CLAIRE’S CRYSTAL BALL: Not long from now, the “It” bag — and the 4x4 — will be a source of embarrassment, masstige brands will suffer and African style will be all the rage. Those were just a few predictions from Claire Kent, the former Morgan Stanley luxury analyst who is now an industry consultant and a non-executive director of French Connection in London. Kent, speaking at the Luxury Briefing conference in London last week, said with or without the credit crunch, the 15-year boom in luxury goods was never going to last. She pointed to “luxury fatigue” and the growing fear of debt, and said consumers would increasingly be spending more money on fewer items. As a result, “masstige and aspirational brands will suffer the most,” she told the audience, adding that the handbag bubble is bursting now. “An ‘It’ handbag will become an embarrassment — a clear sign that you don’t have your own view of fashion,” she said. Among the trends that will flourish in coming years will be African style. “Barack Obama is bound to create an impact on fashion and style, and we’ll see a shift in emphasis to African culture,” she said.