Poor People Should Stop Buying Clothes, Says Vivienne Westwood

LFW - Celebrity Sighting -Vivienne Westwood

Attention poors! Did you know you might be able to stop being so effing broke all the time if you could bring yourselves to kick your raging shopping addictions once and for all? It’s true. Just take it from Vivienne Westwood, designer of the people.

Speaking to the press after her green consumerism themed runway show (which had a secondary theme of “ghosts”) at London Fashion week, she said:

“Buy less. Choose well. Make it last. Quality, not quantity. Everybody’s buying far too many clothes…I mean, I know I’m lucky, I can just take things and borrow them and I’m just okay, but I hate having too many clothes. And I think that poor people should be even more careful. It doesn’t mean therefore you have to just buy anything cheap. Instead of buying six things, buy one thing that you really like. Don’t keep buying just for the sake of it.”

Do you hear that, poor people? You need to be careful about how much stuff you buy. Try not to faint from this life-shattering information! Instead of buying six cheap work outfits from Forever 21, you should save up and buy one expensive scrunchie from Vivienne Westwood, and show up each day wearing that and only that. Never mind the fact that some people have to save up for quite some time to be able to afford one cheap outfit to cover their nakedness. Environmentalism!

And on the “I hate having too many clothes” tip…does she also hate having too much money and too many houses to live in? Because I know about a dillion people who’d be happy to switch places with her, should her material wealth start to burden her too heavily.

In all seriousness, this sort of individualist, consumer-based solution to the problem of fast fashion, shitty labor practices, and overproduction is as wrongheaded as it gets. Shaming the people who need cheap clothing as if they could just edit their closets down to a few designer pieces (or borrow from a fancy friend) is not the answer, and it seems especially hypocritical coming from someone who got rich off selling luxury goods whose prices have little to no relation to their usefulness as objects. I’m all for quality over quantity if you can afford it. But unfortunately, the system is set up such that most people cannot, and that’s hardly the fault of the lower classes, who, contrary to popular belief, are not poor due to moral decrepitude and/or choice. As someone who grew up working class in an extremely class-conscious country, you’d think Ms. Westwood would know better than this. I look forward to reading her awkward apology.

(Via The Daily Mail)

Photo: WENN

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    • Cee

      Lately I have been buying clothes, usually key pieces and a couple of other “professional” looking type clothes since I started back up at work. I’m also applying for jobs and in order to be a not “poor people” I need interview clothes, follow up interview clothes. And, if I do get a job, I need a couple of clothes for that too. I mean how many days can I wear my interview outfit before they figure out I’m “poor people”? Not only that, but I have gained weight. *gasp* I wonder if Vivienne Westfood has answers for how poor people get fat too! So I need new clothes. I’m having a Regina George phase where nothing but sweats fit me and my Gretchen Wieners/my boss is about to snap at me.

      Also, she does realize that she makes money out of people’s (albeit, not “poor people”) shopping addiction? Nobody needs the clothes she makes/sells. So she needs to shut the fuck up. And, I don’t know about anyone else, but I hate when rich people say poor people. Fuck off, you can say shit like that because you know nothing .

      • KathleenCat

        I have a four-figure income. What should persons of my financial standing be called if not “poor people”?

    • cori

      Poor people already are being more careful, well most of them. Clearly the lady is out of touch with reality.

    • Eileen

      Every non-assholey way of saying, “Try to buy only things that are well made and that you will actually wear” has already been said. Don’t say it anymore. We already know. Only teenagers prefer to buy tons of crappy clothing over fewer but better made pieces, and they’ll grow out of it when they want to stop looking like teenagers.

    • Tusconian

      While the whole “buy better made basics instead of a bunch of shitty 8 dollar party dresses” in theory is a pretty excellent idea, I am not even “poor” and it still usually reads as directed to the upper middle classes, if not the wealthy-but-not-exorbitantly-so. The suggestions are never “consider buying one skirt from GAP instead of two skirts from Forever 21, it will be cheaper in the long run” which might make sense if you’re talking to younger people who haven’t quite figured out this “budgeting” thing yet. It’s always “instead of shopping at H+M where you can get a week’s worth of clothes for 100 dollars, buy your basics at Vivienne Westwood, where one pair of pants costs almost 600 dollars!”

      • Mel

        I read a lot of personal style blogs, and a lot of these ‘normal’ people give the same advice…yet a lot of them don’t seem to realize that one well-made alexander wang bag is out of reach for most people…

    • http://lovemondegreens.wordpress.com/ Michelle

      Let’s not get our panties in a twist now. I completely understand what Westwood was trying to say – whether or not she comes from a wealthy background. In my case, being on a very tight budget and sharing the tiny wardrobe with my husband means I can’t shop for clothing as much as I’d like to. So I try to look for quality clothing (NOT uber expensive designer brands or anything – just clothing made of quality material that will last). If I need a new pair of boots, I save until I find a good pair that I know will last me years and that are under ₤50. It may sound like a “duh” statement, but you’d be surprised at how many people think more is better. I know I used to buy a lot of crap clothing before realizing having less clothes but with higher quality was a better way of maintaining my budget.

    • LynnKell

      I kinda don’t dislike her comment. The bragging part is annoying but I don’t think it was in-your-face mean spirited. We all should try to buy quality clothing, the type that won’t get holes in it at the first washing (cofcofINDITEXGROUPcofcof) and we do have to buy within a budget to avoid having so many debt a student loan feels like children’s game

    • Moose

      She’s actually right. Why not just report the stories instead of taking a condescending knee-jerk reaction. Think.

      And please stop passing this off as journalism. This is barely blogging. Waiting for your ignorant apology, Jamie.

    • wray serna

      she is right! The US consumes too much. For the price of a few H&M shirts that will fall apart in a month you could have yourself a wonderful piece of timeless clothing that will last you forever.

    • KathleenCat

      The headline certainly over-dramatizes a bit.

      I don’t think she’s saying exactly what you guys think she’s saying.

      She could say it a lot better. It’s not saying poor people are poor because they buy too much, or that they deserve to be in rags. It’s saying to be careful what you buy, rather than don’t buy at all.
      Maybe that’s stating the obvious, but that wasn’t a crime last I checked.