or getting snuffed out after a few short seasons. With retail in a slump customers and retailers alike are reluctant to take chances on independent brands and instead gravitate towards bigger, more established labels. Only a few years back this wasn't so, there was an opening in the market for independent brands, people wanted original and subversive, something off-the-beaten-track and provocative.
Everybody knows the economy is in a spin. It is not at all surprising to learn that this opening has since slammed shut and the trend has swung back the other way in light of the circumstances. Everybody is being more cautious especially when it comes to fashion; but does this economic turn inevitably put the subversive consumer on hiatus? Does the falling dollar set the scene for a few years of sure-footed conformity in the fashion world?
Whatever be the outcome, The Good Ship Barking Irons along with a slew of other independents are sailing on in an ever-more brazen direction, through the shadows toward an eventual sunrise.
It is a classic business tale of David & Goliath: we have to rely on getting scrappy and staying lean in order to hold out in this fight. There are several factors working against us, but being a nimble brand is our greatest strength if we can hang in there long enough. The armchair economists predict that the economy will bounce back again, maybe so, but I glean from the experts that we may not have hit the bottom yet. Until then, we here on the Bowery are going to keep our candles burning...
New Fall Collection In Stores; available at Bloomingdales & Nordstroms as well as other specialty retailers