Skip to main content

the up (and down) side of being a designer

Originally uploaded by twin wire hang overs.
One thing I can say, for sure, that going to design school has done to me is make me a much more conscious consumer. I do not mean- solely- that I think about the environmental impact of everything I buy (although I try to do that too.) I also think about every single purchase from the standpoint of what that product/outfit/pair of shoes will say about me. This is a whole new awareness that I didn't really pay attention to before college.

Just one example- I went spruce-up shopping yesterday to get a few new things for co-op. One of the things I have been thinking about is new work-appropriate tennis shoes. I have an old beat-up pair of keds that I bought (brand new!) at a thrift store for $5 one year ago. Keds are good, and designerly, I guess. People wear them. They're simple. They are not branded as in-your-face as a pair of nikes with a swoosh on the side.

The gist of this story is this: I saw some knock-offs at Urban Outfitters, but didn't buy them because they were made in China. I went to a couple shoe stores and found new black keds (similar to the ones I already have) and was minorly appalled to find they, too, were made in China. They were also $30 (twice that of the urban outfitter shoes) and the design has gone downhill since my old keds were made. Shoot. In the long run, I wound up throwing the old keds- pink laces and all- in the washer (who knew?) They're looking pretty sharp and ready for Boston.

I'm not sure I will ever again know the blissful ignorance of buying something without thinking about it first. I guess that is probably a good thing.