Women’s Wear Daily • The Retailers’ Daily Newspaper • June 29, 2004 • $2.00
Bella, Baby
NEW YORK — Marc Jacobs has torn a page from the
well-thumbed “La Dolce Vita” book of retro sex appeal.
With a nod to Fellini’s classic film, the designer’s spinning
his Louis Vuitton lass through a cruise romp of flirtatious
sundresses, prim sweaters and saucy pencil skirts.
Here, his delicate cashmere cardigan and embroidered
baby-doll frock. For more, see pages 6 and 7.
Sinking or Swimming?
Back-to-School Key
For Struggling Wet Seal
By Vicki M. Young and Kristin Young
NEW YORK — The Wet Seal Inc. will be
sweating out the back-to-school selling
After seven consecutive quarters of
same-store sales declines, the specialty
retailer is under pressure to show signs
of a turnaround. In its quarterly filing
with the Securities and Exchange
Commission earlier this month, the firm
said it couldn’t rule out the possibility of a
“potential reorganization under Chapter
11 of the U.S. bankruptcy code.”
Joseph Teklits, an analyst at Wachovia
Securities, on Friday, raised the possibility
See Wet Seal’s, Page16
Camille McDonald Named
EVP at Bath & Body Works
NEW YORK — Camille McDonald is back in the game.
After four months of consulting at Zirh, the former president and chief executive officer of
Parfums Givenchy Inc. and Guerlain Inc., has
joined Bath & Body Works as executive vice president of merchandise and brand development. Her
appointment will be effective Aug. 1 and she will
report to Neil Fiske, ceo of Bath & Body Works, a
division of Limited Brands Inc.
McDonald is the latest in a string of high-profile
hirings that Fiske has engineered in his quest to
transform Bath & Body Works into a dominant beauty player. Those who have joined Bath & Body
Works in the last two years include Beth Kaplan, former Rite Aid marketing chief, who now heads the
flagship store program at Bath & Body Works; 12year Neiman Marcus veteran Leslie Faust, now senior vice president of flagship merchandising, and
former Jane Cosmetics president Sandy Cataldo,
who joined the Columbus, Ohio-based company as
senior vice president of emerging brands.
During the last year, reports have circulated in
the market about how the emerging team at Bath
& Body Works has set its sights on putting together a major assortment of third-party brands that
would bring credibility to the products being created by Bath & Body Works. Some industry executives had viewed these moves as an attempt to
compete with — and possibly eclipse — Sephora,
but a company spokesman discounted that theory.
With the earlier arrival of Cataldo, the productdevelopment machine also kicked into high gear.
Bath & Body Works created a growing network of
48 flagship stores serving as proving grounds for
more innovative, higher-priced products that could
be rolled out to the rest of the chain.
McDonald’s role will be to create new products
for the 1,600-door chain. She will work out of the
company’s SoHo office here along with Cataldo.
In a statement Monday, Fiske said, “We are
very pleased to have someone with Camille’s
wealth of experience in beauty and brand-building join us. She is incredibly talented and has a
track record in growing some of the world’s
most prestigious beauty brands. She brings sophistication, expertise and creativity to her new role. Camille
will have responsibility for upgrading our key product lines,
developing new ones and increasing the pace of innovation in the company.”
Fiske added, “Based on her past success, I’m
confident that she will dramatically accelerate our
efforts to reposition and revamp the Bath & Body
Works brand.”
McDonald lef t her post at Givenchy and
Guerlain, two divisions of LVMH Moët Hennessy
Louis Vuitton, after serving for six years with
the company. During her tenure, she had created a separate division, called American Designer Fragrances, with licenses from Marc
Jacobs, Michael Kors and Kenneth Cole, while
also running the U.S. businesses of Givenchy
and Guerlain. ADF was launched with great fan-
Marc Jacobs mixes up a sweet brew at Louis Vuitton, Michael Vollbracht
gets flirty at Bill Blass and Bryan Bradley serves a dash of sparkle at Tuleh.
The Wet Seal Inc. will be sweating out the back-to-school season after it
said in an SEC filing it couldn’t rule out a potential Chapter 11.
The anxiety level of Garment District firms rose over the upcoming GOP
Convention after the city set plans to periodically close Seventh Avenue.
Marc Jacobs plans to open its first Boston store, a two-story site on
Newbury Street, aiming for July 26, day one of the Democratic Convention.
