The Mail on Sunday - You - - Editor's Letter -

It’s hard to think of a tougher time than now to be a high-street fash­ion re­tailer. The chill winds of fi­nan­cial un­cer­tainty make the ques­tion, ‘Do I re­ally need that new dress?’ all too easy to an­swer. Not only that, but many of us will have stag­gered to the char­ity shop at one time or an­other with sev­eral bulging bags of dis­carded clothes, think­ing, ‘What pos­sessed me to buy all this stuff? I must be more dis­cern­ing…’ It’s hardly sur­pris­ing, then, that many re­tail­ers are feel­ing the pinch, slash­ing prices and re­sort­ing to ever more des­per­ate mea­sures to en­tice shop­pers to spend. Cer­tain fash­ion brands, how­ever, are qui­etly buck­ing the trend. A clear un­der­stand­ing of their cus­tomers’ needs along with a beau­ti­ful, well-edited, ac­ces­si­bly priced of­fer­ing en­sures that sales con­tinue to climb. On page 29, we meet the (fe­male, of course) brains be­hind the brands that are keep­ing the high street buoy­ant. Are you watch­ing Strictly Come Danc­ing? Isn’t Ruth Langs­ford a rev­e­la­tion? From week one, she’s been giv­ing it her all, prov­ing that she’s a Loose Woman in more ways than one. She may not be the next Gin­ger Rogers (yet), but you have to ad­mire her chutz­pah and good hu­mour. On page 22 she talks hip ac­tion, hot flushes and how Satur­day nights will never be the same again. Fi­nally, if you’re itch­ing to get your apron on this af­ter­noon, check out Donna Hay’s recipes for teatime clas­sics with a twist on page 68. For me, it has to be the car­rot and cream cheese muffins. What about you?

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