Luxury Brands Pulling Out All the Stops


In the midst of our economic crisis and soaring unemployment rates, makers of $1,000+ handbags (or $10,000 in Hermès’ case) and other luxury goods want to make sure they don’t feel the heat of the recession. According to today’s WWD, worldwide luxury brands are coming up with all sorts of in-store special events, lavish trunk shows, temporary stores, and even limited edition items to ensure that their customers are still buying.

“There are still people with money, but we have to talk to them differently,” Valérie Hermann, ceo at Yves Saint Laurent told WWD, “It’s about having a relationship with them directly. It’s not only sending them catalogues.”

As part of YSL’s initiative to lure luxury shopping addicts to keep, well shopping, next month Barney’s will unveil a “new vintage” collection of classic styles from the brand that will be constructed from fabrics “recycled” from its inventories. There is nothing like a capsule collection that is actually eco-friendly to bolster sales in an economy where nothing seems to be selling.

Patrick Thomas, ceo of Hermès International, agreed with Hermann. He told WWD that there is at least one event per day in a Hermès store somewhere in the world. These include exhibitions, cocktail parties and product demonstrations around specific products, including Hermès silk scarves and how to wear them.