EYE: Talking with British author Alain de Botton about his new book, “Status
Anxiety”...Sara Rotman does it her way...They Are Wearing at Bowery Bar.
RTW: Three up-and-coming designers — Chomwan Weeraworawit, HyeJin Hwang and Prabal Gurung — are making names for themselves.
TEXTILES: As Italian spinners prepare for next week’s Pitti Filati show,
strong results for luxury firms are boosting their outlook.
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fare in the fall of 2000. At the time, Kors and
Marc Jacobs both designed for LVMH’s fashion
holdings in various capacities. With the addition
of Kenneth Cole, the fragrance
unit was estimated to have
racked up a combined global
wholesale volume of $120 million last year, with the potential
of breaking even by yearend.
The Kors beauty business was sold to the Estée
Lauder Cos. on May 8, 2003, for a sum estimated by
industry sources in excess of $20 million. The
Jacobs and Cole licenses were snapped up three
weeks later by Coty Inc. for a price estimated at $45
million to $50 million.
McDonald’s previous experience included a 12year stint in the Ralph Lauren Fragrances Division
of what was then called Cosmair, where she headed marketing efforts. Before moving to Givenchy in
1998, she served for less than a year at Chanel
Beauté as senior vice president of sales.
— Pete Born
Luxury Leaders Bask in Sunny Days
FLORENCE — The days of luxury are rosy in the U.S. — and
they’re expected to continue for
the remainder of the year.
American luxury goods retailers and top executives from
Italian high-end fashion houses
painted an upbeat picture for
2004 at an Altagamma round
table in Florence last week,
timed to coincide with men’s
wear trade fair Pitti Uomo.
According to Altagamma, the
Italian luxury goods association,
the luxury goods business has
been thriving in the first five
months of 2004, registering a 27.7
percent increase in the U.S. and
finally putting behind that annus
horribilis, 2003. Altagamma also
By Luisa Zargani
forecast a promising second half
of the year, with a better growth
rate compared with the equivalent period in 2003.
On a sample of 1,040 points of
sale in the U.S., sales grew to $1.4
billion in the first five months of
2004. In particular, accessories
grew 38 percent, apparel 27 percent and jewelry 23 percent.
Italian luxury goods executives were especially pleased as
the growth was achieved despite
global economic and social turmoil and the weakness of the
dollar against the euro. The
growth was attributed to, among
other things, an increased focus
on service and prompt deliveries. American retailers said the
booming stock market and a
“general feel-good mood” are
pushing the high-end customer
to spend — and to spend without
worrying about the price tag.
“Our business is spectacular
and I feel strongly that the next 12
months will not slow down,” said
James Gold, the new president
and chief executive officer of
Bergdorf Goodman, noting how
the top 1 percent of the American
population controls 35 percent of
the country’s net worth and how
the “wealthy are becoming incredibly wealthier.” Gold said
that Bergdorf reported a “very
strong double-digit growth” in the
first five months of the year.
Karen Katz, president and
ceo of Neiman Marcus Stores,
like Bergdorf ’s a subsidiary of
Neiman Marcus Group, said
Continued on page 19
In Brief
● TO BOLDLY GO: The Body Shop International and SAP AG
have signed a multimillion-dollar contract that calls for the
beauty retailer to run its global business on SAP’s enterprise
software. The software will run The Body Shop’s operations
worldwide, including accounting, product development, supply
chain, warehouse and point-of-sale, SAP said Monday. “As we
continue to expand our business internationally, we need a single, enterprise-wide IT platform to effectively manage the increasing scale and complexity of our global operations,” said
Jon Granville, global head of IT for The Body Shop, in a prepared statement. SAP, headquartered in Germany, is one of the
largest software companies in the world. It makes Enterprise
Resource Planning software for integrating processes such as
accounting, human resources, manufacturing and retail.
QUESTION TIME: A spokeswoman for Marks & Spencer plc
confirmed Monday that the retailer’s chief executive, Stuart
Rose, will be questioned by the Financial Services Authority, the
U.K.’s stock market watchdog, about trading in M&S shares prior
to the announcement by Philip Green that he intended to bid for
the chain. Rose could be questioned as early as today. On Friday,
the FSA stepped up its investigation, handing it to the enforcement division, which formally probes breaches of stock market
rules. An FSA spokeswoman declined to give more details or
confirm the timetable of the investigation. Meanwhile, M&S is
standing firmly by its ceo, saying Rose did not know of Green’s
intentions when he bought shares in M&S on May 7.
