Meaning, more shows and less lead time for designs, as well as an increased focus on resort collections, which, Menkes says, can account for up to three-quarters of annual profits. All told, some brands are aiming to put on around ten shows a year — the usual ready-to-wear collections, plus resort, couture, menswear, pre-fall, promotional shows, and often a few catered just towards extremely wealthy client bases in Asia, Dubai, Moscow, and Brazil. Of course, this takes its toll on the designers. Though there are probably a million reasons that went into the tragic suicide of Alexander McQueen, or the very-public breakdown of John Galliano, Menkes isn't wrong to suppose that the increasingly stressful production cycle — which treats designers more like lab rats than vital individuals with endless creative license — played its part. There is less and less time for the things that often give way to the best collections: Wild and randomly-sourced inspiration and brainstorming, or just running with a crazy hunch.
For our part, we'd argue that it's not more, more, more that will save luxury; it's maintaining exclusivity, mystique, and a certain craziness of design that simply can't be copied. H&M is never going to come out with, for example, a carbon-copy McQueen gown, because there are only a handful of people in the world who would dare to wear such a thing. As the aforementioned emerging markets continue to grow and look for something that will justify "new money" with taste and elite access, there's a good chance that the intersection of the people who will wear the more high-concept designs and the people who can afford to do so will only get bigger. (T Magazine)