|Luxury brands thrived|
Article from Newsweek
Luxury companies that stayed true to their roots didn't merely survive the recession,
Feb. 9 seemed like an oddstrana night for a party. New York City was locked in the jawsstretta nella morsa (lett. fauci) of one of the coldest winters on record, and the economy was in deep freeze. Yet few of the guests at the Park Avenue Armory, sippingche sorseggiano French champagne and munchingche masticano, sgranocchiano on Wagyu beef sliders, seemed to notice. They were there for a gala thrown by Hermès, the 173-year-old French bag maker and fashion house. The pretext for the party was the next-day opening of Hermès's new 278-square-meter men's store, in a jewel-box Madison Avenue townhouse. The store would be the company's 24th in the United States and its 250th in the world, but the first anywhere dedicated exclusively to men.
There are two reasons to expect more trendiness and glitzsfarzo in our future. One is our baser instincts. Scott Galloway, an NYU professor who studies luxury marketing, expects conspicuous consumption to resume as soon as people have money in their pockets again. "As long as men feel the need to spread their DNA to the four corners of the earth, they're going to buy Porsches," he says. "And as long as women look for as many offers for matingaccoppiamento as possible, they're going to keep buying Manolo Blahnik shoes."Even if sex appeal doesn't drive us back to flash in Manhattan, it probably will in Beijing. Retailers are already enjoying a huge boom in emerging markets like China, India, and Brazil, all of which
scarcelyappena, scarsamente suffered from the downturn and have exploding middle classes and nouveaux riches. While these countries currently represent only about 20 percent of the global luxury market, Bain predicts that will soon shift as high-wealth individuals in these countries up their luxury spending by 20 to 35 percent in the next five years. The message for Hermès and other luxury brands, in other words, is that they're unlikely to sell many $8,500 baseball mitts in the States. But a soccer ball in Rio - that may be a whole other story.
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