WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — When David Bowie sang “we’re coming to town” in his 1980 song “Fashion,” surely he meant Winston-Salem.
After all, the Twin City is the top “Fashionista Mecca” in the United States … at least according to a recent ranking by the SpareFoot Blog that also ran on the Huffington Post website.
“To determine the ranking, we started by looking at total spending on women’s fashion in the 100 most populated metro areas in the U.S.,” the blog explained. “That means money spent on women’s clothes and shoes, dry cleaning, alterations, jewelry and watches. We even included expenditures on closet and storage products. After all, looking good means taking care of your purchases.”
The figures are adjusted based on how much prices vary across the country — using data from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis — then divided by the local population of females 16 and older according to U.S. Census Bureau date, and voila! The total average spending of each fashionista each year.
In Winston-Salem, the annual adjusted spending by each fashionista totaled $1,519. That was out of a population of 199,781 females 16 and older.
Actually, four of the top five cities were from the Southeast: Charlotte came in at No. 2, Greenville, S.C. was fourth and Knoxville was No. 5. The Huffington Post does question why New York City, being the center of American fashion, or Los Angeles, being the center of celebrity culture, didn’t rank higher. If you thought that those cities would be Nos. 1 and 2 on the list, “You’d be more wrong than Helena Bonham Carter’s wardrobe choices,” the site remarks.
But there’s an explanation for that.
“In the South, they love bold colors, chevron prints, monograms and statement necklaces,” fashion blogger Ashley Tarkington told HufPo. “In bigger cities, they stick with basics that they’re comfortable with and don’t change it up as much.”
The original SpareFoot blog includes some comments from Winston-Salem fashion designer Amanda Vaughn-Redmon, who explains: “In North Carolina, there’s a big support system of local designers. … And supporting the local, artisan collections is very important to the people in this region. They appreciate that there are designers and creative people working in this industry here.”
SpareFoot, by the way, is a blog devoted to a company based in Austin, Texas, that runs an online marketplace for self-storage units. Why the heck does a storage unit website care about fashion trends?
“Think about it,” John Egan, the editor-in-chief of SpareFoot, wrote on the HufPo blog. “Some of these fashionista might have crowded closets and need storage units to stash their last-season Jimmy Choos or Christian Louboutons.”
Note to Egan: It’s Louboutin, with an “i” before the “n” instead of an “o”. Trust me on this. After all, I’m the one here in Winston-Salem, the City of Arts and Innovation … and Fashion.