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New York Times FASHION TRENDS

The Accessories Debate

The New York Times, sweetly, is sometimes the last to report on 'trends' in fashion. Today we read about the illustrious power of sunglasses, a point that really didn't need making if you ask us, but we suppose they're just catering to a different reader. What was very interesting were the commerce statistics that backed up the article's thesis, "While sales of handbags declined 14 percent in the last year, according to NPD, total sales in the $3 billion eyewear industry rose by 10 percent..." which is more or less obvious if you look at how many women are still carrying that eponymous Balenciaga Motorcycle bag. In other words, perhaps part of the reason sales have fallen is that women who buy handbags out of their price range, well, hold onto the bag beyond one season. They bought the 'it' bag and it subsequently becomes their only bag. Sunglasses, we figure, are also an easier status-based sell. Where popular handbags prices now hover in the thousands, a pair of shades (even from popular designers like Marc Jacobs and Gucci) are still only a few hundred dollars--making things all the more accessible to teens and college students and women who hold onto last year's it-bag because they just can't part with another few thousand dollars this season. There is nothing wrong with this, in fact, we think sunglasses could use a little attention for a change.

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