By Andrew GillottThe biggies will return to fashion this year after the big draw of the new year was the big sale of big-name designers like Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana and Tommy Hilfiger.
But what about the rest of the biggie brands?
Will the big-budget brands have a run in the fashion world?
And what about fashion houses that are struggling to survive?
This week’s The Age newspaper asked these questions to fashion experts and fashion executives.
And what do they say?
With a small but growing population of shoppers, the big gies are more than capable of selling big brands.
But there is a caveat to this model.
For the most part, they will not be able to compete with the new entrants in the luxury department store space, says Rob Sainsbury, senior fashion editor of The Age.
For instance, Victoria’s biggest fashion house, the V&C, has a very strong reputation for high-quality, couture-style dresses.”
The big brands will have more competition from smaller brands that offer similar styles, so they’ll have to find a way to differentiate their own brands and brands they’re not familiar with,” he says.
“For instance, Victoria’s biggest fashion house, the V&C, has a very strong reputation for high-quality, couture-style dresses.
But the bigger brands are likely to face the same challenges that Victoria’s fashion house faced this year.
The big brand retailers are facing a global recession, which is making their sales difficult.”
Victoria’s biggest brand is likely to have a tough time competing against the big brands this year,” Mr Sainsworth says.
Victoria’s major fashion houses will also be looking to diversify their business, as well as create new product lines that appeal to a broader range of customers.”
I think Victoria’s major brands will be looking at ways to make their products more accessible to a wider audience,” he adds.”
There are certainly more brands than ever before coming out of Victoria, so we’re going to see a huge number of new brands launch.
“But Victoria’s big brands are going to have to be smart about how they approach the new market they’re entering.”
How big will the big brand retail competition be?
According to Mr Sinesbury, the biggest challenge for Victoria’s main fashion houses is that their margins are extremely low.
“One of the things that we have seen over the last few years is a real lack of confidence in the business,” he said.
“It’s become increasingly difficult for brands to get out of the fashion business because of the recession.”
A lot of the biggest brands that are going out of business this year are very well-known brands that have a lot of international brands, so it’s very difficult to get traction.
“Victoria’s big brand stores will also have to develop new product line-ups.”
In Victoria, it’s a bit more complicated than most because Victoria has very low margins,” Mr Denton says.
But for fashion retailers like Victoria’s, the challenges are not limited to margins.”
With a low margin, it is difficult to sell the big clothes and make a profit,” he explains.”
So when you look at the cost of production, you can make a much bigger profit if you make more than you need to make.
“Even if you’re making enough to pay for rent and electricity, it still becomes a huge problem for the retailers.”
“There’s an old saying that you don’t have to pay to have fun.
It’s more about taking the risk.”
This recession is not a great idea, but it is a great opportunity to do something that is fun.
“Victoria has had a decade to recover from the recession and it is still struggling with a number of problems.”
We are seeing a big number of major retailers go out of work,” Mr Hird says.”[But] we’re still seeing retailers that are doing very well, particularly on the smaller and mid-sized shelves.
“People are buying a lot more clothing, but that doesn’t mean there’s much room for retailers to expand their businesses.”
But the biggest problem for Victoria is that its biggest retailers are still not doing very good.
“They’re still struggling to stay afloat,” Mr Cairns says.
The biggest challenge is also for Victoria itself.
“When we talk about retail, we don’t always focus on Victoria,” he continues.
As a result, the retail industry in Victoria has not really recovered from the global downturn and we’re currently in the midst of a huge economic slowdown.”””
We are still dealing with the legacy of the global recession and the fact that the economy has slowed down a lot over the past decade.”
As a result, the retail industry in Victoria has not really recovered from the global downturn and we’re currently in the midst of a huge economic slowdown.””
We’re in the middle of a recession, and the retail sector is still facing some significant challenges.