Christian Lacroix is not exactly one of my favourite designers. His style is a bit too…. colorful for me. Nevertheless, it is one of the last Paris haute couture houses established under the formal couture rules. It represents a generation of glamour and exquisite craftsmanship in fashion not seen these days. So it is rather sad to hear that they filed for bankruptcy today.
Though I cannot say I’m surprised. His collection is not always the most easy to wear and I’m sure that business from their haute couture clientele is not as it used to be. Besides, we all know that the real money in fashion is in the more commercial, lower price point products like perfumes and accessories. And from what I can tell as a fellow mass market consumer, they haven’t been very successful in their foray into the commercial market- if indeed there had been any.
While there is going to be change though, this doesn’t mean the end. They’re still hoping to do a small presentation in the July couture season. An expensive and completely unprofitably endeaver, but I’m sure that it is at least 1/3 of the way done anyway- so they might as well finish it. Though right now, the court still needs to decide whether to liquidate their assets or restructure it. For more details, check out the full article here.
The article also talked about how the luxury pyramid model for fashion is no longer viable and that the current strategy is more of a sunburst around a designer, a la Armani. I’m not sure that this is completely correct though. I still think there is still some kind of pyramid in the business model. Maybe the tip has been blunted a bit, but you still need to have the original Marc Jacobs line before you have the Marc by Marc Jacobs line for the younger crowd. And you still need Marc by Marc Jacobs to fuel the more wallet friendly Jacobs by Marc Jacobs line. Each collection down the product line serves a wider audience…. like a pyramid, no? Or does it all just revolve around Marc Jacobs?
Thoughts? I haven’t completely wrapped myself around this idea yet myself!