Actually, gator fashion isnâ€™t going anywhere. If anything, the reptileâ€™s skin is being more sought after than ever. And this has the industry scrambling, particularly high-end designer labels, which are introducing more and more things alligator due to their popularity. Besides devastating an entire region, Hurricane Katrina is also hurting a part of the fashion business.
According to a March 18 Wall Street Journal report, these giant lizards might turn up in short supply thanks to the aftereffects of the catastrophe. (Louisiana produces 85% of the worldâ€™s gator hides; the nesting areas may have suffered damage.) High demand for such items as Ralph Laurenâ€™s Ricky bag (now $14,000, a $2,000 hike from last year), Judith Leiberâ€™s Octagon clutch ($1,495), David Yurman watches (from around $1,300 to $4,500), and nearly every luxe designerâ€™s shoes has already increased costs for alligator skinâ€”and now the big names are pushing smaller companies out of the game by pre-buying up the supply with new contracts. What all this means is that a lot of brands are switching over to crocodile, that waiting lists for the Ricky bagâ€”so exclusive that I couldnâ€™t even find a picture of itâ€”are only going to get longer, and that those coveted gator accessories, luggage, and clothes are most likely going to carry even more eye-popping price tags. So if youâ€™ve been planning to make that big purchase, do it sooner than later. And donâ€™t look down too much on cousin croc; heâ€™s a good alternative (take, for example, this green Gucci bag with bamboo handle, $11,990)â€”most of us canâ€™t even tell the difference.
Get ‘gator gear that’s affordable and animal friendly by shopping Lacoste at Nordstrom.com.