Friday, March 02, 2007

More designers opting for second lines

High fashion or fast fashion is the question many designers are asking themselves these days. Marc Jacobs who brought out a second tier line called Marc by Marc Jacobs, is now going to be bringing a third line. Giorgio Armani pioneered the second line concept when he launched Emporio Armani in 1981, and is now changing the Armani Exchange label, which is aimed at the US market focusing mostly on jeans and price conscious consumers.
Michael Fink, women's fashion director for Saks Fifth Avenue, is one of the rare retailers who believes that designers might be able to work to the power of three. "The whole H&M thing has proved you can take a designer house and mass it," Fink says. "Although of course, that is a limited edition in a specific time frame, which creates a feeding frenzy."

Fink says that Saks does big business in second lines, citing Armani Collezioni, Akris Punto, Dolce & Gabbana, Roberto Cavalli and Valentino Roma. "Second lines are an entry point," says Fink. "Aspirational customers who spend a large proportion on shoes and handbags."

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