Cut-price retailers are helping, not hurting, the high-end fashion business, says Patrizio Bertelli, owner and chairman of Italy’s hip Prada brand.
“People say Zara and H&M are a detriment to luxury. For me, Zara and H&M have fueled luxury,” the husband of designer Miuccia Prada told the Wall Street Journal in an interview published Friday.
By mimicking the runway looks of top designers, and then pricing them low, such main-street retailers are teaching young consumers that fashion is more important than brands, Bertelli said.
“One day, the young people will want to buy the original, so Zara and H&M have increased business for the luxury brands,” he said as Prada sent out its new spring-summer collection at Milan fashion week.
“We have to attract consumers at a precise age, between 30 and 40 years old,” he added. “At that age, a person is interested in fashion... For me, there’s no difference between a Chinese, American or Italian of the same age.”
Prada made business headlines in June when it listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange. Earlier this month it reported a 74.2 percent rise in first-half net profits, driven by sales in Asia-Pacific.