Fashion Forward

jorgeFashion houses are a petri dish for business-model innovation. By Jorge Aguilar. The good news: The US economy is finally rebounding and showing some momentum. The bad news: Not really, not for everyone. While consumer spending has increased across many categories over the past year, not all players are receiving their fair share.

Take the fashion industry. Over the past 12 months, gains in fashion stocks have trailed those of the S&P 500 at 9.2 percent versus 16.5 percent, respectively. Even worse, some in-vogue fashion brands, such as Coach and Lululemon, have seen the value of their stocks drop during this same period.

Lululemon, in particular, has seen the value of its stock reduced and the equity of its brand tarnished, given the recent recall of its $98 (almost see-through) yoga pants and the subsequent response by its CEO, who placed blame on the customers themselves instead of the quality or design of the product ("Quite frankly some women’s bodies just don’t actually work for it. They don’t work for some women’s bodies…"). The recession is certainly not over for them. continue

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