luxury consumer

Financo – a New York-based boutique investment bank that specializes in consumer retail – held a seminar yesterday with a CEO panel that showcased some of fashion’s most successful kingpins. Coach chief executive Lew Frankfort gave his two cents to the assembled suits, as did Juicy Couture and VF CEOs Paul Blum and Eric Wiseman, plus hospitality supremo Danny Meyer.

But the most vocal man in the room by far – J Crew’s chief executive Mickey Drexler – wasn’t sitting on the stage.

In a rather unexpected (and uninvited) twist at the tail end of an otherwise predictable dissection of retail strategy, lifestyle brands and the importance of the emerging markets, Mr Drexler sensationally hijacked the discussion from the floor, to the acute embarrassment of Financo’s head honcho Gilbert Harrison. Read more

I just learned something interesting: the made-to-order line is actually the biggest part of Loewe‘s clothing business. Granted, clothing as a category is only about 20 per cent of sales – the rest is leathergoods: handbags etc – but it’s still a notable fact.

Why? Well, if one were looking for, say, ad-hoc proof that consumers are still very interested in spending money on luxury goods, but they want to do so: 1) in privacy; 2) with discretion; and 3) on items with tangible value, well, this is the info you need. Read more

They are quick to note they aren’t anthropologists, but nevertheless, charge card giant American Express claims to have discovered an entirely new species of luxury consumer, and they have the data to back it up. Who is this mysterious new breed? Slackers!

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