Anna Wintour has come up with a genius way to save the dying fashion business: Why doesn't everyone just collude on prices? So what if it's illegal? She has "friends in the White House."
At a "town hall" meeting hosted Tuesday by the Council of Fashion Designers of America intended to address how to get recession-addled shoppers to buy obscenely expensive things they don't need, Wintour, who chaperoned White House Social Secretary Desiree Rogers at February's Fashion Week, was thinking outside the box:
"Could someone lead a committee that would make ground rules for retailers of when the discounting starts, and then all the retailers can agree to it?" Ms. Wintour suggested.
It's so simple, and so illegal. When CFDA president Diane von Furstenberg pointed out that such an arrangement would violate anti-trust laws, Wintour was nonplussed: "Is that something we can change? We have friends in the White House now!"
Surely a Vogue cover for the president's wife gets you something, no? Nevermind that the Department of Justice is aggressively ramping up antitrust prosecutions under Obama.
After Wintour was called out on her casual approach to the law yesterday, her flacks began spinning to the New York Post:
According to a Vogue spokesman, Wintour was merely alluding to designated days for retail discounts that are already in place in certain countries including France and the United Kingdom.
"That may be OK over there," says Vano Haroutunian, a New York lawyer focused on the apparel industry. "But here, it sounds like collusion."
One anonymous "fashion insider" gave the Post a choice quote that sums up much of what goes on in Wintour's entitled little head:
"Either the idea was crazy or it was brilliant, but it wasn't 100 percent crazy," our source said.
Photo of Wintour and Rogers snapped by blogger Alex Geana.