Wed, Jan 14, 2009 - Page 14 News List

The economy is on the outs, but fashion is always in

Didier Grumbach, head of the most important organization in the French fashion industry, talks about how the global economic crisis is affecting the world of style

By Catherine Shu  /  STAFF REPORTER

TT: Luxury brands are usually sheltered from slower consumer spending, but right now even they are being affected by the global economy. For example, LVMH recently cancelled plans to open a flagship store in Tokyo, even though Japan is a major market for luxury goods. If spending on luxury brands decreases, how might that affect fashion designers?

DG: Luxury brands aren’t only connected to fashion. There are brands and products like the Kelly bag by Hermes, which is never outdated and is something that is always profitable, always in fashion, even if times are difficult for fashion brands. Many luxury brands until recently weren’t involved in fashion, because they did not want to be outdated and of course you take that risk when you show fashion. But there will always be a need for new brands and new designers because people really look for that. They don’t want to dress like their mothers did and at the same time they will always look for a new expression, a new way for their personality to evolve along with fashion.

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