Tag Archives: cartier jewelry

Is Luxury Dead? Lower Prices for J. Crew? Is 60% Off the New Black?

DISCLAIMER: The following report is rated M for Mature; it descends to new lows in its frequent and flagrant use of the M word (money) and it is intended only for adult readers.

MPAA

MPAA

Everywhere one looks there are stories about “the death of luxury.”

JP Morgan recently called upscale retailer Saks Fifth Avenue “the Gucci Blue Light Special,” referencing the deep discounts they have taken this fall. Below, the company’s sale page on their website.

Saks Fifth Avenue

Saks Fifth Avenue

The International Herald Tribune (as well as the NYT) ran a story Monday, “Luxe is losing its edge,” with the focus on struggles facing high-end jeweler Bulgari.

Courtesy Bulgari

Courtesy Bulgari

The story also talks about stores cutting back on expansion plans, like Burberry, Cartier, Saks and others.

The “Sale” notices do continue to pour in via both email and standard mail, many from establishments one would never associate with such aggressive price cuts, like this one from Barneys:

Barneys New York

Barneys New York

Previously, *if* for some insane reason stores felt forced to discount at this level, they hoped and prayed it would not negatively impact their image as purveyors of luxury goods.

We cannot remember the last time (if ever) we saw Burberry Prorsum selling for 60% off their original price, as is the case with the Empire Cocoon Coat.

Burberry Prorsum Cocoon Coat

Burberry Prorsum Cocoon Coat

Not everything at Burberry is marked down at that level; this children’s Argyle Sweater is “only 30% off.”

Burberry

Burberry

The same is true for the children’s Wool Duffel Coat:

Burberry

Burberry

There is even a post at Vivre Magazine online asking if “60% Off is the New Black?” The story raises the question that TP considers the elephant in the room for retailers:

“As stores slash and cut their prices just to hear the cash registers ring, you wonder if consumers will ever want to pay for full price for anything ever again. When this is all over, will any customer actually walk into ANY store and still look at Prada wallets and other designer handbags that used to be kept behind glass and are currently on tables and bins, the same way again?”

The Times ran a story in November “In Hard Times, No More Fancy Pants,” quoting one of our favorite authors:

“The era of conspicuous consumption, at least for the foreseeable future, has come to a close,” said Paco Underhill, the author of “Why We Buy,” which explores the science of retail.”

In yesterday’s WWD a story made the case that “Flaunting Days Are Over as Consumers Cut Back.

The story by Sharon Edelson does feature an amazing Graff necklace that we simply had to share:

Graff Courtesy Photo

Graff Courtesy Photo

The piece is a little over the top in our estimation (this is where Great Aunt Molly would lower her voice and whisper ‘New money sweetie… you know what I mean.”).  Actually, the story channels GAM in a remarkable fashion:

“Logos are becoming less important, said Pedraza, noting that customers are starting to ask for unmarked brands. “People want very understated products,” he said. “They want to consume privately.”

“While people with new money tend to define themselves by their labels and what they spend, the rules are changing. People want to buy more classic luxury at better prices. They don’t want to be the people who are showing off.”

For many readers this is not exactly breaking news. How are you reacting? Are you simply purchasing necessities and/or discretionary items as desired, or waiting for markdowns? Or perhaps a mix of both…?

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++

While not considered a luxury retailer, J. Crew has also been in the news.  As reported on the WSJ Holiday Sales blog, J. Crew CEO Mickey Drexler said:

“J. Crew is trying to adapt, he said, by making small investments in new concepts, implementing a hiring freeze… looking at lowering opening price points for its crewcuts kids line.

Did everyone notice the hiring freeze? We almost missed it upon reading about Crewcut prices, but it was noted in a story on GlobeSt, a real estate website:

“J. Crew has initiated a company-wide hiring freeze Drexler revealed, even during the holiday season… If someone wants to hire someone, someone’s got to leave,” Drexler said.”

Regular readers will remember Mr. Drexler’s comments shared in this post about lowering price points on some adult merchandise. Speaking about the overall climate for retailers:

“I’ve never seen anything like this in my life…”

“Right now we’re all a little afraid,” he said. “If there’s anyone getting up in the morning and not saying ‘uh oh,’ then I’d like some of that medication.”

