Top European fashion houses Louis Vuitton and Hugo Boss (BOSG_p.DE) on Thursday said Christmas trading proved robust, sending a comforting message as the retail industry is hit by the worst downturn in decades.
As the male fashion spotlight readies to shift from Milan to Paris this week, the question on all lips is whether the world's economic doldrums will dampen the usual exuberance of the twice-yearly men's shows.
Shoppers are set to storm Paris streets on Wednesday for the start of the winter sales, with department stores such as Printemps slashing prices by up to 80 percent to offload stock after grim Christmas trading.
On a recent evening at Mumbai's luxury Taj Mahal Hotel, shoppers tried on sequined sandals and handmade moccasins at Joy Shoes, an Indian family business that has sold out of its only shop for nearly 70 years.
LVMH, the world's biggest luxury goods group, has scrapped a planned Louis Vuitton flagship store in Tokyo's glitzy Ginza shopping district, as a spreading recession takes the luster off designer brands.
In couture, cut is vital, but Marie Dupuis has found it can also apply to price. Thanks to a little bargaining, a Jean-Paul Gaultier dress she had her eye on for New Year's eve was hers at a 40 percent discount.