Falling hemlines, rising prices

A model walks the runway during the Nicole Miller show at The Promenade in Bryant Park, part of the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Spring 2008 in New York City.

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Doug Krizner: There's a theory on Wall Street: When women's hemlines go up, so do stocks. Well the hemlines at New York's Fashion Week are falling, but as Jill Barshay reports not everyone's complaining.


Jill Barshay: Fashion Week spectators like what they don't see on the catwalk: Skirts and dresses are covering those skinny models' thighs, and even their knees. Some dresses flow down to the ankles.

Marshal Cohen is an analyst at NPD Group. He predicts longer hemlines will boost women's wear sales by double the usual amount.

Marshal Cohen: Now all of sudden because new, long skirts are in, people are going to look and say I don't have any of those. It's time for me to go out and buy new.

Cohen says the new hemlines are less about couture and more about commerce.

Fashion houses want to appeal to average women who haven't been crazy about the micro-mini skirt trend.

Cohen: This is a much more subdued, much more consumer-centric and much more commercialized Fashion Week than we've seen in probably a decade.

Women will pay for it. Longer dresses require more fabric, and that means higher price tags.

In New York, I'm Jill Barshay for Marketplace.

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