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Killer heels and lipstick: What we buy in recession

Last week at the PTC new journalist of the year awards Celia Duncan, associate editor of Vogue, was asked how they planned to cope with the impending recession. Surprisingly, she replied that Vogue tends to do very well in times of economic downturn because it’s seen as an ‘affordable’ luxury. We’ll buy a nice glossy fashion mag as a treat rather than splash out on a new designer coat.

This got me wondering what other products may sell well over the next year or so. Apparently cosmetics sales go up, as women buy a cheap-ish lipstick for a little pick-me-up instead of pricey clothes. Sexist assumptions about women relying on their appearance for their happiness aside, it’s interesting that the article advises readers to invest in cosmetic companies at a time when the FTSE resembles more a rollercoaster than a motorway.

Rising sales of mega-high heels have surprised many commentators, and Christian Louboutin has just launched its first 8-inch spike heel. It’s suggested this is due to the ‘pick me up’ factor many feel when they put of a pair of killer heels. The extra height makes the wearer feel powerful, a sensation many us are lack as we realise how tightly our lives are controlled by the whims of bankers and politicians.

Having said all that, today it was announced that retails sales overall have actually been holding up pretty well. I don’t know what this suggests, though – we’re all in denial, perhaps?

(photo by Porcelaingirl, shared under a creative commons license)

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