Saturday, February 14, 2009

Want Fries with that Prada bag?

It was only a matter of time before Fifth Avenue Fashionistas would take cues from the "Mall of America" masses. A recent USA TODAY article reported that "mass" brands such as McDonald's, Mattel and QVC would share the sponshorship spotlight with Mercedez-Benz during the upcoming Fashion Week in New York City.

While the economy has squeezed out the haute and "supersized" the mundane, will luxury brands recover? Slipping retail sales show that as a nation, our attitudes may be forever changed as a result of a recession....Less is not just more, less is better.

This news item reminded me of a sidebar on trends in US magazine last summer. The piece
interviewed Project Runway judge and top designer Michael Kors. He was listing off top fashion picks for the summer. “The see-through bag,” he was quoted as saying, “was VERY important.” At the time, I thought, the see-through bag is IMPORTANT? Hmm...make a note of it.

That quote sticks in my head, one because it is truly absurb and, second, because it makes you acutely aware that the economy will be the great mass-class equalizer. Just as McDonald's will share the marquee with Mercedez. The "I want" and the "I have to have" impulse responses to luxury items will blur in contrast to the "I need" basic neccessities.

In the end, I suppose Recessionistas will still have to be stylish and eat, too. I just never thought the new "it" bag would be a Happy Meal box!

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