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The Old "Price Upon Request" Quandary Gets Put to Rest

The Old "Price Upon Request" Quandary Gets Put to Rest

>> Eric Wilson's article in The New York Times today about those mysterious items in fashion magazines listed as "price upon request" — turns out a lot of them never went into production and aren't available for purchase — is especially ironic, considering a conversation Elle editors Joe Zee and Anne Slowey had on last night's episode of Stylista.

In the clip below, the show's contestants are presenting the trend page they created for the magazine, full of product, but Anne notices that they forgot to add in the shopping credits: "What's that all about?"  One of the contestants tries to explain that she "didn't think it would be okay to make up prices" but Anne retorts that on a shopping page, the credits are "imperative . . . it's the only reason why we exist as a fashion magazine."  Joe backs her up — "Credits are key" — and then Anne ends the conversation with a sarcastic, "I want everything on this page, but I don't know where to buy it."

Funny she should say that . . . »

Funny she should say that, because in the October issue of Elle, Eric reports, 104 items were listed as "price upon request," and most of them were never available for purchase — one pair of metal suspenders was listed as available at Kiki de Montparnasse, but when called, the store said it didn't carry them.  Oh, the irony.

Erin Kaplan, Elle spokeswoman, excuses her editors because they photograph collections within days of the runway shows and only have the pricing information the designers can give at the time, but at Vogue, there's a policy to always publish the price, so very few items aren't clearly listed.

A commenter at Fashionista, who self-identifies as "a fashion editor who has handled credits," may offer a more accurate group of reasons as to why Elle can't keep up with Vogue in the crediting department: "1) you didn't hear back from the PR for pricing/availability before your deadline; 2) the PR tells you to list it as 'price on request' because they're too lazy to get the real price for you; 3) you had too many credits to get and forgot to do this one . . . so you make it up."  Some food for thought while the Elle editors eat crow.

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