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”.

Catherine Brock

Owner and Editor at The Budget Fashionista
As a Southern California transplant now living in the Midwest, Catherine has turned layering into an art form and accepted that UGGs actually do have a place in the stylish lady's wardrobe. She's been featured in Woman's World Magazine, DrLaura.com, Refinery29, Wellness.com and has made appearances on ABC7 Chicago, FOX2News St. Louis, KCAL9 Los Angeles, Fox19 Cincinnati, WGN TV Chicago and WCPO TV Cincinnati.
Catherine Brock