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Recession-Busting Measures for Fashion and Luxury Brands

Feb 09 2009

Empty runway

As we gear up for the start of a pared down version of New York Fashion Week (soon to be followed by London, Milan and Paris), we're reminded just how hard this recession has hit the fashion and luxury industries. Magazines are brimming with "shop your closet" pieces and tips (some rather dubious) on how to be stylish on a budget. Many designers are either scaling back their fashion week presentations or pulling out altogether and even venerable brands are cutting their advertising budgets and the quality of their packaging in an attempt to cut costs. Even Vanity Fair used a stock image instead of commissioning a new portrait for its most recent cover. Yet, strangely, there are a number of easy cost-saving measures that are being overlooked by fashion and luxury houses.

Just off the top of my head, here are a few suggestions on how to trim a bit of fat from your operating budgets:

1. Tone down the glitzy fashion shows. While I don't deny that creating the right atmosphere to present your collection is important, some shows are so over-produced that they detract from the very collections they're meant to showcase. Your collection should be able to stand on its own.

2. Stop paying greedy celebrities to attend your fashion shows. If they really admire your work, they'll come and show their support on their own dime. It's not like they can't afford the air fare.

3. Stop using celebrities to front your advertising campaigns. Madonna was reportedly paid millions to flash her famous (or infamous depending on your point of view) crotch to the world for Louis Vuitton's Spring/Summer 2009 campaign. There are plenty of very attractive professional models willing to do the same for much, much less.

4. Stop giving away your clothing and accessories to celebrities and starlets of questionable repute. A paparazzi shot of an intoxicated Amy Winehouse stumbling out of a seedy London night club clutching your latest handbag doesn't exactly inspire me to go out and buy it.

5. Better yet, stop giving away your clothing and accessories full stop. As someone who pays full retail price for her fashion and accessories, I find it rather insulting that famous people get your wares for free. If they love your fashions, they'll buy them like everyone else.

6. Stop using celebrities with no relevant qualifications to "design" your products. I'm a fan of Sofia Coppola's movies but what does she know exactly about handbag and shoe design? I'm certainly not going to buy a shoe just because she "designed" it no matter how much I love shoes. Also, frankly, there are countless talented (not to mention qualified) accessories designers looking for employment. Why not give them a chance? They'll work a lot harder for much less money.

7. Downsize your gift-giving. Goody bags are nice and all but runway shows are about the clothing not the gifts.

Rather than trying to build your brand identity on the backs of superficial celebrities and their warped cultures, how about building your brand identity on the back of your own creativity, originality and authenticity? Give us a good reason to spend our hard-earned money and we will.

Sincerely,

The Luxe Chronicles

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well i agree but as a young start up fashion designer im finding it impossible to get any exposure because all the new designer, like established ones, are getting celebs to wear their clothes and it works sad but true.

as much as i agree and im not giving away free clothes to celebs im contemplating doing it. tthe clothes way seem free but its not its payment for the celebrity whos a walking advert for the brand.

ive been contacting fashion mags and famous dept stores the prior dont even reply to my press pcks as i dont put any gifts inside and the later say they'll put my clothes in their store if i get y designs on celebs.

its a doggy dog world i agree with you but as a designer trying to mae it in these hard times i have no choice to join them coz otherwise i cant beat them

well i agree but as a young start up fashion designer im finding it impossible to get any exposure because all the new designer, like established ones, are getting celebs to wear their clothes and it works sad but true.

as much as i agree and im not giving away free clothes to celebs im contemplating doing it. tthe clothes way seem free but its not its payment for the celebrity whos a walking advert for the brand.

ive been contacting fashion mags and famous dept stores the prior dont even reply to my press pcks as i dont put any gifts inside and the later say they'll put my clothes in their store if i get y designs on celebs.

its a doggy dog world i agree with you but as a designer trying to mae it in these hard times i have no choice to join them coz otherwise i cant beat them

Here here! I hate it when they give goodie bags, especially when I go to the local shows here. It's like they're bribing you to give them a good review.

I totally agree with the celebrity obsession, I would say that fashion magazines should do the same. Stop using celebrities to sell your copies and products! Besides, I never ever bought something because a celebrity was on it, and I think most people are pretty oblivious or would not really care which celebrity is endorsing which brand. It's a waste of money. Plus celebrities need to clear the air and leave the front row seats to the REAL industry professionals!

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ABOUT ME...

Welcome to The Luxe Chronicles.

The Luxe Chronicles is a collection of interviews, profiles and musings on various aspects of the luxury industry and occasionally, a rant on our celebrity obsessed culture and the dumbing down of our collective sense of style and esthetic.

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