Marc Jacobs threw three parties on January 8 to launch his Louis Vuitton collection honoring Stephen Sprouse ($175 for a phone charm to $2,555 for a handbag), but even he’s had the financial crisis on the brain. There was no Christmas costume party this year. “It’s always such a huge expense,” Jacobs says. “And [business partner Robert Duffy’s] attitude was either we do it the way we’ve always done it or we don’t do it, but we don’t do it halfway.” The same thing goes for their elaborate runway shows: They’ll do it right or not at all. “Of course we would do a collection as if we were doing the show, but I don’t really know. I feel like it’s wrong not to think about the recession.” Jacobs thinks he already offers products “at such low prices, so people can really afford to buy them—crisis or no crisis.” But times have changed. “The fact that Karl Lagerfeld and Comme des Garçons did H&M, and that hasn’t tarnished either—it’s such a different world. When Halston sold out to JCPenney, that ruined his business. And now it means nothing.”
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