Reading the paper this morning on the way to the office was very depressing. Stores like Niemans' and Saks and Nordstroms' are all sucking wind. Sam's Club and Costco are riding the crest , for now, but most everyone else is not. Louis Vuitton has wrapped itself in a Murakami insecurity blanket and nothing seems to sell unless it's 50-60% off.
Now on the one hand, it's attractive to many of us with little or no play money but the larger picture is turning black at it's edges and moving steadily towards no picture at all. I'm feeling a low grade sense of panic. I'm a fearless and undaunted breed, one who was bred in the times of the Pharaohs. But I'm also a cat of today. The reality and gravity of what has befallen us, and those of us in the fashion business is daunting, to say the very least. Getting depressed or paralyzed does nothing but invite more of the same. It also infects those around you and the environment in which you work and live. For that reason, I'm fighting the urge to panic, but it's a roller coaster of emotions that will not slow down.
Why would Louis Vuitton pull a Murakami blanket over it's head? What is a little splash of prohibitively expensive color going to do , when most people don't have a pot to .... in? To my mind, I find that idea absurd and irresponsible. Most of all, because the lure of the whole selling tool doesn't come with an incentive. Everything is priced at the top of the scale. The most you'll get at a bargain is perhaps a key chain. It's elitism at it's most brazen. Marc Jacobs has been in Paris too long. Time to come back to the hood for a bit of a reality check.
The present situation in this industry is a mix of facing facts or sticking your head in the sand, sand which has turned to quick sand. We must do something, and it's now or never. I won't indulge myself like I did last year. Friends and family will get more love than actual durable goods. Love and friendship tends to be more durable, anyway. Good times together and simple luxuries like dinner and films together at home, or trips to museums and places that open your eyes and soul are the food we need for sustenance. We need strength. The gym or simple exercise is much more satisfying to the body and soul than a new LV/Murakami garish bag, complete with vulgar decoration and a ridiculous price tag.
I honestly don't mean to karp away like an envious outsider with my nose pressed to the store window, but it just doesn't make sense. I am a player on the same field and am not even remotely removed from these repercussions, but I want to find a responsible way of managing this beast. I want to survive as much as the next person, but not at a cost that drives everyone away and me and my life's work into a ditch on the side of 7th Ave.
It feels like a large and angry kidney stone that must pass....and there is no detour for this one.
It's going down a one way street, and it appears to be gathering speed. My only hope is that the passing is swift and we can all get on with the business of life which starts with a big load of JOY!
On the Street…Seeing Stripes, Milan
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