Even though Argentina is a glamorous country with a penchant for couture, luxury brands no longer find this market lucrative. French luxury giant Louis Vuitton is the latest label to flee from Argentinean shores, following Cartier, Emporio Armani, Salvatore Ferragamo, Escada, Calvin Klein, and Yves Saint Laurent. Ermenegildo Zegna has downsized while Ralph Lauren has temporarily shut the shop. A host of reasons are being held responsible for this, a clampdown of imports being the most dominant one. Foreign exchange controls, unpredictable policymaking, an unwritten limit on dollar purchases for Argentines heading overseas, and a high rate of inflation are other contributing factors.
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Since Argentina defaulted on an approximate $100 billion debt in 2001, they have been cut off from international credit. But Enrique Meyer, tourism minister, remains unfazed with these developments and is more concerned about Argentine brands’ performance overseas.