Even Celebrities Are Cutting Back & Getting Frugal.

February 24, 2009 • Fashion


Kristen Bell, Michelle Trachtenberg, Jessica Struop, Paris Hilton and Nicky Hilton at Jill Stuart during New York Fashion Week Fall '09

Even celebrities are being forced to cut back In the face of the recession. The freebies are dwindling and habits are changing. WWD, asked fashionistas and celebs at the tents during last week's New York Fashion Week how their personal spending habits have changed in
recent months. For the most part, showgoers in Bryant Park were candid about what amounts to a newfound frugality. Even
Nicky Hilton said she is trying curb her notorious spending sprees. Before Pamella Roland’s show last week, she said, “I’m
being smarter about my spending. I’m not going into stores and buying
anything. I am buying more pieces instead of just a bunch of clothes.” Hmm, must be hard to shop like the rest of us.

Designer Nicole Miller said a lot more people she knows are
shopping online since it is such “a big time saver,” and they, like
her, are always busy working. But she also wondered how the societal
shift to nesting is affecting Web traffic. “Interestingly enough, our
Internet business is up by 20% from last year. Maybe people are
staying home more and are feeling more insular so they are doing more
Internet shopping.”

Retailers are keeping shoppers in the loop
with e-mail blasts, but Miller’s company limits theirs. “We try to keep
it to once or twice a week. Otherwise, for an individual company like
mine, it can be kind of annoying,” she said.

, who has a recurring role on “Gossip Girl,” said she loves
mixing H&M and Target into her wardrobe. “I have always kept in
mind that my fans are teenagers and they don’t have a lot of money to
spend,” she said. “They like to get looks for less.”

Pamella Roland showgoer, Jessica Stroup of “90210,” said she has
“always been a bit frugal.” Recently, she has been taking a closer look
at what she already owns and is trying to update some of her older
belongings. While she is not spending as much money shopping as she
used to, Stroup is on the lookout for sales and has been gravitating
toward more classic pieces.

Neither Trachtenberg nor Stroup
are picking up red-carpet freebies from designers. Asked if they think
celebrities should start buying their own clothes to help designers in
these trying financial times, they said they don’t think there is
anything wrong with borrowing dresses for the red carpet or other
special events.

Constance White, eBay’s style director, said she has been trying to
explain to her husband what Wal-Mart is. She also finds herself doing
more comparative price shopping and is more closely scrutinizing every
buying decision she makes. Everything is up for discussion, including
transportation, dining, vacations and home renovations. The latter have
been intentionally slowed down due to the economic shift, and White’s
family is also vacationing less.

Before his
friend Phillip Lim’s show got under way last week, Richard Chai said he
is trying to find greater meaning in his life.

“I am trying
to celebrate the things we take for granted. I have been spending more
time with friends and family,” he said. “My work life can be quite
hectic, so I try to keep my personal life pretty simple. I know this
sounds sentimental, but I am doing more meaningful things.”

current economic forecast has been a real wake-up call, Chai said.
“There has been a big cloud hanging over New York City. Finally, I was
like, ‘Enough already.’ It wasn’t so much I was depressed as it was the
environment was depressed. You have to find things that make you happy.
Do what makes you happy.”

Source: WWD

Photo: Wireimage

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