If Mr. Drexler locates a source for those meds we hope he brings enough for the rest of the class.  If not, we fear we shall be forced to make do with a little Prozac latte.

Indeed.

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Cartier & Saks Light Up, Ultimate Preppy Girl’s Christmas Sweater

Hello busy blog friends!  We’ll simply share a few ‘quick hits’ today as we are off shortly for an all-afternoon volunteer shift.

In a Pretty in Pink special we just fell onto this darling sweater at Best Dressed Child.  Are you ready for the full name of this sweater? Meet the Glorimont Girls Hot Pink Preppy Christmas Trees Cardigan.

The sweater is available in toddler sizes, and imagine this: the trees are removable so it can be worn much longer than most holiday-themed clothing! Bets of all, it is on sale for only $27, marked down from $54.

Best Dressed Child

Best Dressed Child

If seeking something special for the young master of the household, how is the Glorimont Boys Green Check Longall?

Here at the Prepatorium, we are simply ga-ga over the vintage station wagon that adorns this little outfit.

If the name of the shop sounds familiar, it is one of the retailers TP suggested readers check with if hoping to buy the Biscotti Precious Jewels Christmas Dress worn by Malia Obama on election night.  (If still desirous for information on the Biscotti dress and/or the Gerson & Gerson dress worn by Sasha Obama, click here.)

Fun, fun, fun last night as Tory Burch helped Saks turn on the holiday lights for the season at their Fifth Avenue store.

Scott Gries/Getty

PHOTO: Scott Gries/Getty

The designer along is seen with her two boys at last night’s annual Snowflake Spectacular and window unveiling, accompanied by designer Zac Posen.

Also unveiled to the public yesterday, the Cartier windows. A rotund fellow named Santa was assisted by Kelly Ripa and her husband Mark Consuelos in unveiling the windows.

Peter Kramer/AP

PHOTO: Peter Kramer/AP

All of the excitement is a good reminder for us to remind you about entering the Great Preppy Giveaway contest, with free goodies from PreppyPrincess.com! Just leave a comment on this or any post and tell us something you are grateful for…that’s it! You’re in!

Here is a sampling from a few we have already received:

Jessica at the oh-so-fun Gifting Gumshoe shares:

“I am thankful for my wonderful husband, family, friends and sweet Shar-Pei, Gilligan!”

From Amanda:

“I am thankful that my 87 year old grandmother is still alive and kicking and that I get to see her in January.”

And the irrepressible McMommy wrote:

“I’m not gonna lie to you, Princess….. I am thankful for my vino every evening.

I love, love, love this giveaway!!!!!!! You have no idea how much I’ve been craving a new apron!! I’m hoping and praying I win!”

We have learned what Brooks Brothers is planning for Black Friday: 15% off all purchases, and we are told this even includes Black Fleece items from TP’s favorite designer, Thom Browne.

If seeking substantial markdowns, we recommend heading over to the Brooks’ website to look at the Black Fleece merchandise currently on sale, as there is quite a bit. For example, the Women’s Cashmere Morning Coat that was $2900 is now $840, and the Men’s Cashmere/Cotton Canvas Reversible Coat is discounted by almost 75%, now $1050 from the original selling price of $3500.

We’ll be back tomorrow with more on J. Crew’s situation and the rest of the Black Friday information.  (We are receiving so many inquiries about J. Crew or Banana Republic Black Friday info that is currently posted, just click here if you need it.)

Until later!

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Comcast Buys Daily Candy, Black Fleece 70% Off, Cartier Sues Donna Karan

Okay, we simply must ask: have you bought either the one above…the one below…

or none of the above? Of course, it is *none* of our business whatsoever, you know we are merely curious and simply had to ask. Although, between the monies collected on behalf of the couple for the sale of the baby photos to both People and Hello, an immense amount of good will be done in places where help is badly needed, and we do applaud the couple for that.

A few other tidbits of note that may prove to be of interest to some of our readers. Do you recognize the artwork up above? If you thought of the oh-so-popular email newsletter Daily Candy then you’re right on target, just as they always are.

Well, there is news today they have been sold. To Comcast. Yes, that Comcast, the cable company. This, via today’s Times, first in print and now in the online version. And are you ready for the price? Sources put it at $125 million. Here is more information from the Times online story:

The site will serve as a natural partner for Comcast properties like E! and the Style Channel, he said.

