By the time they reached Harry Winston on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, Australians Jason Finlayson and Vanessa Rodriguez were carrying five bags with clothes from Ralph Lauren, Hugo Boss and Lacoste.

"Just doing the traditional thing,'' said Finlayson, 33, a vacationing salesman for Nortel Networks Corp. in Sydney. "When you're in Los Angeles, you come to Rodeo Drive as part of the whole Beverly Hills shopping experience.''

Thanks to big-spending foreigners and wealthy locals, the three-block strip that Rodeo Drive's Web site calls ``the epicenter of luxury fashion'' is shrugging off the credit crunch and economic slowdown. Stores in the heart of the 90210 zip code are less vulnerable than others, said Thomas J. Blumenthal, president of the Rodeo Drive Committee, a business group.

``It's our opinion Christmas is still coming on Dec. 25,'' said Blumenthal, the chief executive officer of Gearys watch store on the Drive and a jewelry store nearby.

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