Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Style Transformation: My Journey From Normalcy To Brand Whore

Growing up, I was pretty down-to-earth. I would play soccer after school, walk neighbor's dogs for money (an entire $5!), and occasionally, if I was lucky, get a new shirt from Target. No, I wasn't poor. Quite the opposite, actually.


I grew up in a wealthy town, where everyone around me was fixated not on the shoes I wore, but on the tiny label that could be found on the inside. It didn't quite make sense to me then, and I'm not quite sure it does now either.
Until age 12, I was a tomboy. I couldn't care less about how I, or anyone else, dressed. I did, however, begin to care when I reached the age of 13. I was in 7th grade, and I never felt more powerful. I strived to create my own individual style, and let’s just say it was far more "unique" than anyone else's. I was the first girl who was allowed to wear makeup, which I chose to purchase from Hot Topic- back when it was cool, of course. I paired my lime green-shadowed eyes with black polish on my long nails, and completed my look with thick, hot pink streaks in my waist-length dark brown hair. My parents encouraged individuality, which I certainly had no problem attaining.
Fast forward about two years to my freshman year in high school. I was now a bottle blonde with a fake Coach purse and 1.5-inch acrylic nails. I was friends with the girls on the dance team, with whom I skipped meals and reapplied my CoverGirl bronzer every hour, on the hour, as if it were my religion. We strived to be the South Florida reincarnations of Regina George, and lip gloss was never far out of sight.
Sophomore year, I transferred to a new school, where the houses were bigger and the noses were faker. Girls here had real Coach bags, as well as clothing made by then-foreign Italian brands. I was disgusted by their shallowness, and even more, by how much of my old self I saw in these inhuman clones of each other. From that moment on, I strived to be as far away from the girl I was only a few months prior as possible. I refused to wear anything designer, and I wouldn’t buy anything expensive unless it was already on sale. I became a vegetarian, and stopped wearing makeup altogether. In a way, I was a Hippie, minus the drugs and free sex, of course.

Junior year, after the boy I was “in love with” fell for the rich blonde girl with the flawless makeup, I put my inner “flower child” to rest. I began wearing makeup again, and I became less opposed to designer brands, not that I could ever wrap my mind around spending hundreds of dollars on a purse, of all things. I became balanced, a word that once scared me to death, as my extreme personality encourages the exact opposite. Oh, and the boy? He later turned out to be gay.

I continued this positive path throughout the rest of high school, and now, a freshman in college, I had believed I was still on it. Until, of course, I was approached by a street style blogger on the busy Manhattan streets just a week ago, who asked me what I was wearing, to which I answered: “Michael Kors sunglasses, Banana Republic boots, ToyWatch watch, True Religion jeans, BCBG top, Burberry cardigan, and Coach purse.”


What had happened? I had finally achieved a balance, but now, my outfit easily cost over $1000, and I didn’t even notice. Heck, I was even carrying a Coach purse! Now, looking through my closet, it seems my style has transformed once again. But this time, it wasn’t overnight; it was a gradual change. Although I had grown up in an upper-middle class family, my parents had raised me in a way to assure that I wouldn’t end up this way, just like everyone I was once surrounded by. But now, I’m the person they’ve always tried to prevent, as well as the one I’ve both loved and hated. My name is Mallory Levy, and I’m a Brand Whore.

10 comments:

  1. Wow! You've got an interesting story

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  2. Well at least you can admit it! And if you can afford it, why not?

    I can't believe some girls at your highschool had nose jobs so young!

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  3. Hi there

    I havent heard that term before but will take it into my vocabulary. I don't deliberately choose to wear designer brands, but I have found over recent years that they are to be found in a wider selection of shops and also, on sale, a lot of the time. So I shop for quality, and sometimes a garment or lippy is a designer brand and sometimes not...it is all down to colour and suitability for me:):) Mind you, this little process took time, as when I was young (oh no, those words I hated to hear from my grandparents) I couldnt afford many designer brands and they did not appear on sale very often at all. So I guess, the question is, what is happening to our 'consumer economy'?

    Thank you for your posts - they are always informative and often thought provoking:):)

    Olga from http://revedoa@blogspot.dom

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  4. @Grace Thanks!! I was thinking about it recently, and thought it would make an interesting post. :)

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  5. @Marie Haha, that's the positive. Lol!! And yeah, my hometown is.... special.

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  6. @Olga I'm so glad you enjoyed it!! I usually struggle with these types of posts- like, 'Are they TOO personal that people will get bored / not relate?' Its always a struggle, but I'm always thrilled with the results of my 'my life' posts. :)

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  7. This is a great post. Really enjoyed reading it & related to it very closely. Growing up in LA I was so opposed to all things designer—it was cool to be anti-trend! Eventually, I developed a respect for the history & quality of luxury brands. I still LOVE those fashion houses that are family owned best. You are a clever girl & a great writer. You told your story so well! LOVED reading it!
    xo
    Sada
    http://dressologyhq.blogspot.com/

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  8. ahahahahahahaha, those are diff celeb pics.. not you!!!! stupid ass bitchs who actually belived this...HA!!

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  9. ...And when did I say that the pictures are of me? If you actually read the post, you would see that the styles of each celebrity pictured clearly represent the style I was describing in each respective paragraph.

    And DO NOT call my readers stupid... After all, they understand my methods of presenting accurate visuals without having it thoroughly explained. But then again, my readers are smart, fashionable women, not twelve-year-olds who are obsessed with Justin Bieber and only have one follower.

    Think before you write, children.

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