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VALENTINO VS RED VALENTINO- Diffusion Lines and Massification…Is it Worth It?

8 Apr

Valentino blouse

Valentino blouse $3690

We have all heard of the fashion house Valentino. Founded by Valentino Garavani in 1960, this brand has become a household name even among those who do not love luxury. You just know the brand… the beautiful dresses, the bags and the shoes! The freaking rock studs!

You may or may NOT have heard of RED Valentino. If you have, you may have found yourself a bit confused. Is it a different brand? A different Valentino? Is it a special heart disease awareness collection? (that was what I first thought when I learnt of it)

It is none of those things. It is a sister line to Valentino. That means it is made by the same company that makes your rock stud pumps, flats and sliders. However, you won’t find the exact designs that you do from House of Valentino and you won’t pay as much for the items. This is called a diffusion line or brand and it achieves a process called Massification.

Let’s get some definitions out of the way:

Diffusion Line: A diffusion line is a secondary line of merchandise created by a high-end fashion house or designer that retails at a lower price. These ranges are separate from a fashion house’s “signature line” that typically retails at much higher prices.”

Massification: Massification is a strategy that some luxury companies use to attain growth in the sales of product. Some luxury brands have taken and used the concept of massification to allow their brands to grow to accommodate a broader market. As a method of implementing massification, companies have created diffusion lines.

Valentino is hardly the only fashion house to do this. Other examples include but are not limited to:

Armani Exchange by Armani

DKNY by Donna Karan

Hugo by Boss

Marc by Marc Jacobs

Simply Vera by Vera Wang

Victoria by Victoria Beckham

So what does this all mean?

What it means for the fashion houses is a way to increase profits. Remember, fashion houses are businesses and the goal of all businesses is to make profits. By creating a line that is more affordable and present in many department stores and outlet malls it becomes far more accessible to the masses. People who may never have heard of a particular designer because they do not follow luxury fashion may suddenly own multiple pieces due to the exposure.

This method also allows the fashion house to maintain its exclusivity surrounding its principle line. That means they keep their high-end clients and gain more mid-level clientele.

What diffusion lines and massification mean for the consumer is a chance to experience a fashion house at a lower cost. It can be a way for someone to dip their toes in before diving head first into a luxury brand. It is a way for people who enjoy good quality and design but not very high prices to get what they are looking for.

What this means for products and the industry is controversial. There are some people who are staunchly opposed to “the masses” being included in luxury fashion as it takes away some of the ever-important exclusivity that the high prices confer. Some fear that when a fashion house begins to dabble in lower quality items, that it may transcend all their lines thus bringing down the overall quality of that fashion house. Others believe it is potentially detrimental to many of these fashion houses as there are so many mid-level designer brands competing with the same (or better) quality and similar (or lower) prices.

Now diffusion lines are a specific thing. High end brands making a more affordable line. However, there are other methods of massification in existence some of which people believe to be better options.

Outlet Lines: I have a previous post discussing outlets, however some companies, often contemporary brands which already charge mid-level prices create even more affordable and slightly lower quality items to be sold in outlets.

Collaboration Lines: This is when a fashion house or designer produces a collection of number of collections to be sold in more affordable stores such as Target or Walmart. Again, these items tend to be less elaborate with their designs and lower quality.

Brand Extension: A high end fashion house will create a new product, a cheaper one under the same name. For example, a fashion house that only sold haute couture clothing may start an accessories line or a perfume line. This allows more people to become familiar with and purchase from the brand.

So, is it worth it to shop a diffusion line?

Let’s go through some points

A diffusion line is a sister line to a higher end one often more affordable but lower in quality.

Being lower in quality does not equate to poor quality.

Many diffusion lines though less expensive are still high priced.

There are many competing brands with similar or better quality items for similar or lower prices to diffusion lines.

There are other methods companies can use to achieve massification or to reach more average consumers.

Here are my thoughts. Do not simply buy an item because of the name. This is easier said than done. When deciding to make a purchase of any cost but particularly more expensive ones, consider the quality of the item, the design and the cost. Let those factors rather than the brand determine whether you should make the purchase.

Thank you for reading and have an awesome day!

RED Valentino shirt

RED Valentino blouse $478

5 Key Accessory Pieces

11 Mar

This post outlines some key accessory items I think every woman should have. This is not an exhaustive list and it is totally expected to have multiples of some of these items but having at least one of each will help keep your wardrobe afloat.

Sunglasses– Of course you need a pair. Sunglasses walk the line between function and fashion. They shield your eyes from uncomfortable sunlight and protect them from UV damage. Choose a pair of sunglasses that suit your face, goes with most of your wardrobe and that fits in with your budget.

A tip for prolonging the life of your sunglasses is to keep them in their case once you aren’t wearing them. Don’t drag them onto your head, don’t hang them onto the neck of your shirt and don’t just cram them into your bag.

