This room says it all.
Violently vivid fast-food yellow walls, cheap plastic piñata-befitting fringe, a Target-reminiscent wall hanging and a mattress on the floor — all scream bad taste, hot mess.
Surprise. It’s actually a Sterling Ruby installation at the once minimalistic Calvin Klein boutique on Manhattan’s Madison Avenue, Upper West Side.
Not so surprising. The store is closing, victim of a vicious disease that’s felling high-end fashion: retail roulette.
Designers are being shoved out the door at a dizzying rate — every few years.
Perhaps they earn it. How else can one explain Raf Simons, formerly of Dior, evoking the worst of ’70s kitch at Calvin? (Thankfully, he’s gone.)
Shoppers also are spinning: They no longer can rely on Céline and Calvin for sleek chic, Balenciaga and Lanvin for evening elegance and Saint Laurent for Hollywood hip.
Bottom-line fixated corporations and investors are most likely at fault. They ignore labels’ longtime identities and their loyal customers.
So you get a series of design disasters. A storm already is brewing at Céline, the latest pit stop for L.A.-loving Hedi Slimane, who’d been kicked out at Saint Laurent.
Fasten your seat belt: You can expect 2019 to be a bumpy retail ride.
Update: Calvin Klein Collection has been shuttered, as of March 7, 2019.
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