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Archive for February 1st, 2005

Trouble in the Land of the Couture

Tuesday, February 1st, 2005
By Manolo

Manolo says, here is the longish article from the Time Magazine about the various troubles in the fashion industry. There is much about the Prada in it, however, what interested the Manolo was this prediction about the death of the couture.

Couture’s future is chancier. Those catwalk confections don’t turn a profit. From inspiration to hand-sewn conclusion, each runway spectacle can cost about $3 million to produce while the number of clients willing to pay $60,000 or more for a dress dwindles. With the U.S. dollar steadily weakening against the euro, such dependable American customers as Suzanne Saperstein, the fashion-mad wife of billionaire media tycoon David Saperstein, are tightening their Herm├Ęs belts or dropping out of couture altogether.

So are more and more fashion houses. In recent years, Yves Saint Laurent, Ungaro and Versace have shuttered their couture operations. Last year, according to analysts’ estimates, Lacroix generated about $39 million in sales from its couture, ready-to-wear and licensing businesses–with a loss of $13 million. Those in the designer’s inner circle say Lacroix is bitter about the way LVMH’S chairman, Bernard Arnault, handled the sale, although Arnault shows little regret. “For 17 years we have worked to transform the company, and we have not been successful,” he says. “It’s time to focus on our core businesses and those brands like [Louis] Vuitton that have the most potential.”

Manolo says, this, it is frightening. Without the attempts by some of the less skilled designers at the high-concept fashion what will the Manolo mock?

Disclaimer: Manolo the Shoeblogger is not Manolo Blahnik
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