Walk down Madison Avenue in New York, the Bund in Shanghai, and avenues Montaigne and Georges V in Paris, and you will see the same luxury stores teeming with the same luxury products. No matter where you go, there are Balenciaga bags, Jimmy Choo shoes and Dior Homme suits on offer. It's no wonder then that everyone's talking about limited edition products from established companies like Neiman Marcus and Martin Margiela to start-ups like 20ltd and couturelab. Customers, it seems, are looking for something a little bit special.
The phenomenon has the fashion business media chattering too. The Financial Times covered the phenomenon over the weekend with a particular focus on men's luxury products and this week, WWD gave us a laundry list of limited edition collaborations to show the degree to which scarcity is proliferating as a perceived selling point for luxury brands. The Business of Fashion has been in the fray as well, exploring the renaissance of haute couture and the unappealing ubiquity of Tory Burch and Goyard in Upper East side styletribes.
So, is there a viable business model here?