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Would you believe that “town” is Durban’s best-kept fashion secret?
Durban image and fashion consultant, Lynne McMaster, says you can find some great fashion buys similar to those in malls and boutiques at rock-bottom prices. You just have to know where to go.
Lynne is something of an expert on town, having researched the best fashion spots prior to starting her Shopping and The City group consultations which see yummy mummies, corporate team-building groups, teens and anyone who loves to shop for a bargain and refuses to pay inflated prices for their clothes heading into town.
“Many people have the wrong perception of town,” says Lynne. “They are scared that they will be robbed and that it’s not safe.
“It’s not like that at all.
“Town is an awesome place in which to shop. I love the energy of the place and the people. I go into town a few times a week, I have several routes and I have never felt unsafe. Shopkeepers know me and often ask my advice on clothes they want to stock because I bring them business. I know the prices of items so if something rockets in price overnight, I won’t let my clients pay the inflated price and if I can get it cheaper at another store, I advise my clients to wait.”
Photographer Nan West has had two successful shopping trips in town and has come back with stylish bargains.
“It was really fun and I saw a side of our city that I had not seen before,” she said.
“People were friendly and I came home with some great garments that cost a fraction of what I would have paid in a mall.”
One of Lynne’s clients, Nikki Pallini, says she found clothes, bags, shoes and sunglasses at fantastic prices.
“I got 17 items for R1 700,” she says. “It was good having Lynne’s expert eye to tell us the ‘hot’ items in the store and what the trends are, as well as whether it suited us and how to accessorise it.”
From wallets to scarves to shoes, clothes and bags, sports socks and wedge heels, there are great bargains in town says Lynne. She gives examples of people who have spent R850 on 15 items, R500 on seven items and R430 on eight items.
Another avid shopper, Lisa Clifford, said about her trip to town: “It’s one thing buying ‘cheap’ clothing and never wearing it, but it’s another getting a fabulous piece and everyone loving it for a complete bargain. I found many such pieces. You shop to your heart’s content and Lynne tells you what works and what doesn’t. I bought items that are not only trendy, but I get complimented every time I wear them. The experience left me with 20 pieces for R1 250 excluding Lynne’s fee of R400 for 4 to 4.5 hours.”
Senta Duffield came home with five pairs of shoes, five dresses, two smart tops, a jersey, a hat and two handbags – all for R1 300.
And it’s not only clothing bargains that are on offer. Pavement traders have a host of well-priced treasures like loofahs (R5), ceramic bowls (three for R20), fresh fruit and veggies from R5 to R15 a bowl.
Says Lynne: “This is not a mall shopping experience, you don’t have the air conditioning and pretty shops with merchandise neatly laid out, but you can save yourself a lot of money and get more value for your rands.”
For more information on Shopping and The City, e-mail Lynne at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact her at 082 520 1412. See also www.dbl.co.za