Famous Maker Brands on a Budget

Dear Budget Fashionista,

I was perusing on Smartbargains and noticed that all of the “Famous Maker” and “Famous Designer” brand dresses are not only the same styles as Nicole Miller’s, but the same fabrics and original retail prices. Is “Famous Maker/Designer” code for Nicole Miller, or is this just a coincidence?

Answer: Stores like Smartbargains and Overstock.com (and Offline stores like Marshalls and TJ Maxx) have agreements with designers to not publicize that they are carrying their items cause the item may be available in other stores (as illustrated by the above photos: the Nicole Miller dress on the left is $252 at Bluefly, but is $199 at Smartbargains) for a MUCH higher price. So they use the term “famous maker” or famous designer, to mask the name of the designer. One way to find out who the designer is (and how much you’re saving) is to type in the barcode number into google search or if you recognize the style of the designer, type in the “designer’s name + color + style”.

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Catherine Brock

Style Editor at The Budget Fashionista
Catherine Brock is a writer, editor and marketer who's been sharing wisdom online since 2002. She's been featured on DrLaura.com, Wellness.com and ABC7 Chicago, FOX2News St. Louis and KCAL9 Los Angeles. Connect with Catherine on LinkedIn, Instagram, or Twitter.
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