John Galliano kicked off Couture week in Paris yesterday with a spectacular-as-always show for Dior, while the rest of the world mourned the crashing stock market and slowing economy. Meanwhile, Jimmy Choo, the British luxury shoe brand, announced that while most retail outlets continue to suffer, their profits reached record highs last year. And last week, WWD reported that 2007 was Chanel's most profitable couture year ever. We've noticed this trend over the last year, luxury sales growing, or at least not dropping, while the rest of the industry suffers. While analysts often attribute it to the rich getting richer, and being generally unaffected by minor economic trends, we wonder if it has something to do with the recent push to bring luxury to the masses. We know, or at least hope, that the average fashion fan isn't saving for a couture gown, but we also know plenty of girls who skip meals for weeks to buy $600 Jimmy Choos, or pay rent late to afford $300 Tom Ford sunglasses, foregoing weeks of retail therapy at mid-range stores in lieu of one major luxury item. If more people put their money toward a piece of the luxury market, do the levels of retail directly below suffer?
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