London Proves Luxury Industry May Be On the Rise Sooner Than We Think

June 25, 2009 • Fashion

Prada's Gold Platform Shoe from the Spring 2009 collection

Reports are finally surfacing that the global recession, at least the luxury end of it, may be starting to dwindle as the demand for high end products like alligator bags, cars, and yachts has increased. So is the recession actually starting to recede?
In the U.K. at least, it looks like it. There was that report recently about Hermes having to breed it's own crop of alligators in order to keep up with the frenzied demand for Birkin bags . Now other retailers are popping up to to say that though last year may have shown a slight decrease in numbers, it's getting better every day. Handbag label Mulberry stated that sales of its supply has recovered since 2008, climbing 21%
in the first 10 weeks of its new financial year with its new 'Mitzy' bag, hailed as an "immediate bestseller". And British shoe supplier Kurt Geiger, who provides high end labels like Christian Louboutin and Prada to the likes of retailers like Harrods, says he can't stock the luxe labels fast enough before they sell out. "This year has been much better than we expected, largely driven by the
weakness of the pound. For the first time in a long time London offers
better value to the luxury shopper than other European cities."
Mulberry's 'Mitzy' Bag

The chief executive of yacht maker Oyster Marine, David Tydeman, believes the rich and celebrity types are recovering
their "emotional confidence" after shock waves such as the collapse of
Lehman Brothers and starting to reopen their wallets for status symbols again. This is good news for the luxury industry that has suffered a significant downturn in the past financial period, despite the likes of Victoria Beckham who seems to be singlehandedly forcing Hermes to breed their alligators with her 100+ collection of Birkins. Luxury goods specialist Claudia D'Arpizio, who recently claimed in a report for Bain and Co. that the luxury industry was not projected to recover until 2011, amended that some couture brands like Louis Vuitton and Hermes have not had as hard of a time due to their reputation for producing classic, timeless pieces in the utmost quality. "These companies [Louis ­Vuitton and
Hermès] have strong, strong brands, so it's reassuring for consumers to
buy a Louis Vuitton bag because it's forever, but at the same time it's a fashion statement," she said. Other high end but trendier companies like Dior, Chanel, and Dolce& Gabbana have found the recession tougher in their record books since people have passed their ever-changing products off as more frivolous and unnecessary and as a result, may take longer to bounce back.

Victoria Beckham

But back in London, hopes are high that the recession is at the beginning of the end, and the rest of us have high hopes that these new trends will soon stretch across the Atlantic and into the American market.

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-Alia Rajput

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