Kelly Cutrone on Luxury Fashion: ‘Forget It.’

Kelly CutroneHere is what Kelly Cutrone has to say to luxury fashion labels and retailers desperately trying to understand the youth market to stay afloat into the future: don’t waste your time.

The PR CEO start of Bravo TV’s “Kell on Earth” spoke to a small group of editorial interns, fashion-obsessed youngsters and public relations entrepreneurs at the Bryant Park Reading Room Series Wednesday, and she had a quite frank earful on the future of fashion, replying to a girl asking about where to look for a career in the field by saying:

“Style is in; fashion luxury, forget it. It’s over. Gucci, Vuitton, Hermes … all those places are really great, go for it. That business exists in a city called Paris, France. That’s where that is. Those businesses will continue. Retail business, pretty much over. I think people who sell to retail companies are people who can’t afford their own stores … Old Navy, J.Crew, Gap … they already knew that and aren’t wholesaling. Editorial, magazine, we are going to say buh-bye to them as we know them. They will still exist but everything is on the internet.” {The Cut, Racked NY}

On the one hand, tell us how you really feel, Kell. On the other, Bravo Kelly! She may be over dramatizing a tad in regards to luxury and retail being “pretty much over,” but it is about time someone spoke up about the hard realities facing fashion, especially in the editorial department. Times are changing, and if the dominant players in the industry want to continue to grow their businesses, they need to learn to adapt.

Persistent efforts on the part of luxury retailers to understand the youth market is a great start, but New York Magazine says the fashion industry’s biggest mistake is its strange fear and avoidance of the Internet, specifically social networks and blogs, citing the long series on the “future of fashion” runs in which they ask important fashion businesspeople like Barneys’ Julie Gilhart about the Internet.

We agree. Even when the big brands try, they don’t always get it right. Considering that the Internet has been a major force to be reckoned with for years now in many industries, fashion magazines and businesses still have a lot of catching up to do. Until revenue from web advertising catches up to revenue from print advertising though (they’re still miles apart), we suspect the wait won’t end soon.

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