Here in the US our government is bailing out banks and cars, over in Italy, their government is bailing out cars, domestic appliances and coming up...fashion. Yes, for real. Prada, Dolce, Gucci, Fendi, Versace and the likes of are going to get a government gimme to keep couture from going kaput.
In a NY magazine article, "Italy employs around 80,000 people and is home to 30,000 distribution companies."So now that people are spending less on high end purses, clothes, and jewelry, that means many of these people who create these fashions will lose their jobs.
Now I get that Italy is very proud of their fashion houses, and designers. Indeed, some of the most amazing design and art comes out of Italy, and that is fantastic, wonderful, the world needs beautiful things, I don't disagree with that.
But, in a world economic downturn, where people are fighting to keep their homes and food on the table, high end fashion is on the chopping block of expenses. Who can afford Bulgari and Armani when people are getting laid off and losing their homes? Bailout money is not going to save these Italian designers from that circumstance. It's just prolonging the inevitable.
Instead of getting bailout money, these couture designers should be re-stratgezing their business models and designing for what people can afford not what is ideal, at least until times get better. I'd think it would be cool to see Ferragamo in Payless shoes or Fendi in Target. Yes, I can already see the fashionistas poo-pooing this idea, but hey, wouldn't it be better to sell something than nothing at all because at this rate their warehouses will be filled with pricey skirts and totes no one can afford.
Design a line for the masses.Create luxury on a dime. Give people a taste of indulgence while we're trying to survive through the hard times. When things get better, consumers just may stay loyal to the brand, and work their way up to buying the couture lines when they can. I know I would.