Why Will People Keep Buying Chanel and Louis Vuitton In A Recession?

Apparently Topshop, Chanel, Louis Vuitton, and Forever 21 aren’t doing too badly in the recession, even as their peers are experiencing millions of dollars in losses. A WWD survey of a 100 luxury industry experts came up with those four brands as the most likely to succeed in this economy and, as you can see, there’s quite a disparity in price points. We understand why Topshop and Forever 21 will do well—they’re on trend, fun and dirt cheap—but Chanel and Louis Vuitton need a little further explanation. Why Chanel and LV, not Prada and Dior? What is it about these particular $3,000 bags that makes them relatively recession-proof?
Some of the professionals surveyed credited the brands’ uses of social media for part of their success. And that’s probably true. But we think the answer is much simpler: they’re classic. Chanel, in particular, changes a bit season to season under Karl Lagerfeld’s direction, but it’s always more or less the same and oh-so-very-Chanel. Louis Vuitton, too, does massive special projects like its urrent Stephen Sprouse collection and the Murakami multi-colored
bags that blew up a couple years back, but they’re always anchored by their monogram bags.
So yeah, that Chanel iPhone app is kind of cool, but it’s not what’s keeping them afloat. They’re relying on the universal recognition and fad-defying longevity of their quilted bags and tweed jackets. And we’re not so sure of how much we love the LV monogram label-whoring, but its definitely worth it’s weight in gold for Louis Vuitton.
People like huffing the smell of the fresh leather in a Louis Vuitton fake purse even more than they like inhaling other drugs. It turns out, knockoff shopaholics have marijuana, heroin, and even cocaine addicts beat! Designer copies are a trillion dollar a year industry, but it’s a business that is also run by shady gangsters, and in some cases, terrorist groups.
In this month’s issue of Time magazine, Gary Jones traveled to Bangkok to see who is really getting offed by knockoffs. As if child labor, illegal prostitution, and gang wars weren’t bad enough byproducts of “Marc Facobs” handbags, John Newton from Interpol (not the band, the police org) warned back in 2005, “North African radical fundamentalist groups in Europe, al-Qaeda and Hizballah all derive income from counterfeiting.” Sheesh!

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