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Globalisation has hurt us

November 8, 2011

Dear Sir,

For those of us who follow the world of fashion and love cutting edge clothing and accessories, yet want to do our part to support the local economy, shopping in Bermuda can be a major drag and source of discouragement. For instance, I recently spotted a very distinctive looking accessory item online at a prestigious US retailer's website. When I went looking for it at a prominent Front Street retailer's boutique that carries that world famous designer's line, the sales associate looked at me like I had two heads ... totally clueless on the details of this item.

This person then proceeds to just chat me up as if I was on a social call, not offering to take my telephone number to notify me of a possible stock arrival. I was there to spend $350, and as usual I walked out of yet another Bermuda store disappointed and empty-handed. I understand that the output of this particular designer is prodigious and that different retailers demand and do receive designer exclusive. What put me off was the total lack of interest on the sales associate's part. I will simply order the item online. It applies to many basic wardrobe items, too.

Trench coats are back in style but you can forget about purchasing a Burberry on the island now that Smith's is defunct. If I'm feeling this way then what must those well heeled, style conscious urbanites who frequent Tucker's Point Resort be thinking? Those glory days of the impeccably crafted and totally original Polly Homburg designed Polly Pants are long gone. Who can ever forget the sight of Gloria Vanderbilt on a mission walking through the front entrance of Trimingham's in the late 1970's? Or Yoko Ono and John Leno shopping for antiques at Bluck's?

Let's face it, we have allowed globalisation to ruin Bermuda. Just take a walk down Front Street to see what I mean. All originality is being erased from our DNA. The Macy's formula and brand mix is what's being copied today. Yeah right, our East Coast American visitors are just “clamouring” to buy Liz Claiborne and Ralph Lauren on island!

What about the notion of expertly curated collections from around the world and one of a kind designer collaborations? The Irish Linen Shop is a fine example of what I mean. I walk into that shop and I covet every item I see. It's exciting and eclectic, encompassing a range of price points.

I'd also like to comment that I am totally outraged that returning fashionistas such as myself are being hit with increases in customs duties on overseas purchases to the tune of 35 percent. Not a very good economic stimulus package in my opinion. That's all. I would Buy Bermuda but lately I'm feeling very.....

UNINSPIRED

Pembroke

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Published November 16, 2011 at 1:00 am (Updated November 16, 2011 at 8:21 am)

Globalisation has hurt us

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