Luxury Outlook | Hermès continues to defy gravity

Savigny Luxury Index Since Jan 1, 2007, Courtesy of Savigny Partners

LONDON, United Kingdom — It’s all been a bit doom and gloom around here for months now, and I’m afraid the latest Savigny Luxury Index (SLI) does not deviate from this theme. Valuation multiples have dropped from a peak of 13x EBITDA (operating profit) in June 2007 to 8.5x EBITDA just before Christmas, effectively wiping billions off of the market capitalisation of luxury stocks. But there is still some good news for

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Theyskens at Nina Ricci, Retail stocks, New consumer mind-set, Retail winners and losers

Nina Ricci Pre fall 2009, courtesy of WWD

Nina Ricci: Theysken’s Beat Goes On (WWD) Olivier Theyskens will be staying put at Nina Ricci with an “expanded accessories line, particularly handbags.” Retail Stocks: Sizing Up 2009 (Seeking Alpha) Seeking Alpha lists the reasons why 2009 will be an ugly year for many brands. Retail’s winners and losers (Just-Style) Wal-Mart was a retail winner in 2008, but Gap and Abercrombie & Fitch were amongst the

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Calvin Klein underwear, Conde Nast’s ugly January, Retailer’s scrutiny, Grim December

Condé Nast's magazines, photo courtesy of the New York Times

Calvin Klein and the underwear revolution (Ponystep) Ponystep pays homage to Calvin Klein, the undisputed king of underwear. Prominent Magazines Lose Weight, Shedding Nearly Half Their Ads (New York Times) “It was an ugly January not just for Allure, but also for Condé Nast magazines in general.” The Coming Fallout: Who’s Vulnerable? (WWD) Due to the triple threat of recession, tight credit market, and low

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Shopping Outlook, Plastinina bankrupt, Retail slump, Terminal 5′s Luxe, Top 40 E-commerce

Tokyo shoppers checking out January deals, photo courtesy of the Wall Street Journal

Kira Plastinina Files for Bankruptcy–U.S. Firm Owes Creditors More Than $54 Million (WSJ) “Despite much publicity last year for being a teenage fashion mogul, Kira Plastinina has now filed for bankruptcy.” The 2009 Shopping Outlook (WSJ) “It’s only days into the new year but the retail forecast for 2009 already doesn’t appear to be rosy.” Footfall slumps on New Year’s Day (Drapers) “Footfall fell

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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,

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Creative Entrepreneurship | A Wish for 2009

NAIROBI, Kenya - The way things are looking, 2009 is going to be a very tough year indeed. And, with all the froth and gloss in the fashion business over of the past few years, it will not be surprising to see many fashion companies fail, especially those that have been able to coast on the excesses of easy credit, copy designs from others with impunity, and take advantage of benign conditions that have enabled even the most mediocre to succeed. But, the silver lining of this economic pain is that we will have to make do with less. We will have to be more resourceful than ever. And, as a result, creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship will flourish, as the…

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Luxury market resolutions, Anthropologie’s workshops, Children’s wear grows, “Buzzworthy” retailers

New Year

New Year’s Resolutions for the Luxury Market (US News & World Report) With the luxury market “receiving a beating this year,”the US News & World Report lists strategies for the industry to “resuscitate itself and land firmly on its feet.” Anthropologie Engages Shoppers With Craft Workshops (WWD) Anthropologie, the U.S. specialty store chain, holds a series of events to “teach women how to

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MIA’s new line, Credit cards, Recession luxury marketing, Fashion photography, Possum fur

MIA launches a fashion range (NME) MIA, has launched a clothing line called Extended Merch based on album covers. Plastic Wrapped: Shoppers Back Away From Credit (WWD) “The consumer credit bubble that helped Americans fill their closets over a prolonged buying spree and propelled unprecedented store openings is finally deflating” reports WWD.  The Bare Necessities: Marketing Luxury Goods in a Bad Economy  (WSJ) Luxury

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Low consumer confidence, Polish thrift stores, Textile waste, Fashion crisis

December Consumer Confidence Approaches Six-Year Low (Seeking Alpha) Amid bleak economic news, American consumer confidence continues to decline sharply. In Poland, Style Comes Used and by the Pound (New York Times) In Poland, “thrift stores here have become impromptu laboratories of the changing mores and attitudes in a country adjusting to newfound wealth.” Disposable fashion: for sale, hardly worn: two million tonnes

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Recession spending, Tory Burch’s new store, Chinese consumer anxiety, Engagement bling dips

Recession, Spend They Must: Luxury Shoppers Anonymous (New York Times) Consumers who can afford luxury items are shopping discreetly. Tory Burch’s Quiet Meatpacking Opening (WSJ) Tory Burch opened a Meatpacking District store with very little fanfare. Consumer Anxiety in China Set to Jolt Economy (WWD) According to the WWD, “China’s economy is being hit by the global economic downturn, and its consumers are feeling the

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Retail sales stall, UK’s £1m a minute, Organic & eco-friendly beauty

Shopping Takes a Holiday (Portfolio) "Sales are tepid, shoppers are hesitant, and price is everything." No retail growth until 2014 (Drapers) "Next year will prove to be one of the worst years on record for high street retailers," and growth is not set to return until 2014. Shoppers spend £1m in a minute online (Drapers) In a record breaking day for e-commerce in the UK, shoppers spent more than £1 million in one minute. The Potential For Organic And Eco-Friendly Beauty (WSJ) Despite the tough economy, there's room for growth in the eco-friendly and organic beauty market. Photo courtesy of

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Luxury Outlook | Gucci cuts back production capacity

MILAN, Italy - Take a walk into a Gucci store these days and one cannot help but notice the preponderance of logos and icons on almost every Gucci product in sight, especially the brand's leather goods, shoes and accessories. Horsebits, double G's, and Gucci crests abound. But, it seems the conspicuous logos are failing to resonate with consumers in these recessionary times. Rumours are circulating in Italy that Gucci has dramatically cut production orders to make up for waning demand for the Italian luxury brand's core leather goods offering. If the reports are accurate, it speaks volumes about the worsening climate for luxury goods players in general, but particularly for brands like Gucci which have chosen to follow an explicit…

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Makeup sales, Targeted marketing, U.S. consumer spending, Red carpet anxiety

The Continuing Decline of Makeup Sales (WSJ) Makeup sales in the U.S. have decreased 3% compared with the same time last year. Marketers Reach Out to Loyal Customers (WSJ) Retailers are tapping "statistical models, relying more on targeted ads than on shotgun approach." Massive Breakdown in U.S. Consumer Spending Going Forward (Seeking Alpha) A new survey reveals that "another giant downturn" looms in consumer spending that will be predictably worse than the previous one in October. Red Carpet Anxiety in Hollywood (WWD) Red carpet dressing is an effective brand building exercise for many luxury labels, but a possible strike by SAG members could put a damper on the awards season. Penelope Cruz for L'Oreal, courtesy of ASA.

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