Last year, Carolina Herrera reported that, to her pleasant surprise, her $7,990 gray sequined ball gowns were “selling like hotcakes.” Other top designers also reported stellar earnings, including Louis Vuitton
(up 23% from 2010 to $24.3 billion), Hermes (up 41% to $11.9 billion), and Chanel (up 23% to $6.8 billion). The king of American style, Ralph Lauren, saw his $13 billion-valued company’s stock grow 150% in the two years since June 2009. High-end department stores have snagged some of the profits as well. Saks reported quarterly earnings up 50% this year.