Reuters top ten news stories delivered to your inbox each day.
You are here:
Business & Finance
The Great Debate
Do More With Reuters
Make Reuters My Homepage
Support (Customer Zone)
About Thomson Reuters
NY designers get creative to battle recession
Wed Feb 11, 2009 5:53pm EST
Email | Print |
| Reprints | Single Page
By Jan Paschal
NEW YORK (Reuters) - With recession ripping a hole in the U.S. retail industry, designers are struggling to come up with clothes women feel they can't do without as they unveil their collections at New York's fashion shows this week.
Designers at the semi-annual Fashion Week face the dual challenges of trimming their own spending on the shows while enticing penny-pinching buyers and consumers to boost their spending.
"We're counting on the industry to step up with something new," said Pete Nordstrom, president of merchandising for the upscale Nordstrom Inc department stores.
Some 70 designers are showing their collections in giant tents in Manhattan for Fashion Week, which kicks off Friday. Other designers are showing collections throughout the city.
They face sinking U.S. retail sales and a devastating credit crunch, while U.S. job losses last month were the worst in 34 years. On the buying front, the International Council of Shopping Centers estimated 148,000 retail stores closed last year and another 73,000 would shut in the first half of 2009.
"Right now, it's like you're in the middle of a tsunami," said designer Diane von Furstenberg, who heads up the Council of Fashion Designers of America.
A solution, she said, is to make clothes highly appealing.
"You need to show clothes that are real friends to women, so that 'friend' will make you feel good when you open your closet," said von Furstenberg, whose flattering wrap dresses put her firmly on the fashion map in the 1970s.
Many designers are opting for lower-cost presentations -- installations where guests wander among models who are fixed in place -- rather than high-priced runway shows.
A runway show at Fashion Week's tents typically costs $100,000 to $250,000 or more, a show in a smaller venue such as a gallery could cut the cost in half and a still presentation in a designer's showroom could be most economical of all.
Some design houses opting for presentations over shows are Betsey Johnson, Nary Manivong, Reem Acra, Luca Luca, Joanna Mastroianni, Temperley and Generra.
Others are headed to smaller spaces. Carmen Marc Valvo, whose gowns are celebrity hits, estimates saving as much as $150,000 by showing in a nightclub, with mannequins, a video presentation and just two models.
Designer Marc Jacobs is turning his belt-tightening into a status plus -- by slashing his show to 500 guests from 2,000, his coveted invitations are all the more valuable among the thousands of fashionistas vying to get in.
Others are using the hard times as inspiration. Catherine Malandrino is showing cocktail dresses in the Rainbow Room, an Art Deco-style nightspot that first opened in 1934. Continued...
View article on single page
Also on Reuters
Fashionistas: Swap 'til you drop at a "swishing" do
Slideshow: Brian Snyder's portfolio of work
Koala love story wins hearts after deadly Aussie fires
More Entertainment News
Phoenix says "no turning back" on quitting acting
"Desperate Housewives" to lose Nicollette Sheridan
Brad Paisley leads Country Music award nominations
Just A Minute With: singer-songwriter Graham Nash
Actor Seagal wants to bring Hollywood to Costa Rica
More Entertainment News...
A selection of our best photos from the past 24 hours. Slideshow
Most Popular on Reuters
U.S., Russian satellites collide in space
Threats send California octuplets mom into hiding
Wall St. CEOs berated by lawmakers | Video
Cuba launches own Linux variant to counter U.S.
Koala love story wins hearts after deadly fires | Video
Howard Stern says satellite radio will survive
Stimulus bill cleared for House, Senate votes | Video
Madoff's wife withdrew funds on eve of his arrest
Shark attacks diver in harbor
Mexico drug gangs threaten cops on radio, kill them
Most Popular Articles RSS Feed
Koala bushfire survivor wins hearts
Bloodshed in Afganistan
Geithner grilled over bailout plan
Geithner, Bernanke sell bailout plan
Model in bikini graces Boeing jet
Talk of the Town
Sci-fi laser stiches wounds
Tainted peanut president grilled
UK economy faces deep recession
Most Popular Videos RSS Feed
The Grammys raised the curtain on fashions that included Kanye West's sparkling tuxedo and M.I.A.'s bold maternity wear. Slideshow
Artists perform under the bright lights at the Grammy Awards, showcasing a wide selection of music. Slideshow
The global destination for corporate leaders, deal-makers and innovators
Knowledge to Act
Help and Contact Us |
Advertise With Us |
Interactive TV |
Reuters in Second Life |
Site Index |
Thomson Reuters Corporate:
Professional Products |
Professional Products Support |
About Thomson Reuters |
Latin America |
United Kingdom |
Thomson Reuters is the world's largest international multimedia news agency, providing investing news, world news, business news, technology news, headline news, small business news, news alerts, personal finance, stock market, and mutual funds information available on Reuters.com, video, mobile, and interactive television platforms. Thomson Reuters journalists are subject to an Editorial Handbook which requires fair presentation and disclosure of relevant interests.
NYSE and AMEX quotes delayed by at least 20 minutes. Nasdaq delayed by at least 15 minutes. For a complete list of exchanges and delays, please click here.