Hard Ball: Dusting Off Fashion's Old Bags

If now-hot names like Burberry and Coach are any measure, there's no such thing as outdated brands

Perhaps the Bible is wrong, and you really can put new wine into old wineskins. It certainly seems to be the business model for lots of old, fusty fashion labels these days. The fashion industry has always had a voracious appetite for the new and the young--and has ultimately lost gobs of money pursuing them. But it has recently developed a taste for Lazarus labels, back from the dead and back in the black.

It seems inconceivable that there was a time when Prada and Gucci were considered dull, cheesy or both, but with some effort, it's possible to recall a...

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