● COOL WEATHER, COOL SALES: Citing disappointing Father’s
Day sales and “unseasonal” weather, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. lowered its June sales expectations to between 2 and 4 percent. Last
week, the company warned that sales were tracking at the low
end of the 4 to 6 percent range. Strong sellers for the week included hot cereal, hot chocolate and soup, while sales of summer-related goods were “very weak.”
The American International Designers show will take place at
the Waldorf-Astoria in New York Sept. 26-29. The opening date
was incorrect in the Domestic Trade Show Calendar, Section II,
page 17, Wednesday. For information, call 225-667-0462.
WWD, TUESDAY, JUNE 29, 2004 3
Fashion Ave. Has GOP Jitters
NEW YORK — Anxiety among fashion industry vendors and retailers over disruptions
caused by the Republican National Convention is rising after New York Mayor
Michael Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly announced security
plans that include closing a 13-block stretch of Seventh Avenue from 42nd Street to
29th Street.
The mayor on Friday said the shutdown of midtown Manhattan thoroughfares for
several hours a day during the event, which will run from Aug. 30 to Sept. 2, would
cause minimal inconvenience in the city, though he acknowledged the Garment
District would be the exception.
“If you don’t live or work in the Garment District, you won’t even
know there’s a convention in town,” said Bloomberg, a
That came as cold comfort to those who work and live in
the area, where an estimated 27,000 people are
employed at apparel companies, Macy’s has its
flagship Herald Square store and dozens of other
retailers from H&M to Foot Locker have outlets.
In addition, designers will be preparing for
fashion week shows at Bryant Park set for Sept
8-15 and they are more dependent than usual
on getting fabrics, trims and garments in and
out of their sample rooms.
“I wish I could tell you we were closing,”
said Patti Cohen, executive vice president
at Donna Karan International. “It’s really
hard because of the fact that the shows are
the week after Labor Day. So it’s difficult
for people to close up shop. It’s probably
one of the busiest times.”
Officials have said the event — the first
time Republicans have nominated a
presidential ticket in New York and the
first political convention here since the
Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks — will be an
economic boost and will spotlight the city’s
ability to host major gatherings. The NYC
Host Committee 2004 has predicted the
convention at Madison Square Garden will
draw 47,000 visitors and generate $166 million in
new revenue.
Chantal Bacon, designer Betsey Johnson’s
business partner, said the closings would pose “a huge
inconvenience” in the final week of preparation for the
fashion shows.
Bloomberg and Kelly outlined these plans:
● West 31st Street and West 33rd Street around the Garden will
be closed to vehicle traffic from Sixth to Ninth Avenues. Pedestrian
access to the blocks between Seventh and Ninth Avenues will be
limited to people with a business-related need and photo identification. Street closings
● West 32nd Street between Sixth and Seventh Avenues will be for the Republican
closed to vehicle traffic. Pedestrians will be able to use this street to National
enter Penn Station for access to Amtrak, the Long Island Rail Road, Convention
will affect Seventh
New Jersey Transit trains and the subway.
● During the four formal sessions of the convention — Monday Avenue (right),
morning and evening and Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights, Eighth Avenue,
the 13-block stretch of Seventh Avenue will be closed to vehicles. At West 31st Street
other times, parts of the avenue will remain open. The thoroughfare and West 33rd
will stay open to pedestrians.
Street (above.)
Fashion Scoops
Christina Aguilera may own the
stage, but what about the runway?
The pint-size powerhouse is set to test her swagger as she walks for the first time in
DSquared men’s spring 2005 show today in Milan. Aguilera, who was the face of
Versace’s fall ad campaign, met twins Dan and Dean Caten last year when they
designed a series of costumes for her world tour, including a slinky, one-piece, backless leather halter jumpsuit stained with mud and dust for her opening song,
“Dirrty.” Aguilera may have arrived last night with her new honey-blonde locks discreetly covered by a black hooded sweatshirt, but expect full-on skin come showtime. Between the twins and her, the sex factor will most likely be cubed.
