As the economy has cratered and more or less stayed that way, we have begun to hear more and more from designers (and their PR companies) about the new way we should be looking at fashion – as an investment in our futures. People have used the “investment” excuse to justify the money they spend on bags for years, but as conspicuous consumption of luxury good contracts at an even greater rate than across-the-board retail spending, brands and their mouthpieces have looked to the word as a possible way to pry the remaining dollars out of consumers’ wallets. Lesley Blume of Slate‘s finance blog The Big Money has the breakdown on exactly why the fashion-as-investment logic just doesn’t hold. (more…)
I can’t decide if this news is counter-intuitive or not, but Forbes is reporting that Hermes will post an increase in sales during the first quarter of 2009, a time when many retailers and brands were feeling a big-time sales crunch. Why is that?
Well, the sales increase isn’t worldwide. Sales fell modestly in Europe and experienced a double-digit decline in luxury-goods-obsessed Japan, but the brand saw increases large enough in non-Japanese Asia to more than make up for decreases elsewhere. The increases were seen mostly in South Korea and China, which many industry watchers regard as somewhat of a Last Frontier of luxury retail.
So what does this tell us? First of all, we should all remember that signs of strength in the global economy probably mean good things for those of us in America. Our economy is incredibly interconnected with those of other nations, particularly China, and we can’t start to make a significant recovery without signs that are trading partners are also ready to move forward economically. Sales increases of luxury goods mean that consumers in other countries feel confident in the direction in which the economy is headed, and maybe a little bit of that consumer confidence will rub off on other markets. Lastly, it’s a good reminder to all businesses that there are still markets out there that are spending money. Finding them may be a challenge, but it can and will be done. So congratulations, Hermes, on a game well played.
In a very pointed reminder that, yes, there are still people out there with plenty of cash to spend on handbags, luxury giant Hermes has decided to open a temporary outpost on Easthampton to cater to the elite that can still afford the kind of house that gives them the ability to use “summer” as a verb.
Well, if this CraigsList ad for temporary sales associates is to be believed, anyway. Women’s Wear Daily seems to confirm it, although I’m cheap and don’t have a subscription, so I can’t see the entire article.
What does this tell us? Well, it tells us that the Hamptons are still a little annoying, in a Real Housewives of New York, fabulously awful way. It also tells us that there’s hope for our economy yet – keep spending, obscenely rich people! And keep going on vacation! Hermes wants to give you a way to do both, simultaneously, and if that isn’t the American way, then I don’t know what is.
Victoria can not deny it, she loves the public eye. As she shopped on Rodeo Drive with pal Eva Longoria and son Romeo, the trio caused quite a stir. It is not as if Victoria tries to hide from the cameras, and really, her bright red dress was not toning it down at all. As they shopped in Versace, Dolce & Gabanna and Yves Saint Laurent, Victoria stayed true to her Hermes addiction and carried a Hermes Kelly Longue in Gold Swift leather. Her Hermes handbag collection seems endless; just as we spot her carrying one Birkin she pops out with a style we have never seen her with. The Kelly Longue was derived from the Hermes Kelly a couple seasons back. The bag is longer and thinner than the Kelly Pochette and more rare. Victoria’s Kelly Longue is made with Swift leather, but the Longue also is available in Box, Veau Doblis, Chevre Mysore, and Crocodile. Though, the exotic has only hit the runway and been seen on display, it is unsure if it will be sold. The price starts around $4,000. This handbag is a stunning classic, and while it is great for evening wear, it makes the perfect day clutch also. Victoria’s Hermes collection continues to take my breath away! I am not as keen on Eva Longoria’s Valentino Fleur Bag, but the Hermes bag makes up for it. (more…)
Hermes Fall 2007 exploded on the runway of Paris with a sense of wearable luxury that is not to be messed with. Jean Paul Gaultier put together an luxe and exotic clothing line, filled with crocodile, chiffon, velvet, all exemplifying exquisite attention to detail. When it came to the bags, JPG introduced the Kelly as a soft hand Muff. The Kelly Muff’s showed up in exotic crocodile and were infused with fluffy warmth on the inside. Similar to his foldable Kelly Flat from the Spring line, JPG also sent out foldable suede Kellys and croc clutches. But the Hermes Kelly Muff ruled the show as far as handbags are concerned; is it easy to wear or even feasible to buy? The key accessory revolved around the hat, in fluffy cashmere to structured crocodile and leather, the importance of a hat in the fall is key. Overall, the show showed impeccable attention to detail and gave off a feeling of extravagance one would look for when venturing to the house of Hermes, so much so that Gaultier recognized his show was a hit and trotted on stage with an over-sized Croc Kelly for the grand finale.