Clutch– A small compact bag to stash your essentials in for a night out. Select a clutch that can hold your phone and keys along with some lipgloss. The colour and style are totally subjective but of course, neutral colours will get the most use.

Whatever style you chose depends on you but I have two recommendations when looking for a clutch apart from ensuring it can fit enough stuff. The first is find one that has a few card slots or at least a small pocket for a card slot. That way you don’t have to worry about a purse/wallet. The second is try and find a clutch with a strap, preferably a detachable one so you get more versatility in terms of wear.

Scarf– Yes, a scarf! I’m not talking a long woolen winter neck warmer, although that’s key in some people’s wardrobes as well. I’m talking a classy, printed silk square. A scarf can add that splash, that personal touch to your overall look. You can wrap it around your head or make it into a headband, you can tie it around your neck or (my fave) tie it around a bag handle elevating it.

A tip for buying a multi-use scarf is to get a wider longer one, that way it can comfortably be used lots of ways.

Hat– A hat is definitely key. For sun protection while on vacation or to add some flare when you’re feeling groovy. My personal favorite is the wide-brimmed felt hat but hats literally come in all shapes and sizes and can reflect who you are.

When storing your hats, place some crumpled paper or plastic bags in the head portion to help it keep its shape. Unless you have a hat form. Or a hat box. Those work too.

Belt– And bringing up the rear is a belt. Belts also sit on the line of function and fashion. They help keep your pants and skirts in place but they can add so much to an outfit. You can add a skinny belt to a work outfit to look more put together or wear a thick waist cinching belt with a loose-fitting dress or top to make things more interesting.

If you find you wear mostly gold jewelry, you should get a belt either with a gold, brass or copper buckle and if you wear more silver, chose belts with silver and pewter buckles.

What accessories do you consider essential to your wardrobe? Let me know and have an awesome day!

“Inspired By” Fashion… Is it Fair?

18 Feb

Teddy Blake Caty

” Caty” bag by Teddy Blake New York


This is a discussion about items that have been clearly inspired by another item. In other words, a knock-off or a dupe.

The terminology itself can be rather problematic as it can mean one thing to me and something entirely different to you.

Another problem, the bigger one is how ethical is “inspired by” fashion.

So let me begin the discussion by defining these terms as I understand them.

Inspired By- This is an item: a bag, a dress, a pair of shoes which in its design and production has gathered elements from pre-existing items. This is a broad definition. One may say, everything is inspired by something but for these purposes we mean a bag that looks a lot like another bag which likely is far more expensive.

Knock-Off/Replica- This is when something looks almost exactly like something else and seems to be manufactured that way to make that item appear as if it were the original item it is copied from.

So, those are my interpretations. A better way to discuss this concept however is by examples.

Example 1 “Inspired By” A few years ago, three to be precise I recall looking at some vacation photos of a friend of mine. I immediately noticed her shoes because I had seen a similar pair in PayLess Shoe Source (an affordable brand) the weekend before. Two things stuck out to me: 1) The shoes didn’t really look like the Payless shoes, they only resembled them and 2) This friend wouldn’t be caught dead, alive or in spirit form in a pair of Payless shoes. About two weeks later while browsing a magazine I saw the shoes my friend had been wearing. They were from a high end brand and definitely not from Payless. I liked these shoes but there was no way I would or could pay a high end price for “vacation shoes”.

On retrospect, the shoes in PayLess didn’t look a whole lot like these higher end shoes but rather shared a few basic design elements. In fact, it is likely that the shoes in PayLess were inspired by multiple higher end shoes with a similar design. I consider these shoes to be “Inspired By”


Example 2 “Knock-Offs” There is a company which seems to be gaining popularity even among hardcore luxury lovers. This company makes some beautiful, high quality bags. The catch is that these bags very strongly resemble a well-known luxury brand bag. The brand may or may not rhyme with Lermes. These bags resemble this brand so much, that to see a picture of them online, one may assume it is the MUCH higher end bag. Many bloggers and vloggers review these bags (that have been gifted to them) and attest to the impressive quality. These bags, though nowhere in the price range of the ones they so highly resemble are still fairly expensive. I consider these bags to be “Knock-Offs”

So now comes the real question: “Is this fair?”

Designs whether in fashion, architecture or technology come from skilled, hard-working persons who often have gone through years of studying, observing and working their way to success. When someone designs something, it is her or his intellectual property.

When someone else comes along and reproduces these designs for profit, they are essentially stealing said intellectual property. This, in my opinion is wrong.

What muddles or confounds this scenario is when it isn’t obvious that the design is completely ripped off. This maybe because the person or company doesn’t want to be known as a rip off so they change certain elements OR it could be a case of being inspired by a style and making that your own.

