Late last week, Women’s Wear Daily reported that Reed Krakoff would suspend operations while in pursuit of new investment to keep the line afloat. While the news itself is a surprise, it’s not shocking that something was up at Krakoff’s company; it’s the third young, well-known brand in the past several months to either partially or completely shut down.
Fashion News(Page 2)
Even though bags rarely take center stage at runway shows, they, along with cosmetics and shoes, are the things that brands usually need to sell in order to keep business chugging along; most designers cannot survive by clothes alone. That means that when it comes time for brands to communicate with customers, bags often end up as a central focus.
Today is International Women’s Day, and if you’re not familiar with it, plenty of fashion brands and companies are interested in broadening your awareness. The day, which was originally founded in the early 1900s is intended raise awareness for gender inequality and celebrate female accomplishment the world over.
There’s an old saying about the only sure things in life being death and taxes, but if you’re a handbag buyer, there’s another inevitability: price increases. With brands like Chanel, Hermès and Louis Vuitton, they’re fairly easy to track; because the bags are only available from the company’s boutiques, all the new product arrives at once and sales associates warn their loyal customers in advance.
Price increases for the big brands all seem to be hitting around the same time this year, and that is not good for anyone in the market for a new bag. First we told you Hermès was upping its already steep prices in the beginning of the year, next came the rumors of the Louis Vuitton price increase, and now it’s Chanel.
UPDATE 2/24/15: We’re being told by multiple members of the PurseForum that the price increase for Louis Vuitton will be hitting next week, with one person saying March 1st is the date their sales associate told them.
Ever since we heard rumors that the classic Chanel Grand Shopping Tote was being discontinued, we’ve been paying close attention to what members of our PurseForum have been hearing from their Chanel sales associates and friends at the brand. While we haven’t been able to confirm anything (brands of Chanel’s caliber tend not to dignify these things with a response until they’re good and ready), it seems like the whispered-about changes at Chanel go far beyond just the potential disappearance of a popular tote.
It’s somewhat rare that brands discontinue popular bags from their popular collections, but we’ve been hearing a lot of buzz lately about the potential end of the Chanel Grand Shopping Tote–it might be a thing of the past in the near future.
Last week, I spoke with Chavie Lieber of Racked about Prada’s current profit woes, much of which are tied to the recent underperformance of the leather goods that make up roughly 40% of Prada’s business. Lieber also talked to PB contributor Pattie Rechtman, luxury shoppers and industry analysts, and we all more or less agreed: Prada needs to do something about its handbag offerings.
If your new year’s resolution included buying more Hermès handbags or accessories, then you might want to move some money between your accounts and make some power moves, because time is of the essence. Both users on our Forum and shopping site Mizhattan have confirmed that Hermès will make a significant price increase in US boutiques before the end of the mont, affecting almost all of the brand’s product categories.