Americans Are Over Bling, But China and Russia Aren't!

Sequins at Emporio Armani Photo: imaxtree

Are you the kind of person who hears the words "economy" or "emerging markets" and immediately thinks, Economy eshmonomy, emerging markets cookie whatever? If so, and you care about fashion, now is the time to change your tune. The economy does indeed affect what you wear (crap), because designers create their wares based on what you're in a position to buy. Though we're in a slump in the good ol' U.S. of A, China and Russia aren't. They not only have their eyes on luxury goods like designer clothes, bags, and shoes, they have the cash to buy them. Hadley Freeman writes for the Guardian:

Luxury goods bigwigs are so excited about these markets that they hold global conferences just so they can sit around and rub their hands gleefully while drinking whisky out of Swarovski studded tumblers in between golf lessons with Tiger Woods and cookery demonstrations by Anton Mosimann (I'm surmising, but I bet accurately).


We couldn't have put it better ourselves! But there's more:

[W]ithin a decade, it is predicted that China alone will account for up to a third of the luxury goods sold around the world, while demand in Russia is estimated to have gone up 60% last year alone. And let's not forget the Middle East and India. With these countries' newfound spending power has come a desire to flaunt it.


If you don't believe Freeman, take a look at Russian Vogue. It just oozes decadence, and we half expect the sub cards to be sprinkled with cocaine. Anyhow.

Designers have to give their customers what they want. In the West we want low-key chic to go with our low-key (er, budget?) lifestyles; this may explain why the Dolce & Gabbana collection was so prim when it's usually a party. Even Cavalli kept it pretty conservative. However, the chief financial officer for Giorgio Armani called China "the most important market we have in front of us," so it was no surprise that the Emprio collection looked, as Freeman writes, "like the Tin Man's family reunion."

So if you see glitz on the runways, you know to whom those designers are pandering (and if those aren't euros in your pocket, it probably ain't you). Maybe next year!

Safe and Sound or Glitzy and Loud? [Guardian]