BARING IT ALL: When Wyclef Jean and his wife, Fusha designer Marie-Claudinette,
pulled up to the Baby Phat party at the Whiskey in Times Square on Thursday night,
traffic literally stopped. The Jeans stopped their car in the middle of the street when
they caught sight of the newest billboard on the W Hotel in Times Square, which features Kimora Lee Simmons wearing only her Baby Phat sneakers. Police soon came by
to ask the Jeans to pull over and let other cars pass. Meanwhile, inside, Simmons
chatted with members of the crowd while Phat Fashions president Marcie Corbett
showed her the newest addition to the company, Baby Phat eyewear, ready to hit at
retail. “Sure, it was bold of me to bare so much on my new billboard, but I feel it is
empowering to see a woman take risks and chances,” Simmons said. “Baby Phat is an
extension of who I am, and if you look at all our advertisements, my family and I have
shared our life and our lifestyle with the public. So this time I showed a little more. My
husband loves it.”
LAUDER’S NEW BRANCH?: Hard-core Michelle Branch fans and obsessive, sharp-eyed
prowlers of the Internet may have noticed a curious notation on the rocker’s Web site
under listings for upcoming appearances — “New York, New York-Estée Lauder for
Flirt.” Neither Branch nor Lauder were talking Monday, but it raises the question:
Could a deal be in the offing with the mainline beauty company that recently has
embraced Beyoncé Knowles, P. Diddy and Ashley Judd?
● Eighth Avenue will be closed to vehicles from West 23rd Street to 34th Street
during convention sessions. It will be open to pedestrians.
Kelly said people who need to enter the closed streets — and can prove that need
with photo identification — will be escorted to their destinations by police.
“We want to do as much as we can to keep the businesses functioning,” he said.
Jack Mulqueen, a Seventh Avenue veteran and chief executive officer of his own
firm, said the convention week is a market period for many in the better and bridge
sectors. He said his company would officially be closed. While some employees may
still come to work, the firm won’t be setting up meetings with customers or suppliers.
“I don’t know how these buyers will get in and out of the district, or even the
principals,” he said. “It’s going to be a nightmare.’’
Executives said their biggest worry would be how closings would
limit designers’ abilities to get materials to and from their studios.
“The designers are really going to have to plan ahead,”
said Barbara Blair Randall, executive director of the
Fashion Center Business Improvement District. “The
deliveries are going to be a problem.”
Designers might have to schedule their
deliveries for late at night, Randall said. This
would be less of a problem for the larger Seventh
Avenue buildings, many of which have 24-hour
staffs, but could be a headache for the lightly
staffed side-street buildings.
Executives acknowledged the need for
security. President Bush and Vice President
Dick Cheney will be nominated for a second
term and thousands of protesters opposed to
the policies of the Bush administration are
planning demonstrations.
“I’m not happy about it,’’ said Lee
Kashani, owner of the Fame New York
boutique on Seventh Avenue. “But if it’s
necessary for security, then let the people
who are responsible decide.”
By Scott Malone
Marc Jacobs to Launch Boston Store
By Katherine Bowers
BOSTON — Marc Jacobs plans to open its
first store here this summer in a two-floor,
3,750-square-foot space in a town house at
81 Newbury Street, the city’s most prestigious retail boulevard.
While the official debut is Aug. 6, Marc
Jacobs International president Robert
Duffy, an ardent Democrat, would like the
doors to swing wide in time for the Democratic National Convention, kicking off here
July 26.
“I wish we could be open in time to do a
big fund-raiser. I’m hoping,” Duffy said. Plan
B is to stuff the store’s windows full of proJohn Kerry merchandise, including the
leather-trimmed identification badge holders
the brand designed for people attending the
Boston has long been a target for Marc
Jacobs. The store might produce $4 million
in first-year sales, similar to the firm’s San
Francisco unit, a luxury goods executive estimated. Duffy declined to comment on financials.
Bolstered by a 10-year contract with parent company LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis
Vuitton, $300 million-a-year Marc Jacobs is
expanding its 40-store global operation. In
October, the firm will open two shops, a VIP
studio and a management office on Melrose
Avenue and Melrose Place, respectively, in
Los Angeles.
The city’s college student population, its
status as a walking city and the affinity for
knits and coats in the New England fall and
winter make it a fit for the brand. Web site
registrations and sales records from Marc
Jacobs’ New York stores show a significant,
underser ved customer base in metro
Boston, Duffy said.
