pay what you want


We are used to paying what is written on the price tags with no bargaining power and only the sales season can lower some of the burden and make us appreciate our shopping sprees even more – because buying more for less, is in our minds, a success.

But what if you could go into a shop and pay what you want? You wouldn’t need to check the price tags but rather decide the worth of a garment for yourself? Would that lower the prices by far, let them plummet or would consumers actually be en point and level the prices out correctly?

Could consumers actually set the correct value when confronted with quality products made in Austria or by local artisans? I asked Andrea Kerber from VIS A VIS, who decided to test this intriguing concept at a pop up store in Vienna on Thursday 30th November 2017 starting at 5 PM.



Corinna: Many would say, you are crazy to allow such a thing as consumers setting prices. How do you explain your decision?

Andrea: Pay what you want is a great marketing strategy. Many people are excited and believe they will snatch a bargain. Next to being a great marketing tool for my brand it allows me to make space in my showroom.

I have many pieces that were lent out for photo shootings in the past or prototypes that I cannot sell. At my pay as you want event I want to give those pieces a second chance.



C: Who inspired you to try this concept and why do you feel it’s the right moment in time?

A: Because of my move to a new atelier I believe that it wouldn’t make any sense to keep all sample pieces and ready made collections. First, they need a lot of space and second, they will just stay hidden in my new showroom.

Therefore, I started thinking what I could do with these pieces. I couldn’t sell them for a normal price, so I came up with the idea of pay what you want. At my one year anniversary in 2017 I tried that concept and it worked out perfectly.

C: Consumers may have certain expectations on how much a pullover or t-shirt may cost. How do you want to make sure that they know your “price values”?

A: Pieces of my prior collections will have price tags. The consumer will therefore know the worth of each piece and can take an educated decision. Prototypes will be untagged and the consumer can take a decision freely.

C: How do you want to communicate the worth of your garments? What is your ultimate goal?

A: Since every piece in my collection is created by myself and a lot of love and handicraft is put into each piece they all have a special meaning to me. I try to inform every consumer about that and they then understand why pants may cost 185 EU. I want local production to gain a higher significance. 


C: “Global consumers are willing to put their money where their heart is when it comes to goods and services from companies committed to social responsibility.” – Would you agree with that statement?

A: Well, yes and no. It’s quite difficult to say. There are consumers, who attach value to the origin of their garments and others don’t. Clothes, that are produced in Austria, are more expensive. Big cooperations such as H&M and Zara taught us that fashionable clothes don’t need to be expensive. Therefore, it’s not easy to make the consumer understand the value of more expensive but locally produced fashion.

C: How could or should the future of consumerism look like, in your opinion?

A: Less is more and conscious consumption.

C: “The world is completely product-polluted” (Diane von Furstenberg) – how do you address the issue of sustainability in your collections?

A: As already described a VIS A VIS pair of trousers may quickly sum up to 185 EU. Next to the argument of origin I also emphasise on the timeless design of my collections. The thought behind this is conscious consumption. I’m not a fan of tidying up my closet in seasons and replacing clothes with the newest trends. It’s better to have less but in a great quality.

C: Can you tell us more about this year’s “Big City Jungle” collection?

A: I was inspired by the jungle. Since I always try to melt opposites into one, when designing, I tried to connect the city with nature. The final outfit – with a model wearing a cardboard – was the highlight of the collection and I wanted to portray the “remotely-controlled” humans in a city aka caught in various pressures and compulsions. And of course, it was supposed to stick in one’s mind.



C: What will VIS A VIS surprise us with next? Anything you want to put out there or share?

A: I’m quite close to my dream of my own store. I hope I can share more about it soon.

To get to know Andrea and her label VIS A VIS in more detail go to her pop up store or keep on reading Studio183 and NOTE#BLE.

Location: im Schau, Märzstraße 67, 1150 Vienna
Date: 30.NOV.-3.DEC.2017

photography: VIS A VIS
fashion: VIS A VIS Collection 2017

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  • Reply
    Jasmin N
    November 28, 2017 at 3:50 PM

    This pay what you want method sounds amazing. Would be cool to have one available. What a lovely interview!

    • Reply
      November 28, 2017 at 5:02 PM

      I’m quite excited – went to one such event already and it was a huge success!

  • Reply
    November 28, 2017 at 4:53 PM

    It was a very interesting topic and great interview. I also really enjoyed the fashion show video from her collection. XO

    • Reply
      November 28, 2017 at 5:04 PM

      thanks! I’ll let Andrea know! 🙂

  • Reply
    November 28, 2017 at 10:30 PM

    Woah, what a cool interview! I would love to see more shops do this! I wonder how it will work out in England!

  • Reply
    Cole Nemeth
    November 30, 2017 at 9:46 PM

    These outfits are so beautiful and fun! That’s such an interesting way to do business!

    • Reply
      December 5, 2017 at 12:30 PM

      Happy you like them! I will let Andrea, the designer from Vis a Vis, know. 🙂

  • Reply
    November 30, 2017 at 9:56 PM

    Such a interesting topic !!

    • Reply
      December 5, 2017 at 12:29 PM

      Thank you, Noora.

  • Reply
    December 1, 2017 at 5:24 PM

    Super coole Idee! Dass so etwas funktionieren kann, hat man ja auch schon bei Deewan in Wien gesehen. Ich mein, hier dreht es sich natürlich um Essen und nur weil so viele das Angebot nutzen, zahlt es sich aus. Ich frage mich, wie ich den Preis einschätzen würde und wie viel Geld ich selbst ausgeben würde für Kleidung. Wenn man sich nicht mit Materialkosten und dem Aufwand der Herstellung auseinandersetzt, wird es schwer einen angemessenen Preis zu finden.
    Total spannend!
    Alles Liebe,

    • Reply
      December 5, 2017 at 12:29 PM

      Ich kann dir nur Recht geben, Mira. Es ist wirklich schwierig den Preis richtig und vor allem gerecht gegenüber allen Parteien und Kosten einzuschätzen. Eine Herausforderung, die in meinen Augen nur durch Erziehung & Bildung bewältigt werden kann. Wir müssen wieder lernen, wie viel Materialien kosten, wie lange ein Designer an jedem Teil sitzt, was den Preis eigentlich ausmacht und und und :).

  • Reply
    MARIE KONDO'S MAGIC - wingsaregolden
    December 19, 2017 at 2:59 PM

    […] Stabrawa one-piece and trousers rented from Endlos Fesch. white t-shirt with stripe bought at Vis a Vis pop up “pay what you want”. hat […]

  • Reply
    David Elliott
    December 28, 2017 at 8:27 AM

    I am curious to see how this would work long term. I know in some ways it could determine the price of an item. But I also think it could backfire depending on how people treated it. But I loved that they are trying out new things and new ways of thinking.

    • Reply
      December 31, 2017 at 4:16 PM

      I agree, David. If people don’t realise the worth, you as an entrepreneur may not make it. I guess, a mix is a good idea and educating your customers is a must!

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