Let's start the new year with a bang, shall we?
How about a little Marc Jacobs, Valentino, Gucci, Balmain, Mr Q, Tom Ford, Balenciaga, Rag & Bone, Givenchy, or Zac Posen at 70-90% off? Have a look inside UAL, one of Nashville's best kept secrets. This nondescript little store is tucked into a strip mall that's hiding in plain site on West End Ave, which is a main drag downtown.What looks like a little shop from the street is actually very spacious and filled with thousands of pieces just waiting to be taken home.
United Apparel Liquidator's flagship store opened 34 years ago in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, but there are now five locations, including the one I visited. The staff and store manager Stephanie Cohen took great care of me and let my better half take tons of photos. They carry both men's and women's designer clothing and accessories. There's even a "Designer Plus Sized" section (yes, I know how ludicrous that sounds. But the issue of sizeism is a separate conversation). Not to worry, though; if you don't live near any of them you can shop UAL online. It's shops like this one that make the idea of owning designer clothing a feasible notion.
The new year always brings with it the inevitable resolutions. Rather than swear them off entirely, I prefer to focus on several words to guide me through 2015, the first word being iconic. People are starting to recognize me when I'm out and about as well as on the 'net It's important that the fashion I wear convey my unique style and message. That means buying only those pieces I feel exude a strong sense of who I am, even though that in and of itself carries with it a broad and well-rounded definition.
My second word is inclusive. It's become clear that there are many things I can do to call attention to the notion that our differences as people should not be used as excuses to exclude or belittle each other. I'm going to try to focus more on celebrating who I am and doing what I can to eliminate physical and social barriers that stand in the way of being included. The Roll Models will be tweaked slightly as well to raise awareness and encourage more participation from current members
My final word is style. Fashion without context can become uninteresting very quickly. I think the phrase, "Fashion is what you buy. Style is what you do with it" says it all. Style is about more than just the clothes on your back. It's also about the things you say and the way you live. I'm going to continue talking about fashion within the context of my lifestyle, which is an exploration of who I am and how I make my way in the world given my specific circumstances.
I truly hope you'll stay with me during this journey.