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Quick Hits: Prada, Ferragamo Fashionably Late


Brief scrutiny of today's headlines

Sure, luxury fashion looks sexy, but it becomes passé when two of its biggest brands, Prada and Ferragamo, hold off going public for better market conditions.

Both planned to list this year -- and there was word of initial public offerings (IPOs) in the second quarter -- but Reuters now reports the Italian fashion houses will wait until after summer to release market shares. That is, if economic realities don't worsen and the dates get further postponed.

One analyst says Prada plans to wait until July 31st and for the runway shows in July and September that are indication of revenues for the coming year. This isn't the first time designer Miuccia Prada's line has put off listing. The company first raised the prospect in November 2000. The brand could lose credibility if it continues to stall.

Listing procrastinator Ferragamo, best known for its leather shoes and bags, is rumored to be going public in the second half of the year - also contingent on more favorable conditions.

If Prada and Ferragamo hold to these new timetables, the parallel timing of their IPOs could be an impediment to one of the companies. In the event of a simultaneous public launch, say analysts, investors are likely to pick just one of the two. In the tough economic climate luxury brands are suffering as it is; most are wary of predicting a sector recovery just yet.

Faux Prada bags on offer at Target (TGT) are all of a sudden looking more glamorous.
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