September 11, 2009

When high-low goes even lower...

Hard to know which event this week was more shocking: Anna Wintour making an appearance in a Queens shopping mall for her pet project, Fashion's Night Out; or Emanuel Ungaro hiring Lindsay Lohan as an "artistic advisor". It's quite clear, however, which move was commendable and which was a bizarre attempt to pander to celebrity-obsessed fans.

Meanwhile, also during last night's Fashion's Night Out, Opening Ceremony had designers sell their authentic wares out of battered vans much like those selling counterfeit bags on nearby Canal Street; and Louis Vuitton, staunch anti-piracy crusader when it comes to its own much-copied bags and inciter of several recent Canal Street pogroms, was sued by New Balance for —drumroll, please — copying a pair of its sneakers.

Okay, people. We know the fashion industry has been shaken up plenty by the recession, globalization, etc, etc. But troubling as these times may be, they provide a fantastic opportunity to shake things up a bit: streamlining operations, improving the product, strengthening the brand, and coming out stronger than ever on the other side. Not to compromise essential values and cheapen your image — and yes, Ungaro and LV, we're talking to you.
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