More fashion lexicon news: Apparently, at least in the US, men are into accessories, but not into the nominally feminine words used to describe accessories. They love bracelets – but not the name. They are into tote bags, but not the appellation. So what have retailers done? They are inventing new language to make their clients happier about their purchases.
So it all came true, and PPR did, indeed, buy Italian men’s wear luxury brand Brioni. So far, so rumoured. But what does it mean? Seems to me there are two main implications to the deal. Read more
So David Cameron has given an interview to Grazia UK in which he attempts to display his soft, feminine side by admitting that he finds Prime Minister’s Question Time an aggressive, testosterone-filled experience, and he doesn’t like it. Awww. He might have been better served, however, to sit down and take tea with Carlo Giordanetti, creative director of Montblanc, which is likewise engaged in a campaign to woo women.
Could the above statement be true? It seems difficult to believe, but the numbers – at least numbers published today to the industry by Bain & Co, the consulting firm, in its 10th annual Worldwide Luxury Goods Market study (on general release later this week) – seem to say yes.
Consider: according to the Bain report, 2011 is going to be a record-setting year for the luxury market. Yes, you read that right. Bain predicts the industry will increase by 10 per cent beyond its current value of sales, which it estimates at €173bn. That would be growth of 13 per cent over 2009.
What’s more, the strongest markets are not just China (as expected), but also the Americas and western Europe, with sales in Europe up 10 per cent and those in the Americas 16 per cent higher. Put another way: the two most beleaguered global areas where the jobless numbers have risen are the places where someone (tourists?) are spending. A lot. Especially on high-margin watches and jewellery.
Weird, right? Read more
Jewellery by Marie-Helene de Taillac. Image by Vanessa Friedman
Yesterday, on the last day of Paris Fashion Week, I dropped in on jeweller Marie-Hélène de Taillac, and we got to chatting about the price of gold. She said it had transformed her business.
First, it meant stones had become enormously more important. She showed me some little gold hoops decorated with minute gold “sequins” (very thin) discs the size of lentils, and then some much larger sparkling numbers of quartz and amethyst — really quite large amethysts — and asked which I thought was more expensive. They are pictured left.
What would be your guess? Read more
Pity the poor jewelers of this world. As the price of gold soars and investors hoard bullion, the price of one of the luxury industry’s prime raw materials goes through the roof; suddenly, what was the base metal of high-end adornment has become as precious as the sparklers it normally holds. The unknown now becomes how consumers will react to this change; whether their idea of what gold jewellery represents (glamour, a special indulgence, an investment), will catch up to commodities reality, and they will see gold jewellery as an even better place to put their money, or whether they will run from the inflated prices. Read more
It’s that time of year when everyone looks back, assesses, makes their naughty and nice lists, and, in this world (ie, the world of this blog) generally makes best and worst dressed lists, which as far as I can tell, are just handy excuses to re-print as many pictures as possible of Gwyneth Paltrow. So I was quite pleased to discover the CBS business network (bnet) had instead come up with the 10 worst fashion business mistakes of 2010. Read more
The Economist says bling is back. I’m not so sure. Their reasoning seems to be based on two observations, one having to do with shopping bags, the other with sales. It seems to me there are some pretty big conceptual leaps going on here.
I woke up this morning after a month of fashion collections to an email from NPD, the market research company, about the dim sale prospects for the holiday season. Turns out Americans at least plan to spend a little less at christmas:
Welcome back to reality!
Still, this pretty much supports what I heard from two jewellers last week. Both Taher Chemirik and Marie-Helene de Taillac, who are equally talented and original (and highly copied) in very different ways, had told me that their US business had effectively dried up over the last year or two, and in Taillac’s case, she said it was growth in Asia and Europe keeping her afloat. Apparently, US stores only want to accept jewellery on consignment (ie, they pay only if, and after, they sell), which makes it pretty hard for an independent jeweller to earn a living. Read more