Monday, May 19, 2008

Seasons Change

I guess I haven't been able to get my head around spring, what with this fickle weather here in New York and all. With the rain and unseasonal cold, I wonder how that has been affecting us at the checkout counter. I guess I'm reminded every time I open up the pages of WWD, and see another mass retailer reporting record losses one after the other. But it also brings to light the divergent pulls in today's world, how the demand for luxury and good product is ever stronger. Case in point: Valentino and Versace reporting healthy sales despite lagging sales elsewhere.

Chanel is no exception. Ever since Karl Lagerfeld has been at the company's helm, he's magically transformed the company into gold. I guess I shouldn't be surprised at the man's business acumen. Aside from his diet book, his accomplished photography, and his immortalization as a DJ in Grand theft auto, the Kaiser was the heir to a condensed milk legacy, so it must be in the genes.

Lagerfeld recently showed his resort collection in Miami, flying starlets and models to showcase what is otherwise a minor collection. Did you see his interview for and his response to how the concept of resort has changed? It's just such a practical, no nonsense take:

"It's not Resort anymore. It's another collection—in the story of Fall, pre-Fall, Paris/London, pre-Spring, Spring—called "cruise." It's like a code name, but the thing is that Chanel needs six ready-to-wear collections a year, every two months completely new things at the shops. There are hundreds of shops all over the world that have to have something new all the time or else there's no reason to go back. Or else you go to a place like Colette where they see 100 labels. If it's one label, this label needs to have something new all the time."

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