Will Fast Fashion Slow Down?


"It is just time, after seven wild years, to say Basta! to fast fashion," writes Suzy Menkes in the International Herald Tribune. Why, that is an ironic statement in this economic time of BROKENESS. Menkes and people like Michael Fink, president of women's fashion at Saks Fifth Avenue, think fast fashion has become too cheap. They take issue with a dress at British retailer Primark costing the same as a cappuccino and croissant across the street (about $12 converted from wonderful pounds). The head of Comme des Garçons, which will launch a diffusion line at H&M in November, says, "Primark is ridiculously cheap. It's got to be a little more expensive." Donatella Versace also thinks fast fashion is over (but, it should be noted, she's never been a fan of it). And Diane Von Furstenberg says fast fashion has become "excessive."

Fink says he never thought "fast fashion would have legs," perhaps because a $7,000 Chanel jacket is one of his store's best sellers. Well, of course it has legs — the person who lines up early for Roberto Cavalli's H&M line isn't the same person spending thousands on a jacket. Nor are they likely to become that person anytime soon. But Topshop owner Sir Philip Green says, "Fast fashion is changing — it is going to have to be better." His logic is that since consumers aren't spending as much these days, they're going to want a higher-quality product. Okay, that might be true. People like us who have never considered spending $7,000 on a jacket won't let fast fashion go entirely quietly into the night. Do we need $12 dresses? Goodness, we're not that broke. But $30 dresses? Yeah, those are nice. And would we spend an extra $20 on those dresses if it meant they'd last longer than a season? If Topshop would ever freaking open, yes, we would.

Is fast fashion going out of fashion? [IHT]