There is nothing like a fashion week to bring out some grumbling and predictions of imminent disaster – whether it be held in Jo’burg or Tokyo… This year the gloom peddlars are out in full force largely (but not entirely) due to the poor state of the economy and scheduling difficulties

Fashion’s message on the economy: New York Fashion week is snubbed by the celebs and is somewhat on the unsexy side according to the Observer UK.

And “Is this the most boring fashion week since 9/11?” asks Gawker

And it seems like its a tradition in the UK to kick off London Fashion Week with a good moan, some self flagellation and a dose of doom. This year is no exception (it’s the climate).

“London Fashion Week, the showcase for a £4 billion textile and clothing industry, has opened against a background of controversy and crisis.” says Hilary Alexander at The Telegraph.

“London Fashion Week Starts amid Fears for it’s Future” says the AFP

Even the Japanese (given everything they’ve got going for them in fashion) are a bit grumpy:

Japan Fashion Week Under The Radar (from The Business Of Fashion) Japan Fashion Week is snubbed by most of the fashion establishment who’d rather show elsewhere.

I have two points on this:

1: Fashion weeks all around the globe seem to bring out all the collective angst, pessimism and self doubt of the local industry (sound familiar?)

2: The global fashion industry is battening down the hatches for tough times. Everyone handles this in different ways the Americans get boring and play it safe others (Brits probably) will go the other way and push the avant garde boundaries to stand out from the crowd. The other result is we’ll probably see more D.I.Y fashion out on the streets by cash strapped youngsters (almost every youth culture movement of note was started during or after a recession). 

The looming recession was touched on by Dion Chang at the Cape Town Fashion Council meeting on Friday – he suggested that we were likely to see the economic situation stay bad for 2009 and recovery is expected in 2010. His suggestions for the local industry were to:

– Concentrate on your labels core proposition/essence and delivering a quality product

– Look for synergies with other brands (Diesel and Adidas were used as an example) as this allows brands to pool resources (marketing budgets for example)

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