If you’ve ever walked along Canal Street, you probably have a good idea of just how big of a business fake handbags are on the black market in New York City. Even when you’re walking quickly, by yourself, with your sunglasses and headphones on (which are basically all the quick visual cues for “not a tourist, don’t bother me” in NYC), it’s hard to make it more than a few steps down that famous street without hawkers shoving price lists and stock cards in your face.
In The News
I’ve worked in the fashion industry for the vast majority of my post-college life, so occasionally, I forget what it’s like for people in more traditionally corporate or conservative environments, who likely constitute the bulk of women who have the funds to buy themselves designer handbags and shoes. When I read the Washington Post’s piece on White House council Kathryn Ruemmler, though, I found myself served with a stark reminder that not all workplaces are as welcoming to designer bags and expensive shoes, no matter how by-the-book-appropriate.
Luxury-industry insiders and moguls met for the Financial Times Business of Luxury Summit 2013 in Vienna, Austria, over the past few days, and lots of interesting tidbits of information came out of the event’s who’s-who list of speakers, which included luminaries like Alexis Babeau, Managing Director of Luxury at Kering, and Andrew Rosen, CEO of Theory and Helmut Lang (and a huge investor in Proenza Schouler, among others).
If you’ve been following this strange story since the beginning, you know that LVMH, the luxury conglomerate that owns Louis Vuitton, has been in some hot water with European financial regulators lately over CEO Bernard Arnault’s covert maneuvers to acquire a significant portion of stock from one of his company’s biggest rivals, Hermes. Regulators from European financial agency AMF believe that some of those tactics may have been illegal, or at least not on the spirit of the law, and on Friday hit back at Hermes with quite the penalty: 10 million euros, the largest fine allowable by law.
As Christina Passariello wrote in a recent Wall Street Journal article, Louis Vuitton, with its flagging growth and logo-covered bags, now finds itself in the throes of the fashion business’ most baffling paradox – how do you sell bags to as many people as possible without becoming a company that’s associated with mass-market consumerism instead of rarified luxury? At least right now, LVMH execs think that the solution to that problem might be to raise prices across the board.
[Editor's Note: In light of the very serious situation on the ground in Boston today, we didn't feel right going forward with business as usual. Our thoughts are with the people of Boston and the law enforcement officials who've worked tirelessly last night and today to make us all safer.]
We’ve tried to provide a bit of fluffy fun in the face of this week’s tragic events in Boston and Texas, but when we found out that our friends at Boston-based Rue La La had come up with a way for people around the country to raise money for the victim’s medical bills and honor the city simultaneously, we thought we’d be remiss not to let you guys know.
A long time ago, I ranted a bit about why terming the purchase of a bag as an “investment” was probably a bit silly, not to mention inaccurate, and the kind of marketing terminology that encourages consumers to overspend on goods that depreciate even more rapidly than cars. It still is – at best, buying fashion is an investment in your own enjoyment, and the dividends it pays won’t be of the monetary variety.
We don’t delight in bad news around here, and a price increase is just about the worst news that you can ever expect to find on a handbag blog. (We’re lucky that way.) Unfortunately, that’s what this time of year brings for Hermes lovers, and NYC shopping blog Mizhattan reports that we can expect a noticeable uptick in price for everything from Birkins to Colliers de Chien to flasks.
I am a major sports fanatic, and starting July 27th I will be glued to my TV to watch the Olympic games. Because of my athletic background, I have many friends competing for Team USA and with other teams around the world. Every four years, I look forward to the world coming together to root on our athletes toward one common goal: performing to the best of their abilities and honoring their country.
In case you just can’t get enough of Infinitely Kusama, Louis Vuitton‘s capsule collection in collaboration with Japanese modern artist and polka dot enthusiast Yayoi Kusama, you’ll soon have even more ways to shop. Not only will customized windows roll out to Louis Vuitton boutiques across the globe, with the Kusama collection available in all of Vuitton’s 463 boutiques, but LV will also open up a handful of Kusama-only pop-up shops.