NEW YORK — More than five times as many people among the country’s wealthiest 10 percent of consumers plan to curtail spending on designer apparel rather than increase it.

So says The American Affluence Research Center, which, in April, polled a representative sample of 345 Americans with net worth of at least $750,000 about their anticipated consumption in 17 categories of goods and services for the following 12 months.

More than one-fifth of that group, or 22 percent, said they plan to spend less on designer apparel through April 2006, while only 4 percent cited plans to spend more. The spread was significantly slighter for nondesigner apparel, as 10 percent expected to spend more and 8 percent foresaw cutbacks.

The share of people projecting they’d spend less for designer apparel was the sixth largest in the survey, “Wealth in America.” The biggest falloff was forecast for fine watches and jewelry, with 36 percent saying they’d spend less, followed by home computer equipment and political contributions, each cited by 28 percent, and cameras/photo equipment and major home appliances, each named by 26 percent.

This story first appeared in the May 18, 2005 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

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