The pangs of global turmoil touching every industry; the designer apparels sector is not alone immunized. Recession scarred retailers are now opting for designer clothing that look stylish and are also less expensive.
With the credit crunch in full swing, retailers all across the globe are slashing prices and shuttering their shops. As the tsunami of financial crisis; which initially sprang up in the US started swallowing the economies of other countries gradually, every single day brings more dismal news on the economic front. This applies for luxury clothing sector as well. Conventional knowledge states that affluent market will remain unaffected by the economic ups and downs that normally take the middle class consumer as a prey. But the current market situation being more diverse and stratified, has proved this to be a wrong notion. This means a more challenging period for the luxury brands. The aspirational upper, and upper middle class customers who were the main reasons for the double digit growth of designer wears are now shifting their focus towards a less expensive way of shopping.
Luxury Recession – Inexpensive designer wears:
Until the recent past, designer expensive outfits by top fashion designers were in vogue. Stylish, chic clothing and accessories were seen on store racks until the advent of recession. Presently, many fast fashion retailers expect the fashion designers to create collections that are inexpensive. They urge the designers to go for patterns that will satisfy the consumers who, at present want to keep their clothing budget under control.
Wal-Mart has caught on to the designer collaborations. It has introduced a new line of clothing designed by the renowned fashion designer Norma Kamali featuring jersey wrap apparels for $ 20. JCPenney has introduced a new collection of affordable and exclusive designer brands from its portfolio of authentic designers. Retail giants like H&M and Target are also gearing up to jump into competition. H&M, defying tough times has proposed to launch its latest high profile design collaboration with cutting edge fashion. Normally, the company showcases it collections only during November. But now, it is rolling out its collections of designer Matthew Williamson during the spring. Target has also introduced a line of designer clothing with low price tags. Fashion accessories like totes, handbags and jewellery will also be complementing their clothing line.
Does inexpensive clothing make a class?
Now, what about the quality, style and construction? Do the consumers have to compromise on these aspects? While some companies attempt to do a good job staying true to the designer’s vision, few others using materials which; though not up to the standards; help to keep the costs down. Efforts are made to achieve outfits with high end quality, without making much sacrifice. With materials that will make up the consumers budget, retailers try their level best to bring out outfits that give an ‘expensive look’. It is a crystal clear fact that, though inexpensive designer clothing will not withstand the market as long as its original counterparts, it will definitely be available in the mass market.
Inexpensive designer wears are now flooding the market trying to ‘cut corners’, elevating fashion in merchandise assortment. Luxury retailers need to stay focused on their customers so as to get a feel of their preferences and inevitable shifts in the luxury market. Retailers who are willing to make adjustments to go with the conservative luxury mindset of the consumer will reap gains.
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