Wednesday, June 17, 2009

TALK IS CHEAP: Designer Diffusion, Part II

So I’m psychic. This morning, shortly after I posted the below query on luxury designers dipping their toes into the mass market, Jimmy Choo and H&M announced their own collaboration. The capsule line follows Karl Lagerfeld, Rei Kawakubo and Matthew Williamson (mentioned below), in addition to other H&M diffusion divas, Stella McCartney, Viktor & Rolf, and Roberto Cavalli.

Announcing the news, founder and president of Jimmy Choo, Tamara Mellon
said: "We are privileged to be among the fashion greats who have been affiliated with H&M so far, and to be designing a collection appealing to fashion savvy, street smart women, and to be including some great pieces for men, too."

Wait, seriously? You’re excited to be among the fashion greats? There was a point in time when innovation meant something in this industry – think
Marc Jacobs spring of 1992 – he was such a pioneer! Now fashion conglomerates are just happy to be jumping on a bandwagon that, although financially successful for their predecessors, may seriously cut into their ongoing brand and value perception.

Perhaps I’m getting too heavy here. I just worry about what this spiral into a two-tiered fashion system will do to the industry long term. Still, maybe there is something to all of this… I am still completely tickled at the prospect of owning my own pair of Jimmy Choo for H&M shoes. Think they’ll do a cheap-o version of these?

Photo credit: Photographer Terry Richardson for Jimmy Choo adversitement, Fall 2008-Winter 2009.

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