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  • Writer's picturemadelyn droessler

Prism: How clothing brands sell more than just clothes

When was the last time you bought something and felt genuinely proud about where it came from? Practically begging the universe for someone to ask where you got that cool new top to share the story behind it. It’s not just about the clothes anymore, it’s about the brands who supply them, feeling connected to them. Brands are expected to have a personality, making it trendy to shop at certain places because of the persona that's been created around them. Rather it is social media influencers, sustainability, or even how well their Instagram feed is laid out. We are buying a lifestyle appeal, and easily spot out in a crowd or social media people who do the same.

We, as consumers, take everything into factor now when shopping from brands with the rise of online shopping and influencer culture. Cue in the infamous photo of Kendall Jenner on vacation wearing a green knit House of Sunny dress holding a glass of Rosè with a view of the ocean in the back. After that, the small London fashion house, House of Sunny, became the place to shop. A small business that practices slow and sustainable fashion, only releasing a few pieces every launch. We all wanted that infamous green dress, it sold a lifestyle. A means that was hard to get, not so much for the price, but rather because pieces were so limited and they practiced environmentally conscious methods when making garments. A practice that has become a rarity in our fast fashion world, comes the rise of vintage fashion and sustainability, making us feel more emotionally invested in our clothes when we know who made them or the lack of availability.

People want to feel good about what they wear, embody the feeling of the brand, and stand out in the crowd since they don’t have the same top as everyone else who shops at the local mall selection. The growing rise of consumers wanting to hold brands accountable, getting small batch pieces, and feeling connected to the clothes they wear is where small businesses like Prism Boutique come in.

When shoppers step into Prism Boutique, located in the historic 4th Street area of Long Beach, California it feels like a breath of fresh air. Like you just made the choice to drink celery juice instead of coffee after meditating with your friends in Joshua Tree. With plants, earth tone colors, citrus and sandalwood scents that welcome you to the store filled with immense sunlight from the enormous windows, you feel different, like a new you.

Started by Dayna Mance in 2013, who previously worked her way up the management ladder at Anthropologie for nearly 10 years, she then wanted a place of her own. Creating Prism, “a peaceful oasis with a desert ease,” said Mance. Curating a store that is fully women owned and operated. Carrying over 40 brands, including House of Sunny, that are also women owned, sustainable, and supporting local Long Beach artists too.

Getting closer everyday to 200 thousand followers on Instagram, Prism boutique portrays a vibe irl and online that makes supporters feel ready for the day, a freshness. Rather its brown checkered Presley Pants from Find Me Now, a small women owned brand out of New York or the Ying Yang Sweater from Paloma Wool, a Spanish, women owned brand based around “the art of getting dressed”. It feels good to support a business that not only sells high quality, women owned brands, but a lifestyle appeal.

We expect to feel connected to brands with the rise of social media, something Prism and the brands Mance selects to be carried resemble.

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