A new era is upon us: the age of luxury brands extending every which way. Prada is the purveyor of cell phones, Armani has signed a deal to do LCD TVs, and Roberto Cavalli is doing...vodka?! Well-established companies are always looking for more ways to increase their revenue, but the question is: are these things really going to catch on?
The same phenomenon occurred in the late 80s, when French designer Pierre Cardin and American designer Halston both licensed their names to be used on so many products that they killed their luxury brand status.
Luxury brands today are supposedly more careful about the quality and quantity of their products, but no one is more singularly successful than Ralph Lauren, who sells everything from linens, candles, and beds to cashmere dog clothes. Trying to emulate Mr. Lauren could be dangerous though: the current economic climate predicts a marked decrease in consumer spending. If things go as expected, what will Mr. Cavalli do with all that vodka? PartySugar: are you reading this?