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What Economic Downturn? - Haute Couture Flourishes

Jul 2, 2008
We all know that the lifestyles of the rich and super-rich differ markedly from those of the average citizen. Nowhere is this better pointed out than in the world of ultra high-end fashion, otherwise known as haute couture.

While the general populace tries to figure ways to save money so that the family car can be filled up with nearly $100 worth of gasoline, the super rich are jetting to private showings and fittings in various countries or having their own private sales consultants flown in from Paris to assist with six figures worth of couture expenses.

There is little doubt that couture continues to flourish despite the economic hardship elsewhere. Double digit sales growth is showing up across most couture houses and, what's more, the client base is increasingly expanding towards the east and is coming from among the nouveau riche of the Middle East, Asia and Russia.

What is interesting is that executives of these high-end fashion houses are seeing no reduction of interest from their American clients, despite the economic problems in the United States. It appears that haute couture is the ultimate luxury and makes personal statements that are very important to the owners of these fashions.

It was not too many years ago that the experts were sounding the death knell for haute couture as a long list of fashion houses discontinued their couture activity. Yves Saint Laurent, Emanuel Ungaro, Balmain, Jean-Louis Scherrer and Hanae Mori are all examples of companies that closed their doors to the haute couture line.

Ah, but that was then. Now, sales of those that remained to serve this niche are roaring ahead and these houses are expanding and hiring temporary help to keep up with the demand. All this seems to underscore the belief that at this very high end of the market, clients appear to be impervious to economic downturns.

The clientele for haute couture is very demanding and requires much attention as is evidenced by the fact that couture sales teams are often required to fly halfway across the globe for a single days work. When all the extras are added up it is not at all unusual for a client to be handed a bill in excess of one million dollars for that seasons high end fashions.

The world of haute couture is certainly a different world and if you are to dress the part you must be ready to pay if you want to play. What is surprising is that there is no shortage of players; even in times of economic turmoil.
About the Author
The Teacher (aka John Pawlak) has been involved in education for over 25 years. He has developed a series of fashion websites which include:
Coach handbags, footwear and accessories.
Kate Spade handbags, footwear and accessories.
Vera Bradley handbags, footwear and accessories.
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