Unless you have been living on a commune for the last couple of months or gave up the internet for lent, you are probably aware that the recession has gotten pretty bad and that the fashion industry has not gone unaffected. The Fall '09 season was not wild or outlandish by any standards. Many designers chose to tone it down and churned out classic pieces, rather than more visionary but less marketable items.
Marc Jacobs cut down the attendees at his traditionally lavish runway shows. Gareth Pugh skipped a runway show all together and instead chose to present his collection in video form. Men’s boutiques have reportedly begun to offer their customers beer and other spirits in attempt to get them liquored up so they will hang around the store and spend more freely! Even the annual Costume Institute Gala- basically the Oscar’s of Fashion – is having trouble getting fashion houses to buy tables. Every year Anna Wintour and Vogue invite designers to sponsor tables costing anywhere from $75,000 to $250,000 but Burberry, Roberto Cavalli, Versace, Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent and Alberta Ferretti have all said no this year because they simply cannot afford it. But before you wrap yourself into a permanent fetal position under your desk out of fear, have hope- for fashion can see the light!
Young labels have decided “recession be damned!” and there is a growing trend amongst these labels (who have never done so before) to launch ad campaigns. This month Rodarte had an ad in V magazine, an ad for Zac Posen was featured in the Spanish indie mag Fanzine 137 and Derek Lam will be going even bigger with ads in August issues of Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue and Elle. Some people question whether these lines will benefit from increased publicity, considering the high cost of advertising.
Derek Lam Ad Campaign- Outtake
Whether their sales will increase and prevent the difficulties of this harsh economic climate has yet to be determined, but one thing is for sure: these brands want us to go out and buy their clothes. And if buying those Rodarte leggings you’ve been lusting after or that Zac Posen dress you couldn’t quite rationalize before will put a small dent in the troubles of the fashion industry, spend away you shall!
Shopping is a sacrifice we all may just have to make.