Donatella Versace is a well-known fan of Barack Obama. Her spring 2009 men’s collection was even inspired by “the type of man Barack Obama represents.” But the CEO of her fashion empire isn’t such a fan of change. Namely, the price cuts clothing companies are enacting in response to the economic downturn. Prada’s shocking Italians by thrusting sale signs in their windows in Milan, but Versace will do no such thing. CEO Giancarlo Di Risio said they don’t want to make their merchandise available to teen girls:
“Our regular client was not queuing on January 3-4 in Milan or Rome but was on the slopes in St Moritz or on a boat in the Caribbean,” he said. “We want to offer a real luxury and not to open our doors to the consumption of young girls who can put the designer handbag of their dreams on their arm with less than 300 Euros. We are not interested in that.”
You know the type. In town from, say, New Mexico for her 17th birthday with her mom and a friend (whose airfare she paid for) with tan she bought, a tiny Louis bag tucked under her arm, a fur-trimmed down jacket she’s worn twice, flat-ironed hair, and (gulp) Uggs. “In Via Montenapoleone or in Via Condotti, you could already buy goods at half price in mid-November,” Di Risio continued. “This policy is ruining a market which, given that it is at the high end, should be more protected. For me, fans of sales are different to regular buyers.”
Hm. People don’t want to be flashy anymore, sales are “in,” “It” bags won’t be cool in the future, and merchandise at Saks is 80 percent off. It would seem luxury is on its way out. So go on with your $2,100 perfumes, Versace. But maybe all these sales are a sign.
The Cut-Price Sell Out [British Vogue]