Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

At NY Fashion Week: LVMH invests in next-gen artisans

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Inside a loft at Milk Studios , the DJs pumped up the beat and Champagne flowed as Renaud Dutreil talked about the future of fashion. As the chairman of LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton Inc, the North American arm of the world’s largest luxury goods company, Dutreil has a lot invested in the subject.

The scene: A preview show mobbed by photographers and beautiful people.

“Louis Vuitton was an artisan,” Dutreil told Reuters, referring to the French company’s founder. “He worked with his hands. It’s important to transmit this value proposition to the next generation. They are the Web generation.”

On the runway: Some of the most whimsical styles shown during the Fall 2010 season of M.A.C. & Milk Fashion Week, the downtown cousin of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York. Both wrapped up late Thursday night.

Paper dress anyone? (That “cone bra” bodice reminiscent of Jean-Paul Gaultier is you.) These clothes won’t be sold at the mall. They’re the work of local master artisans, who were matched with 23 teams of students at Parsons The New School For Design in a student competition. LVMH and Parsons sponsored the contest.

This holiday’s shiny new toy: social media

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iphoneCompanies that cater to consumers are always chasing after the latest consumer technology trend (anyone remember Second Life?), and this holiday season that means following them into the world of social media.

Companies ranging from Wal-Mart and Panda Express to J.C. Penney and Target are experimenting with Facebook, TwitterYouTube or Flickr. Some are tweeting special coupons or limited-time deals, while others are doling out fashion advice or providing play-by-plays from product launch parties on Facebook. M.A.C. said it is using its Facebook page to feature artists, color collections, and what is happening backstage at fashion shows. 

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