Because you can't have depths without surfaces.
Linda Grant, thinking about clothes, books and other matters.

Saturday, 12 April 2008

Couple arguing (with hands)

sound is essential for this one

Amos Oz says one should not ask a writer if a work is autobiographical about him, but whether it is autobiographical about you. Here I see my inner Sid Caesar. Not so inner.

A Marshall Plan for America

Well, we have waited sixty years to make some recompense for American's contribution to defeating fascism in Europe in WWII and now, at last, we have our chance. America, Britain is coming to the rescue:

"The British are the new Japanese, and New York is the new Italy - the place to come to stock up on designer clothes," says Raegan Morgan, sales specialist at Diane von Furstenberg. "We opened our downtown store in May and, particularly since September, we've been inundated with European visitors. The British especially really load up the dressing rooms."

It is a bit like a United Nations effort to give funds to a developing country, but with more of an emphasis on Ralph Lauren and Levi's. And in truth, this analogy can be read with something akin to literalism: as Americans, beaten into consumer timidity by daily warnings about their dying economy, increasingly forgo $300 (£150) dresses and a 17th pair of jeans, US retailers are increasingly relying on British tourists' money.

"If we had to depend on custom from New Yorkers, it would be difficult," says Morgan. The store manager at a well-known American high street store that asked not to be named admitted, "We all thank God for the 'two-bag Brits'," referring to the British practice of bringing two suitcases on their New York trips - one packed with clothes to wear, and a spare to bring back all the extras they will buy. Chris Heywood, spokesman for NYC & Company, the official marketing and tourism organisation for New York, is more blunt about how crucial the British pound has become: "British tourism is absolutely essential to the city's economy."