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 Portfolio.com.

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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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Luxe Ad sales down, Barney’s mailer, Paris shopping, Perfumers, Macy’s consolidation

For Luxury Brands, Less Money to Spend on Ads (New York Times) The rapidly plummeting market for luxury goods in the United States (down 20.1% in October according to MasterCard) is having a knock-on effect on advertising spending. Barney’s Designer Mailer Online Catalogue (Dualité) Following in the steps of Net-a-Porter, Barney's "Designer Mailer" signals a continuing trend in "shoppable editorials" online. Paris's newest and hippest shopping destination (IHT) In Paris on Rue Mont Thabor, "a quiet [shopping] revolution has been taking place since the Maria Luisa store, with its raft of artfully selected designers, moved there after 20 years on Cambon." Perfumers Make Their Big Holiday Push (WSJ) Despite fragrances' slumping sales this year, companies are still launching new scents…

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Luxury Outlook | Innovation engine

  As the big three U.S. automakers await to hear their fate on a requested bailout from the U.S. government and Citigroup teeters on the verge of bankruptcy, it now seems that the fall of Lehman Brothers, Bear Stearns and other corporate casualities was just the beginning of what is likely to be a global economic meltdown of epic proportions. With this as the backdrop, a reader recently wrote in to ask about the prospects for aspiring job seekers in the fashion industry more generally. Others have been wondering how some of the emerging businesses that have come to the fore in recent years are faring. The short answer to both questions is that things are extremely tough out there,…

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Recession dressing, High-low retail unions, Upmarket retail takes over, Luxury prices go down

Recession Dressing (Newsweek) In these troubled economic times, people may dress according to who they really are rather than who they want to be. Analysis: What's in a name? (Drapers) Collaborations between designer brands and celebrities with high-street labels are still generating profits. Middle market loses out to niche players (Drapers) Upmarket retailers are taking up more share of the overall womenswear market from the middle market stores. In Rare Move, Luxury-Goods Makers Trim Their Prices in U.S. (WSJ) In this tough economic environment, "luxury companies from Chanel S.A. to Versace SpA, Christian Louboutin and Chloé are reversing the industry's maxim that luxury prices only move up." Diane Pernet, photo by Miguel Villalobos, courtesy of Diane Pernet.

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China’s retail up, Li & Fung buys Amies, Boutiques squeezed, Fashion & Social networks

China Retail Sales Rise 22%, Help to Counter Slowdown (Bloomberg) Despite the global economic slowdown, China's retail sales are up 22% in October. Hardy Amies bought by Li & Fung (Drapers) Fung Capital Europe, the investment arm of Li & Fung, has bought Hardy Amies. Boutiques Get Squeezed (WSJ) Independent boutiques "are among the retail industry's hardest hit" in this economic crisis. Fashion’s New Circuit: Social Networks (WWD) European luxury goods firms are using online marketing to "entice a new breed of customer, better leverage their ad budgets and ultimately sell more products." A couple shopping in Shanghai, photo courtesy of Bloomberg.

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Luxury Outlook | Finding meaning in design

Back in September, The Business of Fashion caught up with noted futurist Faith Popcorn to talk to her about "recession culture," and how this changes the way consumers scrutinise spending decisions. It seems like a quaint discussion now (because of my questions, not Ms. Popcorn's answers) because our interview took place back when consumers in the U.S. were still spending. Boy have things changed since then. By the middle of October, Eric Wilson of the New York Times reported of worried U.S. consumers walking into department stores and retailers, shopping bags in hand, returning entire bags of merchandise which had been previously purchased. What's more, he went on to report of dramatic drops in sales at major luxury departments stores…

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Luxury Outlook | “You’ve been shopping, we won’t tell”

LONDON, United Kingdom - In the latest sign of just how quickly consumer psychology is changing, Net-a-Porter yesterday sent an email blast to its huge customer database, offering a "discreet packaging service" to offset the conspicuousness and potential guilt associated with shopping in this, the most severe economic crisis in at least a generation. Whereas previously the direct marketing email from the world's pre-eminent online luxury fashion retailer would have been accompanied by a strong, aspirational fashion image, the latest email features whispering women in a 1950's era photograph. The ad, while cleverly recalling the current fashion revival of the one-piece dress, focuses its message instead on the opportunity to continue to shop "and receive items in an unbranded recycled brown…

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