In our dreams. We so adore all the newsletters, we can only pray Comcast does nothing to detract from a good thing. (And we openly admit we are just freaks for their artwork. LoveLoveLove it.) This is one piece of virtual correspondence The Princess always enjoys seeing in the electric In-bin, so hopefully any changes are only for the better. Let’s cross all our fingers and all our toes on that thought, shall we? After all, this *is* the cable company we’re talking about.


We also have word that the Rugby line from Ralph Lauren is receiving some much-needed TLC in the form of upgrades to its website. Apparently one will be able to shop online in the not too distant future. That is a beautiful development, particularly for the younger crowd, as the label targets a more collegiate demo; it also carries lower price points as well.

And since we are discussing lower price points, that provides the perfect segue to alert you to another end-of-summer clearance sale.

This time we showcase Brooks Brothers’ sale on their Black Fleece Collection. No big story (actually no story at all), just a note to remind you to head over to B2 if you are fond of Mr. Browne’s designs.

As you know, The Princess respects your pocketbook. Lest you doubt her concern over pennies saved becoming dollars earned and all that, some good news from Starbucks if you are a twice a day visitor to their establishments.

Big, cold iced grande drinks for just $2 after 2pm are here if you buy something at Starbucks in the morning and you save your receipt. In an effort to get more people back to the stores in the afternoon, the company has rolled the promotion out from now through Sept. 2. Since those big cups of cold caffeine (and other concoctions) can run up to $4, that is not a bad deal; just be sure to have your receipt stamped in the morning to receive the discount when you return in the afternoon.

In today’s “Can’t We All Just Get Along” category, Cartier sued Donna Karan yesterday, charging that the designer ripped off its famous “Tank” watch name. The Cartier Tank watch we show below is compliments of Neiman Marcus; it is the ‘Small Tank Solo Steel‘ version, at $2250 with the alligator strap as shown.

The Cartier lawyers say the DKNY folks deliberately used the word “Tank” when marketing their watches, making shoppers somehow think the DKNY watches are connected to Cartier. We think not.

It seems the watch Cartier is complaining about is a model called the DKNY Women’s Ion-Plated Tank Watch, seen above. We show a version available at the Bon-Ton stores, as shown it is $115. Of course, this watch is available at many other retailers if it appeals to you. Perhaps they’ll all get together after 2pm for a Latte Grande (is there such a thing?) and make nice.

We’ll leave you with this image…one of the hypothetically hot items from the Louis Vuitton ’09 Cruise Line, the fingerless glove with the charms attached to the little bracelet, not yet available for sale, but fascinating to look at nonetheless.

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The New Tiffany Tote Bag + Preppy Needlepoint

Hello and aren’t we happy-happy-happy it is a bright and beautiful Tuesday?! Tis a privilege to be on the third coast where it is bright and sunny, low humidity and high excitement at the Merchandise Mart! We owe a ‘Thank You’ for the lovely weather to Erin (Third Coast Preppy) who promised the Princess Consort it would be this way!

After designing our exclusive placemats, napkins and other goodies, there is nothing quite so fun as buying trips to find the latest and greatest in preppy goodies for the Preppy Princess. That’s where we are, on the road looking for the ‘newest and coolest’ in personal and home accessories.

Speaking of new… has anyone seen these yet? We just stumbled upon them while looking up another item at Tiffany’s. (Yes, to be accurate it is singular, Tiffany, but we’re feeling slightly sloppy this morning.) These are new, at least to The Princess, canvas with leather trim, and only available online.

The Tiffany Tote (our name – Tiffany is simply calling them ‘Pink Tote,’ ‘Brown Tote,’ etc.) seems more like a handbag to TP; regardless of name, we must admit they actually seem kind of cool. The website describes them this way:

Carry yourself with style. Tote in canvas with pink leather. 15.5 x 7.25 x 15.5″. Available exclusively on Tiffany.com.

