Things must actually be getting really bad economically. I just saw a news story about the January Couture shows that are coming up. Nieman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman are not attending, and Saks say they have not made up their mind yet. This really shocked me. As self-proclaimed fashion leaders in the retail world, it would seem that their attendance would be automatic. True, they're not going to actually sell these clothes, and I suppose they feel they can get just as much out of a trend report, but they rely on the public's perception of their unmatched fashion contacts and expertise. This may call that reputation into question.
Chanel laid off 200 workers very recently too, and in mid-December Bill Blass Couture laid off all 60 employees without warning (or severance) and is in bankruptcy. Granted, Blass has had no real leader since Bill Blass died, and that's likely the problem, but it's a sad ending for them.
I am hoping that couture in general does not get hit so hard by the global financial downturn that they'll have to curtail the collections. I've seen reports recently that households with a net worth over $30 million are planning to spend as much or more this year as last. Surely this is the only group that is wearing couture anyway, so maybe they'll do their civic duty and keep it up. I hope so anyway. It would be really sad to lose all that beauty and creativity, and almost impossible to start up the mechanics of creating it all again once it's been shut down.
Where am I getting all this news? I decided that for a little Christmas gift for me, I wanted a subscription to the online Womens Wear Daily, and I am loving it.
The fashion news is great, and I like their reviews very much. The business news is interesting as well.