Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Check Out Line: Fashion Week in a weak economy

February 1, 2008

fashion.jpgCheck out New York’s Fashion Week.
You thought we were going to lead with the drop of 17,000 jobs in the January employment report, didn’t you? Well not today.
At least not quite.
That jobs report is, however, the latest sign of the sluggish — maybe even recessionary — U.S. economy that the fashion industry is facing as designers show off their wares, beginning on Friday.
That actually could lead to some lavish displays on the catwalk as designers try to stand out at a show where buyers might be less interested in, well, buying.
“If anything, people will be more desperate to get attention that they think is going to generate business,” David Wolfe, creative director of trend forecasting company Doneger Group said.
And to some, what the economy needs, at least at retail, is a trend — any trend — that will make woman start buying clothes for themselves again.
“I don’t care whether it’s a hemp sack, but something that people say, ‘Oh heavens, that’s fabulous!’” Wendy Liebmann, Chief Executive of WSL Strategic Retail, said of what is needed at Fashion Week.

“Then the rich people buy it, the medium people buy it, and the poor people buy it.”

(Additional reporting by Martinne Geller)

Also in the basket:
Estee Lauder profit rises
Crossing fashion’s thin white line (Wall Street Journal)

(Reuters Photo)

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