The totes don’t look like they are really 16″ square from the photos; they seem wider than they are tall, but they do look good-sized. At $395 they are not inexpensive but their lines are clean and timeless. (There is also a white patent leather version of the tote we do not show in the photos.) We’re pretty sure this is one that will be in style next year and the year after that and the year after that. In other words, a good investment if you love the look. Of course, we would remove these pesky things lest the LogoPhobia kick in:

Discounting the easily removable leather logo tag (at least it looks easily removable) this is one handbag or purse or tote or whatever we might be able to establish a relationship with, one we could learn to like, even grow to love. TP would even consider overlooking her bitter and hostile feelings minor concerns (minor?!) about the Tiffany Eyeglasses and think about acquiring one of these. For new readers this means overlooking Tiffany logos the size of Lake Michigan on said eyeglasses. (We have discussed the tedious topic in previous posts and don’t want to bore anyone else with the background.)

Does anyone else think this is reminiscent of other retailers who have branched out into new markets? Cartier does handbags in addition to other personal accessories, and Bulgari comes to mind as a jeweler that extended its brand into new markets, especially leather goods. As an example, we see the Baby Panther Mobile Phone Strap from Cartier below.

On the other hand Fendi started as a small Italian fur and leather company that expanded into more apparel. These are a few looks from their Resort 2009 RTW (Ready to Wear) Collection, so they aren’t commercially available.

Now because it held such a big role as Carrie Bradshaw’s bag in Sex and the City, we simply must show the Fendi Baguette in shocking pink on sale at Bluefly.

You didn’t really think we would pass up the opportunity to do the pink and green thing did you? Here is the green one, also on sale at Bluefly Batcave.

Now, having shown with great fanfare the Polo Ralph Lauren Kids Paint Your Own Polos we were amazed to learn about this: the Fendi Paint Your Own Baguette!

This one was released months ago, back in February or March. It was greeted with almost universal disdain and resentment, people were simply aghast at the thought of $1300 for a white canvas bag with 10 magic markers as they saw it. It is still available at numerous sites if you are so inclined, like eluxury.com and Needless Markup Neiman Marcus.

Everywhere we see stories about the renaissance of needlepoint, although it really never went away for some of us… did it for you? Anything promoting the art/craft is good and you won’t hear us denigrate the coverage. Besides, it is always fun to learn about new designs, including these from Jonathan Adler. The pillow in the top photograph is designed to look like very preppy grosgrain ribbon belts, and the smaller photo below shows Adler’s Ties Pillow, both really TDF (to die for) and great additions to almost any room at any of your homes.

Then we have these two, each of which is on sale, originally $165 and now $98, quite the bargain. We show the set, but the Queen of Hearts and Ace of Spades pillows *are* sold individually so the set of two would run $196.

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Cartier does MySpace, Preppy at Milan Fashion Week?!

Cartier Love Ad

The Princess can’t quite figure out if Grandmother is approaching this particular holiday doing the proverbial ‘rolling over in her…,’ or privately winking at me as I tell Mommy about the newest member who is posting on the MySpace website: Cartier. The jewelers on Fifth Avenue. Exactly.

Janet Jackson Love Bracelet by Cartier

We shouldn’t be surprised; Neiman‘s did something very similar with YouTube last year as part of their 100th Anniversary celebration. (Yes, we said YouTube.) And anyone thinking TP is revving up for a rant (how very unPrincess-like, we would never do that!) is mistaken; we shan’t be making any snarky comments about Cartier’s marketing efforts. The firm has donated more than $2,000,000 to sixteen different charities through sales of bracelets like the one above. The bracelets sell for $975 with $200 of each sale going to one of the charities, covering a broad spectrum from the Boys & Girls Clubs of America to the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance.

And since we were chatting up MySpace, we thought we would share this short item from the Men’s Style page in their News site entitled “Milan Fashion Week Menswear Trends: Preppy

The looks above include eye-catching pants on the left from Dolce & Gabbana, the aqua shirt and khaki slacks are by Versace, and Enrico Coveri did the pieces on the right. A reminder these are from the shows presenting looks for the Spring/Summer 2009 season, so they are not available now. For those not familiar with Coveri, he has been on the scene longer than even The Princess suspected, and we show a few of his designs below, all of which we find quite attractive.

Across the pond they are still playing a bit of tennis, and this evening I am reminded that in tennis as in many other sports, good sportsmanship is defined by one’s conduct both on and off the court. We leave you with Rafa Nadal’s blog post on his win over England’s Andy Murray at Wimbledon, securing his place in the Finals. Here is his post as it runs on the Times of London’s site, “The Crowd Were Fantastic – And I played Not Bad Too“. 

