The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) has a lot of great articles about the fashion industry. Today, they had an article talking about how stores that cater to the affordable luxury market (sometimes called aspirational buyers - upper middle class) are suffering this year. Stores like Nordstroms, Ralph Lauren, Coach, and Saks have all suffered slowing sales over last year. The slowdown is expected to adversely affect holiday sales this year. The article cites the reason that buyers at these stores are starting to feel pinched by the economic troubles in the U.S. In contrast the highest end luxury market is expected to remain robust because the wealthiest individuals are not likely to be very affected by economic woes. Specifically, the brands that have tried to distance themselves from the "masses" such as Hermes, Loro Piana, and Harry Winston, are likely to do well this year. I was curious whether people at tPF plan to cut back their spending this year at the affordable luxury stores and whether people whoshop at the highest end luxury market are planning to continue to spend. That is, are we following the trend that analysts expect? Any thoughts?