BAD OMEN?: How is fashion’s feng shui these days? Not so great, according to the soothsayers over at CLSA Asia-Pacific Markets. The market research group just released its Feng Shui Index for 2013 and the year of the black water snake is not shaping up to be a stellar one for retailers.


CLSA categorizes various industries under one of the five elements. Sectors such as fashion, textiles, retail and garments fall under the wood sign, which should do “ssso-so” with good months in October and December. Cosmetics, on the other hand, fall under the earth sign, and is expected to have a “sssucky” year.


While some may balk at the seriousness of the research — and it’s clear the CLSA team has a sense of humor about it — a number of Hong Kong firms do examine markets using the ancient principles for fun this time of year. What’s more, CLSA’s Feng Shui Index has gotten a few things right in the past. It gave a fairly accurate forecast of how the Hang Seng Index performed in 2012 — a little rocky in the first half of the year, with a big dip in the middle of the year then a strong finish. 


Looking at the larger picture, it’s hoped that this upcoming year of the snake will be less calamitous than the previous five, which include 2001 (a year obviously infamous for the Sept. 11 attacks) as well as 1989 (the year of the Tiananmen protests and the fall of the Berlin Wall), 1941 (the year of the Pearl Harbor attack) and 1929 (the year of the Great Depression). 


On the upside, Chinese culture associates the skin-shedding reptile with new ideas, developments and directions.

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