Credit crunch no big deal at London Fashion Week

Fri Sep 19, 2008 3:02pm EDT
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By Golnar Motevalli

LONDON (Reuters) - Fashionistas were happily distracted from a week of turbulent financial markets by an array of colorful, experimental and luxury clothes at London Fashion Week, which ended on Friday.

Many buyers ignored a looming recession as designers paraded bright colors and luxury fabrics on the catwalk. But some established names, while not seeing a dent in sales yet, were wary of a potential pinch in the year ahead.

"Certainly the companies behind the designers are very aware of the financial worries of the world and the greed of the big banks who have caused these problems," veteran designer Paul Smith said earlier in the week. "But luckily, fingers crossed, our business is about the same as last year."

Other big-name British brands also played down the impact of the recent economic downturn in the United States and Europe.

"Our wholesale business is rocketing," CEO of Aquascutum, Kim Wisner told Reuters on Wednesday.

Wisner said Aquascutum, a 155-year-old raincoat maker which positions itself alongside other British heritage brands such as Jaeger, intended to increase sales with retail and wholesale deals in the United States, Russia and the Middle East.


Julien Macdonald, Paul Smith, Vivienne Westwood and Aminaka Wilmont took inspiration from faraway places in their designs with loose, draped trousers, Arab-inspired headgear and sun-kissed colors.   Continued...