Retailers, consumers and prices
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.
Who needs the runway when Goldfinger’s got your back?
Fashion industry watchers wonder whether more designers will use Times Square’s neon signs as a virtual runway in the future, like Carmen Marc Valvo did with his spring/summer 2010 show during New York Fashion Week. More to the point, will more designers follow his lead next time by asking the World Gold Council and the Nasdaq OMX Group Inc. – or other financial markets players — to help foot the bill?
A Valvo spokesman says the cost was “about half” that of a runway show in the Bryant Park Tents. The tab usually starts at $100,000 and can run $250,000 or more, depending on how many models and special effects are involved. This was perhaps the flashiest example of how designers, hit hard by the recession, are seeking more sponsorships to finance their New York shows than in the past. Check out this video of the Times Square show, which ran on the neon signs of Nasdaq, Thomson Reuters and Fox:
Even with gold trading above $1,000 an ounce, that’s still less than what some of Valvo’s gowns go for at Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue.
The World Gold Council’s Duvall O’Steen said the group paid 10 models and other show expenses — the first time it’s taken such a high-profile role at Fashion Week. Check out this video as O’Steen talks about fashion and gold jewelry:
In fact, the World Gold Council is getting more requests now for corporate event sponsorships than it can accommodate, O’Steen said. And it’s happening after a year when a drop in world gold mining production curbed its budget for such affairs.
Bruce Aust, Nasdaq’s executive vice president of the corporate client group, also explains why the made its first foray into fashion:
Michael Quintanilla, who covers fashion for the San Antonio Express-News and two other Hearst newspapers, told Reuters: “Times Square was the perfect place for a fashion show. With all that neon, it’s very ‘Blade Runner.’ I loved the format. You could drop in when you wanted, have a cocktail, talk to Carmen, see the clothes and leave, without being herded into a space like cattle and being forced to wait.”