Accidental Icon: What a Sample Means on a Saturday

One of the things I most enjoy about writing this blog is how it helps me make connections between my academic life as a social scientist and as a person with an interest in fashion. I love to find the common elements between the two and there are many. Two words that I am very familiar with as a social scientist are sample and sampling, a noun and a verb. Used in research it connotes the idea that by analyzing a small group we can gain information about a larger group. The sample is the small group and sampling is the process of selecting and analyzing it.

I have found sample and sampling are also terms used in the fashion industry. Samples are manufactured examples from a designer’s line that are used in fashion shows, hung in showrooms for potential buyers to choose from and given to fashion magazines and other media outlets for promotions. Sampling is the actual process of creating a sample. In both contexts a sample means a small amount of something that shows what the rest is or should be like.

One thing I learned that made me very excited is that not all designer samples for one reason or another make it into production. Either the buyers don’t think it will sell or somewhere along the sampling process something does not quite work. Designers will often sell these samples at discounted prices and hence the term: sample sale. Readers sometimes lament that they cannot afford to dress the way they would like to or think that I do. A true sample sale can sometimes get you a one of a kind piece from a designer that no one else has. If you think of your clothing as a collection as I do, these one-offs are sometimes the best finds of all. The bonus is your collector’s item is also coming at a heavily discounted price. During this Saturday Sampling outing, I visited at least two sample sales of favorite brands I have referenced here before: BLK DNM and Miista shoes. 

See my Wednesday post for details about what is a “true” sample sale and how to shop a sample sale like an Accidental Icon.

Do you ever draw connections between your "regular" life and your love of fashion?



Lyn11 Comments