“Even fifteen years ago, the fashion houses were still houses. That is the most intimate of terms. Coca-Cola and Buick were brands. But there is such pressure now to brand-build and be global and have this sort of all-encompassing image and aura. That’s very difficult. Some designers use it as an opportunity to push their primary lines. I know that Jack [McCollough] and Lazaro [Hernandez, of Proenza Schouler] feel that way. I just saw Jason Wu at the launch of his Miss Wu collection, and he said that it just really gives him the opportunity to have a division between the two collections. But I do think that the brand building is a major difference. Have Christian Dior and Yves Saint Laurent been brands for a long time? Yes. Did both of those designers brand? Of course they did. But now you have a kid who has been in business for three seasons talking about his brand. When Alexander McQueen was starting out, he wasn’t the wild child in London talking about his brand—he was talking about his work and his craft and pouring all of that emotion into the clothes. I think it’s important not to lose that.”
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