Friday Column | Japanese Luxury Fatigue

Prada flagship store in Omotesando, Tokyo

LONDON, United Kingdom — The scariest news I have recently read about luxury was in Tuesday’s Financial Times. The Japanese, it seems, have stopped buying luxury goods. Luxury imports in Japan were down 10 percent and sales of LVMH in the country were down 18 percent in the first quarter. And no, it’s not just the recession. “This is not a blip. This is a long-term shift in the market,” Brian Salsberg, the

…Continue Reading

Friday Column | Barbie to the Rescue!

LONDON, United Kingdom — I was surprised to see that a number of big-name sponsors have signed on recently to support the upcoming round of fashion shows. In London, Henry Holland’s show will be sponsored by Sebastian, makers of hair care products. And Barbie is making an appearance in both New York and London — thanks to the fact that it is her 50th birthday. Mattel, makers of Barbie, have signed a three-year partnership

…Continue Reading

Friday Column | How to Survive the Recession

Hollywood stars take on the red carpet

LONDON, United Kingdom – According to analysts, we’ve just come through the worst holiday selling season in 40 years. If that’s not bad enough, Chanel announced that it is laying off 200 people in Paris. Chanel! That surprised everyone I spoke to in the industry. For one thing, Chanel is not masstige — it wasn’t catering to the masses, the part of the market said to be most impacted by the recession. For another thing,

…Continue Reading

Friday Column | Whither or Wither Luxury?

Prada men's spring 2009 campaign photographed by Hedi Slimane, courtesy of Prada

LONDON, United Kingdom — At the Luxury Briefing Conference held in London last month, Claire Kent, former Morgan Stanley analyst and current luxury goods consultant, spelled out her thoughts for the future of luxury. “Regardless of the credit crunch there was growing fatigue about luxury brands,” she said. “People want a redefinition of luxury. People don’t want to be buying the same brands as the people

…Continue Reading