PAS NOT EVERY SHOPPER'S CUP OF TEA

Byline:

NEW YORK--Though they may serve as useful marketing and research tools, designer personal appearances just don't cut it for some consumers.
An informal survey of about a dozen women shoppers browsing the accessories counters at Macy's Herald Square here one afternoon last week turned up the fact that some people just aren't interested in meeting the faces behind the merchandise.
"No, I wouldn't have any interest in meeting the designer or going to an event," said Tricia Newby, a resident of Los Angeles, who added that she wasn't even particularly interested in getting guidance from a sales associate. "When I go into the accessories department, I already know what I want in terms of a classification and I feel very comfortable choosing something myself."
Elaine Mclaughlin, who lives here, said she had never attended a designer event and wouldn't be interested in going to one unless she was already familiar with the product or just happened to stop at one while passing through a store.
"I do find it relatively easy to find someone to talk to in stores, though I don't always trust what they say to me," Mclaughlin said.
By the same token, others said they wouldn't mind meeting the designer and finding out more about the merchandise in an informal setting, though almost all of these women said they had never attended a designer appearance.
"It might be helpful to talk to the designer and find out more about the product, like how it is made," said Alice Yeung, who lives here. Yeung, who was looking over a selection of handbags by Kenneth Cole, said she usually just browses through the accessories department and makes most of her purchases there on impulse.
Just one shopper, Tish Pruden, who lives here, said she had been to a designer appearance and would be open to attending more.
"I went to a Carlos Falchi event at Neiman Marcus in Dallas, and found it very interesting and informative," Pruden said. "It's great to hear about how something is designed and to talk to the designer about changes in the product."
She added that she does depend on sales associates as well as her own research to help her make buying decisions, particularly for more expensive items such as watches.

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