Rafa Nadal & Andy Murray

Rafa Nadal & Andy Murray

 

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How Are Those Tiffany Eyeglasses Selling? + a Martha No Go

About a month ago The Princess expressed her Logophobic horror at the new Tiffany eyeglasses, in particular her dismay at the size of the Tiffany logo on the eyewear.

Tiffany Glasses ad

Return to Tiffany Glasses

Tiffany Atlas Aviator Sunglasses

The Princess then went on what we understand is referred to as a ‘rant,’ shrieking about Tiffany’s cheapening of what was once a fabled brand with its introduction of more and more and more logoed items. (We share a few examples below for those who might have missed the original post, starting with the Tiffany Notes Pendant so you might hang the Tiffany store name and address about your neck, and the Tiffany Notes Charm serving the same purpose on your wrist.)

Tiffany NotesTiffany Notes Charm

For other examples of the logoed up trinkets, here is the previous post we refer to above. Now to answer the question posed in the title of today’s post, “How Are Those Tiffany Eyeglasses Selling?” in a word, great. Sales of the new eyeglasses are doing quite well, thank you, described as ‘strong’ for the first quarter of this year. It would appear The Princess had best get used to seeing the Tiffany eyewear, and cease and desist from future whining. An interesting sidenote: sales at the Tiffany mothership (the Fifth Avenue NYC store) are up a whopping 16%!

Now, should you be looking for some extremely cool sunglasses that won’t have you carrying about an advertisement for someone else the size of Mt. Everest on either side of your head, we share a few photos of our new fave, Radley. Many of you may think of handbags or leather when you hear the Radley name, but they have wisely branched out with a sunglass line we think is simply luscious! Below we show the Amini model in tortoiseshell and brown leather, followed by the UDot model and then the Metoma pair.

Radley Amini Sunglasses

Radley UDot Sunglasses

Radley Metoma sunGlasses

Since we have been discussing heritage jewelers, those creating the heirlooms passed on from generation to generation, we should mention that another jeweler to ‘preppy families’ for an eon, Cartier, is also reporting strong sales. And who says love doesn’t conquer all? Cartier says bridal business at there Manhattan store is doing quite well, especially the Love and Trinity collections. Below, a Diamond Trinity Ring, followed by two of their Love Collection rings.

Cartier Trinity Ring

Cartier Love RingCartier Love Ring

As mentioned in the sunglass conversation, many of us know and adore the Radley lines of luggage and handbags, most a bit more distinctive than what everyone else is using, and most almost always showing that welcome touch of whimsy that TP finds so delightful. Here we share a few pieces from the Radley’s other lines. The first is the medium suitcase from their Poppies Luggage collection, *very* easy for the driver or houseman to spot when he heads over to get your things at luggage pick-up.

Radley Poppies Medium Suitcase

For all Radley luggage, you can simply click here. The small leather goods are outstanding, like this Medium Purse wallet.

Radley Medium Stab Stitch walletRadley Medium StabStitch Wallet

Perhaps the classic elegance of the Var tote handbag in soft, supple black leather is more your style, while yours truly enjoys the Circle Patch Duffle bag for weekends at the cottage.

Radley black ToteRadley Circle Patch Duffle bag

And in the “This Just In” department, word from the UK that Martha Stewart has been denied entry to that country.

No  Marths jpg

The Daily Telegraph reports the UK Border Agency notified the 66-year-old media and lifestyle tycoon sometime in the past several days that she is just, well, so not welcome because of her 2004 criminal convictions for lying to federal agents. Ouch. There’s no mention of these events in Ms. Stewart’s blog posting for today, or for yesterday, both datelined from the Detroit area where she has been meeting with auto execs and doing promotional events.

Martha at WJBK

One additional note before we close… because The Princess was so gauche as to impose the reportage of personal family business whilst falling asleep at this keyboard (quite literally I’m afraid, bobbing head and all) in the oh-so-wee hours of this morning, we provide a small update on that business: we are happy to report the family pet has actually returned home from her trip to the veterinarian. For those not enduring the imposition of our personal pet traumas, we did not believe that Tilly, the family dog, would make it through the day. She seems to have rebounded somewhat, although we believe the betrayal of her elderly body to now be accelerating with a speed we had not anticipated. (Her actual age is unknown; she is a rescue dog, abandoned and abused prior to her rescue by a Bulldog Rescue Organization.)

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