From the Australian Financial Review, 29-30 July – ‘Nudity, fish and guns in the new age of inflation’:
To casual readers, the cover of the June 2009 edition of British Vogue, featuring supermodel Natalia Vodianova in the nude, was a little unusual and perhaps a bit daring.
To London-based economist and entrepreneur Pippa Malmgren, however, the magazine’s departure from its usual celebration of haute couture was a sign that the fashion industry had lost a large slice of its consumer base.
These were “the young who were receiving unsolicited credit cards with large borrowing balances in the mail”, writes Malmgren in the first chapter of her just-launched book, Signals.
The rest, as they say, is history. The shockwaves of a financial crisis that started in Wall Street rolled out across Main Street, taking with them businesses, jobs, confidence and spending power.
“Once the financial crisis hit, the fashion industry became aware that it had no idea who its new customers would be,” says Malmgren.
An excellent example of a single data-point, or observation, indicating to a well-trained and observant mind a development of greater significance.