Saturday, November 28, 2009

The State of Designer Labels

Someone complained about the number of pics in my last article so I reposted without photos.

Confessions of a Designer Lover in a Recession ...
Designer labels were thriving prior to the current recession. Their designs were worn by celebrities, models and the rich and famous but lately the demand for cut price capsule collections has hit an unprecedential height with their recent collaborations with high street retailers and chain stores. You would think that their legendary high priced collections and their relationships with celebrities could save them from feeling the brunt of the economic crisis but designers are pressured to cut costs , pinching pennies and tighten their budgets. Perhaps the on going collabortions with international designer heads did not ring a bell or even snap your immediate attention because of their previous associations when the economy was at its Boom. Is there another explanation for the recent patterns between with Anna Sui, Jean Paul Guautier and Alexander Mc Queen for Target?
When Matthew Williamson debuted a small one-off collection for H&M adding rich pattern fabrics, gommettes and chic ensembles he stroke my attention chord and I was wondering was this to cheer up shoppers trapped in the gloom of the recession or was it to surface the fact that his original high end line is relatively suffering from the intiaiton of low cost dressing?
Similarly, Jimmy Choo a famous accessory and footwear brand added glam to the floors of H&M designing a collection to complement the mens and women's accessories.
Bridal designer Vera Wang and rookie Lauren Conrad both took the retail chic route, in one case bringing the orginal high end collections to a hault and in the other, branching out with a low cost capsule collection in the midst of trying to get their high end labels back on the thriving track. Both designers (Wang and Conrad) are designing for deparment store Kohl's, while LC Lauren Conrad with nothing more than $60, Vera Wang carries bridal gowns for $100 - $200 dollars going as far as cutting prices for her resort collection by 40%.
A way to a womans heart may be shoes but the way to the heart of the people designing the footwear is undoubtely the depth of their pockets. Christian Siriano debuted his fabulous shoe collection for Payless. Rich Egyptian inspired footwear and a few bags ranging $25 - $45 taking the route of Alice and Olivia and Lela Rose.
If you havent heard about famed designer Zac Posen's plans to debut his new low end line "Z Spoke" opening at $78 with a range of 60 pieces for 17 Saks Fifth Avenue Stores and then you must live under a rock. Saks's carried his signature collection since 2004 and he's staying true to his elegant dresses and cocktail pieces ranging from 900 - 12000 while he adds american sportswear chic feeling to "Z Spoke".
There is no doubt that designers are pressured by others to lower prices and are basically struggling to bring their labels back to thier once robust companies. Finding designer clothing at affordable retail prices is a fashionista on a budget's dream come true, especially when you love designer brands but cannot afford it. All around the world famed designers are becoming recession friendly but how much longer can they drop prices without diminishing the quality and comparimising the creativity of their prestigious signature labels?

1 comment:

Leilia said...

Great article. you forgot Alexander Wang's collaboration with Uniqlo and also Kate Moss with Top Shop. Also a few more designers joined forces with H and M. This is so true.