12/11/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

The Recessionista: Ready For Her Close-Up

There's a new It girl on Main Street America. She's been waiting in the wings for months and the further the economy spirals down the drain, the higher her star is rising. She's the Recessionista, the girl who's super stylish on a dime and wears her tight budget as comfortably as couture. She's ready for her close up now and poised to become America's new sweetheart.

The Recessionista was discovered one fateful day back in May of 2008 when Leslie Ann Horgan wrote a style article for the Daily Mail that delivered our little darling from the greedy grips of the economic intelligentsia. Those fussy academic types had their hands all over her since 2001, using the Recessionista carelessly towards their own ends. They told her she was a person who insisted that a recession was coming and that this was good. She smiled and winked at this, glad that the finance types were at least paying attention. Numbers guys in sharp suits could be pretty cute while she waited for her big break. Luckily Leslie Anne spotted the Recessionista (finally!) and cast her in her fateful role, the role she was born to play: To sell consumers stuff when times are tough.

As more people economize, it's become cool to conserve and suddenly our country is equating thriftiness with virtue. Digital marketing agency Zeta Interactive, which measures market trends by recording the volume of website and blog postings on various subjects has cited a distinct increase in the buzz around discount retail sites lately. Full-priced fashion sites are receiving fewer shout-outs in the virtual ether. Predictably, publicists are rushing to stamp a big smiley face on the situation. They need something upbeat and encouraging, an iconic ideal that makes things seem not as bad as they are. The Recessionista has answered their prayers. She's inking spokesmodel deals left and right to make sure that a little thing like economic collapse won't interfere with anyone's wardrobe- not by one stitch.

And so she has debuted. Recessionista's reviewers are raving and her rival, the Fashionista, is pissed. Our old obsession is gazing into her gilded mirror and scared by the reflection. The poor dear is practically panicking- not even a boob job and some botox will revive her sagging influence. Fashionista's once dedicated followers are drifting from their gluttonous fairy godmother and gravitating towards that sample sale coming to a neighborhood near you. Discount and affordable fashion retailers are rolling up their sleeves to roll out the red carpet for this fresh wave of conservative consumers. Enthusiasm abounds for those who suddenly enjoy spending... less. Welcome to fashion's new face.