If the likes of Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue and Nordstrom are struggling because of the economy, just think of how bad things must be for the little guy.
Independent designer boutiques are feeling the impact of the downturn even more than their larger brethren, which last month saw double-digit declines in comparable-store sales. And while larger chains can leverage units in healthier markets, trim fat from the organization, buy back company stock, use their clout to negotiate better prices from suppliers and take steep markdowns early in the holiday season — such tactics aren’t options for independents already operating with lean staffs.
A Stella McCartney sketch of a custom dress made from protein-based silk in partnership with biotech lab Bolt Threads. The dress will be displayed at The Museum of Modern Art's upcoming design exhibition, "Items: Is Fashion Modern?"