How to Afford The Row, According to a Stylist

Photo Illustration: by The Cut; Photo: Neelam Ahooja

Stylist Neelam Ahooja built her entire brand around recreating looks from The Row. She does this on Instagram and now on YouTube, where she provides in-depth reviews of The Row’s products. Why? Designers Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen just get it. The Row offers a quiet approach, one without logos and flashy emblems, characterized by collections that transcend seasons and trends, making the investment worthwhile. His idea of ​​luxury is quality. And while the price tags are indeed high, Ahooja shared with The Cut her methodology behind building an enviable collection that prioritizes conscious consumption on a budget.

Ahooja’s wishlist, which includes a few select styles of the season, prioritizes items from previous collections that she missed the first time – like this alligator Margaux bag from The Row, which is priced to rival an Hermès bag. It is available in four different sizes characterized by the width of the bag – 7.5, 10, 15, 17 – as well as a variety of materials and color combinations. The Aficionado points out the more understated styles of the tote she already owns in a comprehensive review.

Ahooja refers to accessories as “meaty purchases,” meaning they have the power to elevate any look and deserve their value-per-wear: “If you have these things, you can pick up a pair of vintage Levi’s with a plain white t-shirt.” and dressing that up with your zip up boots, big coat, sunglasses and oversized bag and suddenly you look like you’re head to toe The Row.”

Some key pieces the stylist wants to invest in? A pair of sunglasses, an oversized bag and shoes that make a statement without being loud, like the brand’s coveted caged fisherman sandals (known as “Gaia” among OG fans) or their leather zip-up boots.

Unlike Chanel, Louis Vuitton and a host of other designer brands, The Row does go on sale. Currently FWRD has many discounted shoe options; Net-a-Porter has The Row’s fall knitwear up to 50 percent off; Nordstrom sells a little bit of everything (but with limited inventory); and Saks Fitfh Avenue has even reduced the brand’s children’s collection. You are welcome.

Aside from seasonal fashion discounts, Ahooja cites second-hand shopping as a great way for consumers to get their hands on more expensive items for a fraction of the retail price. Between the boom in the market and the influx of options in terms of retailers focused solely on resale, it’s easier than ever to find something from previous collections. The creative frequents ecommerce sites like RealReal, eBay, and Vestiaire Collective as both a customer and seller on some occasions (although she prefers to post her pieces on Instagram to sell directly to her followers).

“I’ve been a thrift shopper for many, many years, but recently my love of The Row has really allowed me to replenish my wardrobe,” says Ahooja. “It’s allowed me to have more of the things I want and, more importantly, to experiment a little more.”

Be patient and stay persistent. In other words, if you want something, sometimes you have to play the long haul. “If it’s meant to be, it’ll come back up,” says Ahooja. “You may have to wait three years, but it will to be there.”

Contrary to what most vintage experts say, she also suggests not giving up a secondhand piece just because it’s a bit worn, arguing that you really never know Is correct Potential, especially if you have an experienced tailor and cleaner on hand to bring it back to life: “I recently bought a coat that I’ve been looking for for three years. Ashley Olsen wore it a few years ago and I loved it. I did not buy it immediately and missed the opportunity. I almost gave up and one day it was there but it was definitely popular which means there was staining and pilling. But I took it to my cleaner and she did such an amazing job it looks almost brand new.”

Ahooja reminds consumers to always be aware of a seller’s return policy so that if it doesn’t fit you don’t end up with an expensive item that you can’t enjoy. “Be sure to make sure an item is exchangeable and refundable,” says the collector. “If you’re not happy with it, you’ll just never wear it. So even if you paid 20 percent of the selling price, it’s still not worth it.”

Like many other luxury collectors, Ahooja has the things she buys to wear but eventually part with, and the pieces that will remain in her own personal archive; she takes care of both equally. As an introduction, she first describes her open closet as a “little museum” with no closed shelves, allowing her to keep track of what she already owns and making dressing a breeze. She keeps her special items in their original packaging (tissue paper, dust or garment bags, boxes, etc.) to protect them from the elements such as sunlight. Keeping these pieces in such good condition is her way of showing the utmost respect to the next potential owner should she ever part with an item.

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