Mary McFadden Prophecies Apocalyptic, Functional Future

imageMary McFadden is right. “Years from now,” she told the Wall Street Journal. “When people look back at this period in our civilization, they’ll say: This was the beginning of functional clothes … I’m sorry, in a way people’s lifestyles have become very utilitarian.” Hot damn, I say. Let’s get back to basics and save the economy! Perhaps as we skitter about with financial wreckage piling up, full-bore luxury and over-the-top design will evolve into a practical, more simple style. For sure, high-end retail is taking a beating. Sales at Neiman Marcus, which includes Bergdorf Goodman, dropped nearly 16 percent, Sak’s sank 10.9 percent. “Even the über-wealthy are slowing down,” said a Deutsche Bank analyst. “It’s going to be a discount-store Christmas.”

Elsewhere, Tiffany and Bulgari are putting new store openings on hold, and Dior may close some shops. But there’s a little good news. At least one company, Ralph Lauren, is bucking the trend, and continues to move full steam ahead and has even recently launched a new women’s line. Silver lining or hubris? You decide.

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