring Trends: Diffusion Lines

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

It always feels like a victory when you find a great designer piece for a steal.  But the days of digging and shuffling around vintage shops, fleas and markdowns at department stores to score a designer item at an acceptable price are over.  It’s becoming more and more common for top, celebrated designers to team up with popular mass market outlets to create diffusion lines.  These lines target a much larger audience and create limited edition pieces that are affordable but don’t skimp on the style.  Luckily this spring gives way to some noteworthy lines: Marni for H&M, Doo.ri for Macy’s and Aldo Rise.

Marni x H&M

Popular store H&M has been a budget friendly and trendy go-to fashionistas all around, however it’s anything but new to the designer collaboration game.  Housing popular diffusion lines with Jimmy Choo, Versace and Lanvin in the past, this Thursday (March 8th) H&M is to debut its latest collaboration with Marni.  The celebrated brand has bought its funky, quirky and feminine aesthetic to H&M at affordable prices ranging from $9.99 to $149.  The line will include accessories (bags,belts, shoes, etc), jewelry, clothing and swimwear.  This line is to debut in select stores this week. As learned by the horror of mad shoppers during past designer collaborations, I suggest heading over to H&M’s website and plan accordingly to avoid lines and madness--as I’m sure it will be around NYC, especially the stores in Herald Square (yikes!).

Doo.Ri for Impulse at Macy’s

I love that a major department store, like Macy’s is also trying its hand at diffusion lines.  Working successfully in the past with Matthew Willamson, Karl Lagerfeld and Giambattista Valli, Macy’s has paired up with established, Korean-American designer Doo-Ri Chung.  The line is currently at Macy’s and features comfortable and trendy creations in cool colors all retailing under $85.  This has to be one of the better diffusion collections I’ve seen  and personally must purchase the painterly a-line dress ($65) and the geometric printed wrap dress ($75). Luckily, this line can be shopped online from the comfort of your own home here

image: refinery29.com 


Shoes are always a tricky area for me, as quality is always preferred.  But quality doesn’t always mean more money.  I’m especially excited for this project because it celebrates designers, their ideas and bringing them to audiences that wouldn’t otherwise purchase or see.  In the Aldo Rise project, designers like Christian Cota, Preen, Cushnie et Ochs among many others, collaborated with ALDO and created shoes that frequent the runway and brought them to the streets where style is truly born.  Shoppers can get their hands on these designer styles on aldoshoes.com, asos.com and Aldo stores worldwide starting Thursday, March 8th.  The shoes sell for $155 (Usa, Canada) and 125 pounds in the UK.  I love the Mark Fast Cregger cutout pumps; they’re such a trendy update to the classic court shoe and happened to be the highlight of his SS’12 show. 

image: aldorise.com
So whether it’s a piece of jewelry, an accessory or garment that you’re after, remember that it doesn’t have to cost much.  Diffusion lines are a great way to own a fun designer piece at a reasonable price.  More and more stores are starting to join in on the designer collaboration fun and broaden its customer horizons, and hey it’s a good price break for us shopaholics.  Happy shopping all!!! 

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