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Luxury Outlook From Diane Von Furstenberg

Diane von Furstenberg
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Diane von Furstenberg

Designer Diane von Furstenberg considers herself lucky.

She says the older she gets, the younger her customers get. "It's better than Botox."

She spoke with me today at the Financial Times Business of Luxury Summitat the Beverly Hills Hotel.

The FT says luxury sales fell 8 percent in 2009. Everyone at the summit believes 2010 will be much better. Prada COO Sebastian Suhl says profits are up 400 percent, and U.S. department stores are restocking at a rapid pace.

Among the most interesting things I've heard here is a talk on whether Facebook and other social media sites are a good place to sell luxury. Maybe not.

While it may be a good way to draw in younger consumers who trust their friends' opinions, there is a sense of "connection fatigue."

The most provocative statement of the day: "Maybe offline is the new luxury destination."

But Diane von Furstenberg is optimistic about her own business. She got through the last year by shrinking her offering to create demand, and she focused on product.

Watch our interview as she and I both search for the right word to describe what happened last year, and, yes, you hear her right.

She says the luxury industry needed a laxative...

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  • Based in Los Angeles, Jane Wells is a CNBC business news reporter and also writes the Funny Business blog for CNBC.com.

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