Goodwill’s Designer Boutiques

Looks like high-end fashion’s got more than just the recession to lose sleep over. Following in the footsteps of the e-tail shopping websites that magically sell designer clothes for fractions of their original prices, Goodwill stores nationwide have begun offering brand-name duds for a pittance. The degree to which Goodwill has upgraded varies store-to-store, from using mannequins for modeling the clothes once thrown into a bargain bin, to carrying designer brands like Marc by Marc Jacobs, Diane Von Furstenberg and Vera Wang. Prices are set at around 10-15 percent their original cost and “more brand-aware managers” can be found trolling the aisles offering assistance, said Mauricio Hernandez, a senior vice president for Goodwill of Greater of New York and Northern New Jersey. Sales at Goodwill stores open at least a year were 7.1 percent higher in the first three months of 2009 than the same period a year earlier, but clothing prices still range from about $7-$20 and Goodwill remains a non-profit corporation. By that token, buying a Prada bag is actually philanthropic!