by Lauren Dimet
Living in my little bubble for the past few months trying to get the site launched, I may have been one of the last people on earth to learn about Katrina’s impending doom. I have family in various parts in New Orleans and I knew they were going to get hit by a hurricane, but I didn’t realize the severity until the day before she struck. My cousin, who recently moved to Chicago, along with my mother were the closest outlets to news I had in days.
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My great aunt lost everything and has since moved to Dallas to be near my uncle. My aunt had serious damage to her home and my other cousin got off easy. The confusion, panic, and planning had my family on the phone constantly in the ensuing days.
I remember trying to write an article mere days after the destruction happened and the words wouldn’t come. It seemed so trite and insignificant to be writing about clothes and fashion during a time like that. To be consumed with what most consider luxuries when there are thousands of people who have no idea what their next move is going to be, let alone where they are going to live was embarrassing to me. While my aunt was trying to find her dog, I was trying to find â€˜must haves.’
Then I started to notice some offensive marketing behavior. For instance, one local retailer thought it an opportune time to make money while playing on our sympathies. Four days after the devastation they sent an email to their customers telling them they would donate $1 for every sale to Katrina Relief. It was too soon, too raw, too little and too thinly veiled. It struck a nerve that infuriated me. A few days later I began receiving more emails like that one, but at least they were offering to donate more. Yet, shopping was the last thing on my mind. Spend money to donate money? It just seemed wrong.
It was not until I had a conversation with someone about our philosophy at Second City Style that I realized we are on the right track. While I consider fine clothing art and a form of self expression, it’s not my life. Many times other things take precedence over my hobby or passion. That is why we don’t subscribe to the â€˜snobby’ fashion scene. After all, once you put it in perspective, it’s just clothes.
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