The average shopper knows a good brand when they see one, especially those savvy fashionista female shoppers. The average shopper also usually knows a good deal when they see one. The surprising news is that not every savvy shopper realizes those best of the best designer brand names don’t have to go for top dollar.
With the rise in popularity of outlet shopping malls, the diversity in brands shoppers can find has also changed. While the first outlet shopping mall centers had usually just the basics that could be found at any other outlet location, that has changed drastically in the past decade. So, while there will always be some tried and true staples at almost each outlet shopping center, there are also several top designer brand names that many shoppers don’t even realize they can find at select outlet locations.
#1: Juicy Couture
Although Juicy Couture is one of the newer brands on the fashion scene, it was also one of those that quickly took off. The company was started in 1997 by two friends who were obsessed with all thingsfashion. The company really began to take off in 2003 when it was acquired by Fifth & Pacific Companies, formerly Liz Claiborne Inc. The big hit for Juicy Couture was the infamous posh track suit they introduced, making casual wear ultra cool, and it certainly helped that young fashion-loving divas like Paris Hilton practically lived in the attire for a while.
Now girls love the brand for more than just the tracksuits, including handbags, swimwear, fragrances, sunglasses, and so much more. Of course, Juicy Couture is also known for the elevated price tag that comes attached with the designer brand name, but smart shoppers are quickly learning how to findjuicy deals from this brand by shopping outlets.
#2: Michael Kors
Although the Michael Kors brand was already an established name among high-end fashion, his regular spot as a judge on the reality competition show for emerging fashion designers, Project Runway, escalated his popularity. Best known as the designer of American sportswear for women’s clothing, Michael Kors includes everything from jeans to handbags.
Some of his most famous clients include names like Heidi Klum, Jennifer Lopez, and Catherine Zeta-Jones. Since the average shopper may not be able to afford Michael Kors’ boutique prices, they will be glad to find this brand among one of the more popular designer brand names now showing up at outlet shopping mall centers.
#3: Gap / Banana Republic / Old Navy
Since all three top-selling brands are part of the same company, it would be hard to include one without the other. For years now, these three outlet stores have become a major staple among outlet shopping centers—and for good reason. Aside from great discount prices, shoppers can choose from casuals at Old Navy, high-end fashion from Banana Republic, and casual cool in the middle at Gap.
#4: Barneys New York
Instead of settling for a single brand, why not shop an entire line of discounted department store products? One of the emerging trends in outlet shopping is the high-end department store looking to discount some of the past season’s merchandise. Instead of taking up valuable real estate in their own stores with sales racks, it is easier to relocate off-season merchandise to outlet locations. Shop for different high-end brands, and a large variety of products, by hitting the Barneys New York outlet stores at select outlet mall shopping centers.
Even though the brand began to gain its most worthy notoriety around the time a young model named Brooke Shields proclaimed, “Nothing comes between me and my Calvins,” that was not the first, or the last, from the brand. With headquarters in Midtown Manhattan, Calvin Klein has been a top selling brand name since first appearing on the cover of Vogue in 1969, less than a year after launching on a mere $10,000.
The ’80s brought an even bigger surge in popularity, fueled by controversial ads, and the company has retained that level of popularity ever since. The brand may be most famous for jeans, underwear, and fragrances, but there is plenty more to it than that. Those looking to shop Calvin Klein without paying high department store prices will appreciate everything they find at outlet shopping center locations.
Guess was another brand that rocked the world of denim with controversial, fashion forward, and award-winning advertising in the ’80s. Since then, the popularity has only continued to grow as the product line expanded. Shoppers can now get the Guess brand name on everything from jeans for adults to baby clothes, not to mention watches, luggage, fragrances, and plenty of other products. Of course, shopping for such a popular brand can often come at quite an expense, but financially savvy shoppers can easily spot some great deals at Guess outlet store locations.
#7: Polo Ralph Lauren
Another American classic in popular brand name fashion is Polo Ralph Lauren. The focus of this brand is high-end fashions for men and women, including everything from fragrances to house wares. Although the company started in 1967 with a focus on men’s ties, the company has come a long way since then. In fact, this brand is also a popular seller for children’s wear too. Paying full retail department store prices for the whole family can begin to get rather pricy though. Anyone looking for the style and quality of Polo Ralph Lauren without the full retail price tag will be glad to find this among many directory listings at multiple outlet shopping mall centers.
#8: Saks Fifth Avenue – Off 5th
Another of the most popular department stores gone outlet store is Saks Fifth Avenue with its “Off 5th” locations. Off 5th is owned and operated by Saks Fifth Avenue Enterprises and carries the same high-end merchandise shoppers would find at any full retail location. With competition like Neiman Marcus and Bloomingdales, shoppers expect to find high prices with high-end merchandise. However, one shopping trip to an Off 5th location will prove that you can shop smart and fashionable without having to choose one or the other.
The bottom line is that there really is no reason to pay full price for your favorite brand name merchandise, no matter who that may be. Almost every designer now has an outlet location; some are just a little more obscure than others. The only difference in what’s in store is usually simply a season past full retail. For anyone looking to still shop high-end brands while staying within budget, outlet shopping is the way to go.