Farhi's classic designs key to beating downturn

Sun Feb 22, 2009 12:55pm EST
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By Kylie MacLellan

LONDON (Reuters) - Nicole Farhi has shown that creating wearable, timeless classics is the key to maintaining strong sales in an economic downturn.

The French-born designer, known for her chic, luxurious designs, did not disappoint a packed audience on Sunday at the showcase of her new collection during London's fashion week.

Bathed in light through the huge window at the Royal Opera House, Farhi's models wore 1940's cuts clothed with modern sheer metallic printed chiffon and embellished cashmere knitwear.

Bold colors and lavish fabrics were the order of the day, with high waists and thin belts a common theme.

"Our brand is not one which has been very frivolous, it's perceived as very luxurious...you know you're investing in pieces," said managing director Niki Scordi.

Scordi said retail sales had grown over the last three to four months and the company had seen double digit growth in sales to wholesale buyers year on year.

Farhi, who described her collection as an exploration of colors reminiscent of candy floss and sweet wrappers, said it was important to lift people's spirits given the economic backdrop.

"When the (economic) climate is bad...it's very important to believe in what you are doing and to carry on and to be uplifting," Farhi told Reuters after the show.   Continued...

<p>Models present creations from the Nicole Farhi 2009 Autumn/Winter collection during London Fashion Week, February 22, 2009. REUTERS/Stephen Hird</p>