Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Luxury apparel, redefined

Photo

Save Fashion

American luxury retail has been, well, in shambles.

Since department store revenues began to plummet in September, luxury’s glossy image transformed to one that brings to mind strewn-about merchandise on a Saks Fifth Avenue floor.

Pricing structures have come under pressure as shoppers seek deep discounts, or worse, question price guidelines after aggressive reductions at the end of last year.  In the spring, markdowns crept dangerously close to the start of the season.  Clearly, discounts really are not what designers want their labels to be known for.

“For younger, newer designers, image is everything,” said fashion consulting firm Launch Collective’s Rob Spira, who recently co-curated the New York City Save Fashion pop-up shop to celebrate independent designers.

“Before, designers were coming to us for ideas to build funding,” Spira told Reuters at the Save Fashion store, which popular style Web site Refinery29 also co-curated.  “Now they’re looking for creative ways to sustain in this kind of environment.”

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