Who is buying your collection?

Many women see a piece walk down the runway and say "I've got to have it." Very few actually buy it right away. Some will wait until the item's price drops down towards the end of the season, and some will even wait for a copycat or knockoff. A select few, however, will be taken in by the allure of a limited production piece and seek it out or have their buyer at Neiman Marcus or Bergdorf Goodman track it down. These women are looking for something no one else has, that is of good quality, and is more a piece of art and history than just a pretty frock. They're not just fashion enthusiasts, they're curators of their own personal wearable art gallery.

Alexander McQueen jacket, $11,675 Fall 2010 Collection

Cindy Rachofsky - Allison V. Smith for 
The Wall Street Journal

Celebrities and socialites are often given pieces by designers in exchange for publicity. They're walking advertisements, and their followings take notice of what designers and trends their idols are wearing. But they're not the clients designers should be thinking about when they create a collection. It's the people that pay full price for an item that become the most loyal and valuable customers.

Peter Pilotto dress - Resort Spring 2012

Model Miranda Kerr in Peter Pilotto

These clients are extremely valuable to department stores, and they create relationships with personal shoppers that help them build their wardrobe. The shoppers get to know their clients well enough to suggest pieces that meld into both their clients personal collection and the trends of the season, assuring their client is always both comfortable in their appearance and fashion forward.

 Young&ng cuff - Fall 2011
Forever21 cuff

Many of these clients will become loyal to a certain brand, and it's beneficial to designers to know their clients who favorite them. Loyal customers are the ones spreading the designers name by word of mouth, and care more about the chicness of a design then how edgy something appears in a magazine editorial. They're making runway pieces work everyday, and wearing $20 thousand gowns nightly to charity events and galas. Celebrities are unattainable figures, and while they can make a trend or designer popular, it's usually not going to inspire waves of teenagers to go out and buy a $3,000 piece of jewelry. They're more likely to purchase a knockoff at Forever21 or H&M. Some designers and retailers treat their loyal customers like celebs, sending items to their home on good faith, eliminating the need for them to shop all together.

While it's important to use media darlings to create a name for a designer, it's just as important to remember those they're advertising to. They may or may not be a size 2, but what is for certain is that they're buying and wearing what a designer is selling, completing to cycle from creation to consumer.