Another factor which must be considered is the cost. Most knock-offs are far more affordable than the originals. They tend to be made by relatively unknown or up and coming brands or they are mass produced by budget friendly fast fashion chains. This means that materials will tend to be lower in quality and these companies will not have a name behind them to charge excessive amounts of money. This alone, makes these types of products far more appealing to many. Most of us are on budgets and tight ones at that, and it makes far more sense to buy something that looks like what you want for a literal fraction of the cost.

So, is it fair?

Let’s consider a few points:

Most knock-offs are made from lower cost/quality materials.

Most knock-offs or dupes are far lower priced.

Many higher end products though typically made from better quality products and use artisanal techniques are still vastly overpriced.

Some high-end brands also mass produce their items, including those sold in boutiques.

Some companies who sell dupes or “inspired by” items use very good quality materials and they are handmade.

Making a product that heavily resembles another one can be considered theft of intellectual property.

Some companies make their own designs even though they may be inspired by another pre-existing design.

Some higher end companies also get “inspired by” other designs whether another high-end fashion house or a lesser known brand.

Someone who buys a “rip-off” may be completely unaware that there is an original more expensive version in existence.

So, will you partake in purchasing dupes or knock offs or “inspired by” items? My suggestion is to view each product individually.

For me I appreciate when a brand has given their own input into a design so that even if the item, a bag for example has a similar silhouette to another one, if it has its own touches, like a different flap, unique colours and hardware it becomes something entirely different and sometimes even more beautiful than the “original”. I am comfortable purchasing these types of products. I am firmly against purchasing items that obviously rip off the design of another.

Thank you for reading and have an awesome day.

Hermes Birkin

“Birkin” bag by Hermes

Galentines Day Bash!

4 Feb

It is often said that art imitates life. Sometimes however, the reverse is true. Galentine’s Day was first born on an episode of sitcom “Parks and Recreation” in 2010. Since then Galentine’s Day has become increasingly well known and celebrated with 2017 bringing it a trending spot on Twitter.

This holiday is celebrated on February 13th (the day before Valentine’s day) and it is seen as a day for gals to celebrate and uplift each other in a social scene where girl on girl hate is so prevalent.

This is right up my alley. An excuse to celebrate anything but especially something as positive as friendships between women.

I came up with a few very Pinterest inspired ideas to throw a Galentine’s bash for you and your gals.

Pizza Heart Bites

This is so darn cute. Heart shaped pizza bites are tasty and great party food to pick up and nibble on.


Pizza crust -I used ready made flatbread crust


Tomato sauce

Other toppings- I used mushrooms and Italian herbs

Heart shaped cookie cutter


1) Cut out heart shapes from crust.

2) Top crusts

3) Bake until cheese is melted and you’re done!

Pink Love Donuts


1) Donuts

2) Icing– I dyed it three shades of pink

3) Toppings– sprinkles


1) Dip each donut into the corresponding glaze

2) Top with sprinkles, nuts etc and set into fridge to harden.

Sorbet Fizz Cocktail

For the cocktail portion of the evening, we combine a refreshing dessert with some fizzy wine.


Sorbet– I chose black cherry to stick with the pink theme

Sparkling wine– Prosecco, Brut, sparkling rose etc.


1) Place a scoop of sorbet in glass.

2) Pour sparkling wine over it and serve!

Guest gifts

I feel as if no celebration is quite complete without a little something for your guests to leave with. I also like giving gifts that are useful. I am also mildly obsessed with succulents…

Succulents are affordable, beautiful and hard to kill. To seal the deal I stuck a little label with a love note on the pot.

I hope this post can give you some inspiration for your own Galentine’s party or Valentine’s party or whatever party you have!

Have an awesome Galentine’s Day!

Make 2018 Great!

7 Jan

Hello and Happy 2018! Something about the calendar switching from December 31st to January 1st incites thoughts of change and resolve to be a new and improved version of yourself. 

While some resolutions can be a bit far reaching and cause undue stress I do believe setting some realistic goals can help you become a more effective, efficient and fulfilled individual. Here are a few of my tips for making 2018 great!


What nutritionist/doctor/lifestyle guru hasn’t mentioned this at some point? There’s a reason for that, water is life! It’s our gift from nature. It is good for you because it keeps you hydrated, quenches your thirst and helps with pain. Drinking more water definitely makes you feel more alert and better.

I want to sidebar to point out that there is no minimum amount of water you should drink per day. I also want to point out that I mean regular water not water that has been electrolysed or ionized or galvanized.


I’m a self proclaimed environmentalist. I feel that each of us can do a little something everyday that will have a positive impact on our environment. I know it isn’t realistic for most people to build a home in a forest and only live off the land. However, there are some things we can incorporate into our daily routines. Some things you can do are ; turn off lights whenever you leave a room, unplug appliances whenever they aren’t in use and use reusable bags.


