Paris Fashion Week starts after Balmain robbery

PARIS-The hectic fashion season reaches its last stop in Paris on Monday, with the biggest intrigue being whether beloved brand Balmain can recover from the theft of 50 outfits last week. “Our driver called us to say that he had been attacked by a group of people. More than 50 items were stolen,” Balmain’s creative director Olivier Rousteing said on Instagram on September 16. “My team and I have worked very hard. We will work even harder, day and night,” he added, though even by the breakneck pace of the fashion world, it is a tall order to pull a collection together by the time his show opens on Wednesday night. The fashionistas are wishing him well. “I know that you and your creativity will be able to overcome this!” wrote Donatella Versace in the comments. The spring-summer 2024 womenswear collections in Paris come with buyers, bloggers and influencers still digesting the hundreds of new trends put forward in London, New York and Milan through September. The nine days in the French capital add a further 107 brands -- including mainstays like Christian Dior, Saint Laurent, Chanel and Celine -- of which 67 are doing runway shows and 40 online presentations. Analysts say the fashion market is waning slightly after a red-hot phase following the Covid-19 pandemic lockdowns. “Consumers are sobering up from the post-pandemic euphoria and luxury spending growth will undoubtedly moderate,” the head of luxury goods research at Bernstein, Luca Solca, wrote for the online magazine Business of Fashion. But he added that “rising income and wealth inequality are boosting spending power at the top of the socio-economic pyramid” and that brands are becoming experts at targeting the top five percent of clients, who account for 40 percent of sales.

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