"Authentic more natural stones are the 'new bling,' " says Julie Gilhart, senior vice president and fashion director of Barneys New York. "There is a handmade craft and artisanal feel to them, which feels fresh and new."
Have you bought anything on one of the sample sale websites yet?
More interestingly ... have you sold anything on them? In the past six months I have seen online sample sales for: Gurhan, Judith Ripka, Penny Preville, Kwiat, DiModolo, Ippolita, John Hardy, Temple St. Clair, Emily & Ashley, Leslie Greene, Heather Moore and dozens more.
What impact does this quick-access online discount shopping for luxury goods have on the general retail scene? Will the high-end fashionable customer head into the stores more or less when the economy rebounds?
We're fascinated by this new business mode -- by the pricing structure, merchandise selection and just how successful they are for the designers overall.
We'll definitely be doing some research and interviews but for now, dear readers, we lead you to a Wall Street Journal article -- and video -- to get some answers to some of the questions.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Loree Rodkin"has been telling friends that she would be willing to sell her company," Well-connected in Hollywood and rocker circles, she has jetted
to widespread fame as a jewelry designer since becoming Michelle
Obama's go-to jeweler. Now, Ms. Rodkin is ready to cash in, says the article.
"Recession or no, the dream of selling one's brand lives on in the
luxury business. Investors can offer designers the joys of creativity
without the headaches of operations and can bankroll global expansions.
Louis Vuitton made luggage and ran his company until his death in 1892,
when he passed it on to his son George. But these days, who wants to
labor as an artisan into old age?"
Henri Bendel, is planning to stop selling clothes this summer and focus
on accessories and beauty products as it struggles to lure shoppers
during a prolonged recession, says a news report.
"But Bendel, a division of Limited Brands,
is changing its business model," reports today's New York Times, "from the department store that was
founded in 1895 to a more mall-like chain selling Bendel-branded beauty
and gift items, like an $18 box of tea in the company’s signature