Meal prep it and you won’t regret it! I did meal PREP relatively consistently throughout 2016 and I can’t find a good reason as to why I fell off in 2017 because meal prepping is awesome! Here’s why:

It saves time- By planning all, most or just some of your meals for the upcoming week you shave off hours in the kitchen. You spend a couple hours making multiple meals instead of slaving away morning and evening daily.

It saves money- By making all of your own meals, ahead of time no less you avoid having to buy those meals which will invariably be more costly.

It’s healthier- Whenever you make something yourself, you can control what goes into it and hopefully that means you whip something healthy or at the very least less UNhealthy than the stuff you pick up at drive thrus.


I’m an unapologetic list maker. Having some plan creates order and makes it easier to keep track of what you need to do. You can invest in a beautiful designer planner and follow along with the planning community on YouTube or you can scribble on a notepad or you can type up on your phone. 

Whatever method you chose, chose something. You can get very detailed planning down to the half hour or maybe you just create “to-do” lists for the week but have a plan!


This one is a bit wide. I think we need to find a little time to do things that make us feel human or normal or happy. The emphasis is on a little. In our busy lives it can be next to impossible to anything apart from work, sleep and eat but if you just set aside a small pocket of time to focus on yourself, you will, feel regenerated and inspired.

Here are a few things I want to take a little time for:


I used to be a book a week type of reader but somehow I lost that. And I hate it. I love to dive into the world that an author creates and I plan to find more time to incorporate more reading.


You may not have time to book in a massage and pedicure on a weekly basis but you can put on an overnight hair mask or a 15 minute face mask, or you could do an at home foot bath, or paint your nails or…you get the idea.


Regular physical activity is super important for everyone yet it’s something we can easily neglect for lengthy periods of time. Sneak in a mini early morning YouTube workout or get your squats in at night before bed. Skip, but dont skip exercise.


Painting, writing poetry, horseback riding…whatever tickles your fancy embrace it and spend a little time with it.


Light a candle, put on Enya and relax or meditate or pray. Just find some time for reflection and regain some mental balance.

Wishing everyone a peaceful, fruitful and successful 2018.Thank you for reading and have an awesome day!

New Years Eve on the Cheap

29 Dec

New Years is one of the few things celebrated by all cultures, ages, places. The way it is celebrated is as varied as the human species but it is definitely one of those celebrations that can easily add up. Between the dress and the shoes, the drinks and the transportation you can shell out well over a few pennies for what is essentially a night out.

I have a few suggestions being someone who both loves to have a good time AND save my money.

1) Let Sparks Fly

As we know, many places set off fireworks on NYE and depending on how close you are you can enjoy the light show for free. Find a great look out spot for fireworks e.g a beach, a park, a friend’s backyard.

Put on a jacket, round up your squad and pack a bottle of wine and bag of chips. Get there a couple hours before the light show and have a chill nighttime picnic that ends with fireworks.

2) Hotel Hoopla

A beautiful luxurious hotel room with a balcony with a view and a Jacuzzi can rob you of a significant portion of your paycheck…IF you book it by yourself and IF you book for many nights. 

However, IF you and your crew put together and pay for one night it suddenly becomes a lot more affordable. Be sure to get a room where the amount in your party are allowed to be at one time and ensure the noise level rules are complied with. Everyone brings a bottle and the fun can begin.

3) Burger Queen

Another great NYE activity is to go out for dinner. Usually, you have to book well ahead of time, contend with a crowd and pay through your nose. You can still have a nice dinner in your best dress just as someplace with a few less frills.

The clan and you decide on a clean, safe and extremely affordable spot and agree to meet up wearing something nice.  Being dressed up in a casual setting will definitely make it feel more special.

4) Lucky Lady

Casinos can be a place of indulgence and decadence and financial ruin, but it need not be. Find a casino without a cover charge and grab your gals and guys and go . Decide on a low spending limit e.g $20 and spend it slowly. Order a drink or two and your night is made.

5) Night In

Have a proper night in. Decide whose home will be host to your group. Everyone brings their pjs and a snack. Binge watch a series and play monopoly. Then in the morning everyone helps cook up a casual brunch. So little money spent, so much fun had.

If you’re looking for good clean cheap fun, hopefully something here has given you am idea or two. Have an awesome day and an awesome NYE!

Ginger Pear Moscow Mule

17 Dec

Today I bring you a festive cocktail; a ginger pear Moscow Mule.



Pear nectar

Ginger beer

Can of pears

Fresh pear- I got a red pear


Muddle a pear half and place in the bottom of the mug

Pour pear nectar over pear

Pour ginger beer and prosecco 

Garnish with a slice of fresh pear

This is a delicious drink. It’s slightly fizzy with mild but complimentary flavours. A great option for a festive event!

Have an awesome day!

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