Upscale Clothing in a Down Market

2008 is drawing to a close, and the Wall Street Journal put together a great slide show of the Year in Fashion. Rather than recapping the trends, they focused on the major news that emerged over the past year. The last and most recent slide focused on the effects of the economy and the unprecedented sales we’ve been seeing. “And in the midst of the holiday sales season, most designers – high end and low – offered huge sales on their merchandise,” they wrote.

The economic climate has offered amazing opportunities for new audiences to become exposed to higher-end brands. Over the past month, I’ve been making casual purchases from labels that were previously a splurge.  Here are a few of the shocking deals from brands I never imagined I could buy in bulk:

D&G Dolce & Gabbana – Wool Cami Dress

Reg: $515.00

Now: $154.45

Nanette Lepore Women’s “Pash” Bordello Pinstripe Tigress Dress

Reg: $270.00
Now: $77.76

Abaete Women's Gweneviere DressAbaete Women’s Gweneviere Dress

Reg: $465.00
Now: $93.00
It will be interesting to see how designers adapt their offering in the future. Will they be able to keep the new market they’ve inadvertently attracted? Will they add more lower-end labels? Or will 2009 be back to business as usual?