Buyers ignore credit crunch at London Fashion Week

Mon Sep 15, 2008 1:20pm EDT
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By Paul Casciato

LONDON (Reuters) - Turmoil on the financial markets hasn't made small buyers timid at London Fashion Week.

A brief tour of the exhibition stands found a number of smaller retailers and at least one big online fashion sales company on the hunt for bags, shoes, jewelry and clothing with money to spend and customers to satisfy.

Although news on Monday that big U.S. investment bank Lehman brothers has filed for bankruptcy protection in the United States and that fellow U.S. financial powerhouse Merrill Lynch may be the focus of a takeover, Samantha Rolfe has not adjusted buying plans for her shop "Concrete Catwalk" in the Essex stockbroker belt near London.

Among the popular bags, jewelry, shoes and hats stands, Rolfe told Reuters she had not adjusted her buying patterns in expectation of a slowing economy, but said she had considered her options for next season in February if sales at her shop began to slow.

"It would have to be for the Autumn/winter season come January/February ... that's when I would have to buy smaller quantities and stick to minimum orders," Rolfe said.


Louise Benisty, who was buying for her Hertfordshire shop Lulu & Fred, said the emphasis for many customers at the moment tended to be on jewelry and accessories, which can perk up an old favorite and reinvigorate a wardrobe.

"Accessories are easier to sell right now, bags, shoes. They (customers) won't have to change their outfits."   Continued...

<p>Actress Joely Richardson (L) watches Julien Macdonald's spring/summer 2009 show at London Fashion Week September 15, 2008. REUTERS/Stephen Hird</p>