Look like a celeb without breaking the bank


by Katherine Whaley / KHOU 11 News


Posted on January 17, 2012 at 7:09 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jan 18 at 10:08 AM

HOUSTON—Want to look like your favorite celebrity without paying the celebrity price tag?  Several department stores have teamed up with the stars to give you a fashion-forward look with a budget-friendly price tag.

Frugal fashionistas Heather Ardeel and Bella Barak are scanning the racks for the latest trends.  But they’re not at a high-end boutique—believe it or not, they’re at Sears.

"If you want to look like Kim this is a good place to go," Heather said. The "Kim" she is talking about is Kim Kardashian, and like her or not, she’s hard to ignore—even in the department store known for selling appliances.

"The Kardashians are everywhere, and even if you don’t follow them, they’re on tabloid covers all the time," Barak said. Kim and her sisters, Kourtney and Khloe, have launched a clothing line for Sears. From dresses, to jewelry, to purses, the collection is part of a strategy to boost store’s bottom line.

"We get good responses on this," said Mandy Peralta, Sears Assistant Store Manager. The celebrity-turned-designer concept has been a good thing for stores like Sears. The Kardashian name has brought in a whole new kind of customer. "We have so many customers coming in specifically for this."

"This is my first experience coming in," Barak said.

It’s the idea behind other cost-conscious celebrity collaborations, like Lauren Conrad for Kohl’s and the Jessica Simpson Collection at Macy’s and other department stores. The price might be right, but to these seasoned shoppers, the quality leaves something to be desired.

"I don’t think too many young professionals would be able to wear [this] in a work environment," Ardeel said. According to Barak, the quality of the clothing is similar to something she would find at Target or Forever 21.

Quality aside, it’s a way to achieve a celebrity look that’s giving a makeover to the store itself, and the customers who shop there.

"It was very trendy and I don’t necessarily correlate Trendy and Sears together… it exceeded my expectations," Ardeel said.