Luxury Designers Go to Extremes in Today’s Fashion Biz
By George Anderson
Norma Kamali designs a $500 jumper for upscale department
stores and specialty shops. She also has her name on a tank top selling
for $10 at Wal-Mart.
This approach, according to Ms. Kamali and others, is the
way for luxury designers to remain in business today when consumers are
unwilling to spend with the same reckless abandon as in the past.
a new economy,” she told MarketWatch. “You
can buy something that’s got a great value at $1,000 and something that’s
got a great value at $10. And you can wear them together. People are
going to shop this way from now on.”
high end of the fashion market has been particularly hard hit in the
past couple of years. Luxury retailers have pared merchandise to keep
costs down and introduced less expensive items to try and appeal to shoppers
who may be more cost conscious.
Klein has not gone the discount store route yet but it too is looking to
offer a range of fashions at more moderate price points.
are putting out more lower-priced products,” Francisco Costa, creative
director of Calvin Klein Collection, told MarketWatch. “We
have a great line with very diverse prices so it meets a lot of needs.
Everybody is being cautious. You have to be price conscious.”
Danziger, president of Unity Marketing, recently wrote in a piece on Jimmy
Choo’s plans to expand into new luxury product categories, “Fashion luxury
marketers in this luxury drought are challenged by both fewer luxury consumers
willing to make upscale purchases and a decline in the average amount they
are willing to spend… The boom times are over
when business came easy; luxury marketers today have to be willing to change
direction and find new avenues to growth in the luxury drought that has
Questions: Has the luxury fashion market been changed in fundamental
ways over the last several years? Have the less wealthy, aspirational
shoppers left the luxury fashion market for good? Will luxury consumers
revert to old habits once the economy has recovered?
- Off the runway, designers adapt to new fashion reality – MarketWatch
- Jimmy Choo: Does
the World Need Another Lifestyle Luxury Brand? – Unity