When I buy clothes, shoes or jewellery I expect a certain correlation between price and quality. Of course, above a certain point, most luxury goods are priced as to what the market will bear, not as a value of the intrinsic worth, but one doesn’t expect that pricing strategy so much at the lower end of the scale.

I was given a Shopbop $100 gift certificate when I spoke at Evolving Influence  a few weeks back. They now ship internationally, so when I got back to England I picked out a couple of pieces of jewelry that came to around the value of my voucher, paid a $27 customs duty deposit and duly waited for my new jewellery to arrive. The necklace above is the one that I chose. At $68 (approx £50) it was hardly inexpensive: for that price I would expect a good piece of costume jewellery. After all, Shopbop sell themselves as a place to find designer looks and for half that price I can go to New Look, Forever 21 or Freedom at Topshop to find High Street pieces.

Imagine my surprise when it arrived and I was presented with a cheap necklace, with dyed plastic stones, backed with shiny, cheap metal, of the kind you find on market stalls for about a fiver, maybe ten quid if you don’t know how to haggle.  It wasn’t just an homage to the 80s, the quality was a throwback to the decade too. I was not best pleased but, as the voucher had been a gift, I shrugged my shoulders and continued planning my LFW wardrobe.

I wore it for the first time on the penultimate day of London Fashion Week. I chose my camel coat, pale blue Uniqlo denim leggings, grey suede high ankle boots and a taupe sweater, and the idea was the the neon of the necklace would bring the look together and give it some pop.

Unfortunately mid-afternoon I looked down and realised that the necklace had broken literally in half whilst I was wearing it, with the two ends hanging down. I was not amused: after all I had done nothing more vigorous than attend ten or so fashion shows. It wasn’t even as tho I was running around, thanks to the Mercedes & driver I am lent during LFW as part of the LLG collaboration with MBUK.

I tried to link the two ends together, but it was obvious that the very cheap metal of the necklace wouldn’t re-connect. And then two stones popped out. Great. I put it in my coat pocket and went off to do a TV interview, exceedingly miffed that my outfit was now just rather dull.

At the end of the day I pulled the necklace out of my pocket to discover this:


IMG_0006 IMG_0004

Clearly the connectors between each link aren’t strong enough to actually hold it together. I still cannot believe that Shopbop have the temerity to charge $68 for a piece of what really is junk jewellery.


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I would ask them to reimburse my customs duty. What a load of crap. This happened recently to a necklace I purchased from Forever 21, but it was Forever 21 so I expected it.



Having read your article on the Shopbop neon pink neckless, I feel a fraction of your frustration. Shopping is an investment, exchange money whether cash or plastic is still a considered process (80 % of the time, 20% for impulse purchases of course) and the value of our currency is of high importance for the vendor, so to receive a less than satisfactory item in return is completely irresponsible. Infuriating is it to see, what you have adequately described as junk, to have such a hefty price tag. Costume jewellery it may be, but to be treated like amateurs is not acceptable as there is no dress rehearsal in purchasing of quality. I do hope you receive a sufficient refund as it must be incredibly infuriating.

Have a wonderful day,

Yours sincerely,

Natasha Supple


That’s awful! I find it insane that they can charge that much for something that is clearly of poor quality…have you complained to them about it? I hope they are going to give you your money back!


I can’t believe they have the audacity to charge people for something that literally breaks apart on the first wear. I know you were given a gift card but even so it was $27 of custom duty on top of $68 necklace price for something that is pure tat. How exactly their business is even alive is a mystery. I hope you have passed on your complaints to them personally.

Laura x


Unfortunately there is far too much cheaply produced jewellery floating around. Far East to Flash Boutique. It just increases the economic pressures on the handmade market each time a piece of this poor quality is sold.


Hi Sasha,

I feel bad after reading your story – that a fellow jeweller has let you down so badly! I agree, it does seem a lot of money for what looks like a cheap China sweatshop necklace (But fab colour!).

We are huge fans of your blog and loved seeing you being interviewed on BBC about Galliano the other day. We’d love to make you something – all of our pieces are hand made from natural gemstones (no plastic here!!). Please get in touch info@westwoodrocks.com and have a look at our pieces online too http://www.westwoodrocks.com x x x


Wow, talk about shoddy craftsmanship! I wonder this item is actually sold out or if Shopbop heeded your review. Either way, I know I won’t be buying this brand!


Crikey,its looks very pretty,I hope you’re going to return it .


God that’s awful. Mid-end always ends up being overpriced crap. I can’t understand how they get away with it, when there’s real jewlery brands that make beautiful gemstone jewlery in that same price range. For 50-100 more you get premium designer costume jewlery so, might aswell.


What crap! I can’t believe they charged you that much for something that fell apart as soon as someone looked at it! It makes me wonder if that is what all their offerings are like…

Your mention of Forever 21 reminded me that I had stumbled across this a while back: http://www.39thandbroadway.com/hate-21/ Being as I know you advocate all things good in fashion and are always telling us to avoid shoddy business practices and knockoffs, I was wondering what you knew about this? I don’t shop there personally, but it seems like everyone (I live in LA) does!

I hope your next jewelry purchase is more satisfactory! (And as brightly coloured!)

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