Aquascutum teetering, Lower profits for Zegna, Bergdorf and Neiman share talent, Luxury here to stay, Bastian buzz

Aquascutum S/S 09 ad campaign, courtesy of Aquascutum

Aquascutum puts entire workforce into consultation (Drapers) “Aquascutum has put its entire workforce into consultation, fueling speculation about the future of the luxury heritage brand.” Italy’s Zegna sees lower profits in 2009 (Reuters) “Italian luxury men’s suits maker Gruppo Ermenegildo Zegna forecast lower profits this year after a 20 percent drop in net profit excluding an extraordinary item for

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The Barbie dream, Brands look East, Luxury demand in India, Insurers harm recovery, Deflation fears increase

Chinese kids sold 'Barbie dream' (BBC) "Mattel, the world's largest toymaker, opened the world's first Barbie store in Shanghai in March of this year, offering patrons a chance to live and embrace the Barbie lifestyle in its entirety." (See video here) Luxury brands look to China amid global crisis (Forbes) "China's 6 billion euro ($8 billion) luxury market accounts for just 3 percent of global sales, but China and Brazil are projected to be the two fastest-growing luxury markets for the five years through 2012, according to consulting firm Bain & Co." Recession: No let-up in demand for designer wear (The Economic Times) "Those who are rich in the true sense have enough reserves to maintain their lifestyle. They are…

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Resilient Hermès, Analysts predict 2010 recovery, Most powerful luxury brands, Fashion’s blue book"

Hermès Q1 sales get lift from bags, currencies (Reuters) “Hermès proved again it was resisting the crisis better than many of its rivals with a 3.2 percent rise in first-quarter sales, helped by exchange rates and resilient demand for its handbags.” Have a look at this video from the CBC’s Fashion File to see the underlying craftsmanship that has served the brand well during the downturn. Financial Analysts

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Stars dazzle at Met Gala, The demise of full-price, Designers and execs look beyond the recession, Fashion goes West

Jessica Biel at the Costume Institute Gala, courtesy of The New York Times

A Museum Gala Where High Cheekbones and Higher Hemlines Rule (NYT) “It was noticeable change of social scenery, on Monday night, to see a fashion model (not, say, a routine celebrity) as the center of attention at the annual Costume Institute gala, generally considered the most glamorous, anticipated and expensive (with dinner seats starting at $7,500) event of the year.” Buyer’s Market:Will seasoned shoppers ever pay

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Valentino’s uncertain optimism, Shrinking luxury market, Retail leadership, UK retail jobs at risk

Bulgari 'Save The Children' ring, courtesy of Bulgari

The Fashion Forecast ( “Valentino Fashion Group’s operating profits fell seven per cent in 2008. But, despite a difficult year, the group – which owns Valentino, Hugo Boss and operates under license Marlboro Classics and M Missoni – intends to remain positive about its growth and future prospects.” Luxury Goods to Drop as Much as 20% in First Half of 2009 (Market Watch) “The luxury

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India has long-term potential, Retail investors gauge, Berlin launches bonds, ABS launches lingerie

The Indian luxury dilemma, courtesy of BrandRepublic

India: Potential for luxury, but not yet (AFP) “Purveyors of luxury goods are waking up from their dream of conquering India as the last great frontier for their high-end and high-priced wares.” Sixty UK rescued via CVA (Drapers) “Sixty UK, which trades the Miss Sixty and Energie stores and brands in the UK, has been rescued from administration via a Company Voluntary Agreement (CVA).” Retail Sales Data to

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BoF Dail Digest | OECD warns, Retailers hit, London prepares, Luxury shrinks

OECD Forum, courtesy of AFP

OECD predicts 10% jobless rate for 2010 (FT) “The OECD expects advanced economies to contract by 4.3 per cent in 2009 with little or no growth expected in 2010″ US Retail Stocks Lower Despite Slight Consumer Confidence Rise (WSJ) “Retailers were hit despite data that consumer confidence ticked up in March from a record low in February.” London City retailers prepare for protests (Drapers) “Fashion

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London Fashion Week | Missing shoppers, bad bears, and good frocks

Four Bad Bears, courtesy of

LONDON, United Kingdom — Last night, at a cocktail party to celebrate the opening of the Azzaro pop-up store on London’s Mount Street, I bumped into Robert Bensoussan, the highly-regarded former CEO of Jimmy Choo. The place was rammed with guests. Economic armageddon was nowhere in sight. But, more often than not, came up talk of the economy. Bensoussan told me he had been in New York visiting stores and had never seen so

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UK sales fall slows, Running in Heels, Bargains in Japan, Grown up looks on the runway

High street sales fall slows in February (Drapers) In the UK, the fall in retail sales slowed in February and job cuts rose. Style Network’s ‘Running in Heels’ Aims For Documentary Look at Fashion (WSJ) Marie Claire’s new reality TV show is a brand building tool to reverse the sales decline of print magazines. As Luxury Struggles, Bargains Thrive in Japan (WWD) Amid the worst retail environment for luxury companies, discounts

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Malls in danger, Mrs. B on luxury, Fashion is Valentine’s Day loser, Luxury still lures rich

Mall of America, photo courtesy of the New York Times

Our Love Affair With Malls Is on the Rocks (New York Times) “The mall we married has become the toxic spouse we can’t quit, though we really must quit, but just not any time soon. The mall, for its part, is wounded by our ambivalence and feels financially adrift.” London: Words of Wisdom from Mrs. B (The Luxe Chronicles) Mrs. B, the influential British retailer weighs in on the economic crisis affecting the luxury

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Luxury’s future, Cost cutting, Economic pain, Moscow retailers feel pinch, H&M profits rise

A Glimpse of the Future of Luxury (WSJ) After the deep discounting over the holiday season, consumers’ buying habits for luxury goods have changed. Boutiques’ Recession Cost Cutting Methods (JC Report) “Small, independent retailers, who count minimal staff and non-existent print advertising as the norm, more creative steps have been taken to rein in spending.” Economic pain to be ‘worst for 60 years’ (FT)

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Neiman Marcus layoffs, Retail collapse, Magazine ads evaporate, Luxury’s turnaround, Giambattista Valli

Photo courtesy of Alfred Eisenstaedt

Neiman Sets 375 Layoffs Amid Slump (WSJ) Neiman Marcus is laying off 375 people or 3% of its workforce. Retail Sales Collapse, But Keep the News in Perspective (Seeking Alpha) From August to December, retail sales collapsed 24%. “But it’s important to remember that there is a lot of psychology in these numbers,” reports Seeking Alpha. Magazine Ads Evaporated in 2008, Faster as Months Went On (WSJ) “Capping a

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L.A. boutique shutdowns, Luxury spending rules, Ideeli’s recession proof retail model, Sales plummet in December

Store fronts on Rodeo Drive, photo courtesy of WWD.

L.A. Specialty Boutiques Rocked by Shutdowns (WWD) In LA, troubled boutiques are closing in droves. The New Rules Of Luxury Spending (Forbes) “Today’s high-net-worth consumers are still spending–but they’re putting more thought into their purchases.”, Ideal Online Shopping? (JC Report) Ideeli’s invitation only online retail model is proving to be recession proof. Retail Sales Tumbled

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