Along with its signature ready-to-wear
collection and secondary line Marc by Marc
Jacobs, the store will carry housewares and
men’s wear previously not available in
On the ground floor, pale blue walls and
a navy blue floor will showcase the youthful
Marc by Marc Jacobs collection. Lifestyle
props such as branded beanbag chairs and
skateboards underscore brand accessibility.
Upstairs, where the signature collection
will be displayed, the company has restored
a fireplace, skylight, crown molding and
chandelier, a nod to Newbury’s original residential character with its tightly clustered
stone-and-brick town houses.
Rebel With a Cause
The socialites may be clearing out of Manhattan
for the summer, but the Williamsburg hipsters
aren’t going anywhere. On Sunday night, at
Bowery Bar, they convened — Red Stripe in hand
— to celebrate the opening of photographer Ryan
McGinley’s “New Photographs” exhibition, which
bowed at P.S. 1 earlier in the day. Frye boots, frilly
skirts and tube tops prevailed, as did the occasional Mohawk. Looks like the kids are still alright.
Marden and
the gang...
NEW YORK — A tattoo-covered Slayer-loving guitarist who once
played for the early Nineties punk rock band Crotch is not the first
person you would expect social swan and aspiring actress Jennifer
Creel to call when planning the fall launch of her luxury French soap
line, L’Atelier du Savon, in the States. But creative director Sara
Rotman, the founder of MODCo Creative (which stands for My Own
Damn Company), has discovered a niche consulting for the
entrepreneurially inclined Uptown set.
In addition to Creel’s line of fragrant glycerin body soaps,
Rotman worked on the textile design and branding for Tory Burch’s
NoLIta boutique, Tory, and she’s currently collaborating with Chris
Burch, Tory’s husband, on the launch of Winter & Migs, a
sportswear line that she calls “country club with a twist.” The
social set found her via her most visible fashion client, Carolina
Herrera. Since 2002, Rotman’s agency has been the force behind
Herrera’s ad campaigns for ready-to-wear and bridal.
How does she describe her aesthetic?
“I’m a complete snob who’s covered in tattoos,” she says during
a break from work at
her TriBeCa office. Her
rottweiler, Ozzy, named
after Ozzy Osbourne —
“before the reality
series” — pads
around. Wearing a
vintage Lynyrd Skynyrd
T-shirt, black Frankie
B. cargos and a chainmail bracelet, Rotman,
a Famke Janssen lookalike, ticks off her
body art: a dragon and
a dagger on her arm, a
koi fish on her
shoulder and bluebirds
on her wrists. “Even
my tattoos are the
best,” she adds.
Rotman, whose
Sara Rotman
clients also include
Sony and MTV, says
with Ozzy.
her greatest strength is
her attention to detail and, of course, her eye. Creel agrees. “She
can do classic with an edge,” she says. For L’Atelier du Savon,
Rotman helped to repackage and rebrand the line to appeal to men
and women of all ages. Rotman’s final color selection? Chartreuse
and silver. “She’s very creative, very sophisticated and very good at
making something distinctive,” says Creel.
For inspiration, Rotman looks to fine art and occasionally her
surroundings. The packaging for Rescue Beauty Lounge’s
upcoming bath and body line that she designed is inspired by the
daisy-flecked wallpaper in her childhood bedroom. She also recalls
a brainstorming session with Carolina Herrera and the
photographer Terry Richardson, during which Slayer was playing
on the stereo. “Mrs. Herrera is so open-minded,” she says.
For all her wild-child ways — she is happiest when driving her ’68
Mustang or ’65 Ford Galaxy “very fast” — Rotman still boasts a
conservative streak. An avid equestrienne, she spends her days off
riding dressage in Millbrook, N.Y., wearing a full riding habit. “I
wouldn’t go without proper attire,” she says, and then recalls what Kelly
Kovack, a partner with Ji Baek in the Rescue product line, told her.
“She said, ‘Underneath your tattoos, you’re a sweater set-andpearls type.’ She’s right — but I prefer to stand out.”
— Alison Burwell
NEW YORK — Sitting in a hotel lobby on Central Park South,
Alain de Botton has just gotten off the Queen Mary II, where he
was invited as “the entertainment.” Part of an Oxford University
program, he was asked to give lectures on the topics he’s covered
in his books: philosophy, travel, Proust and, now, wealth and
power, which he chronicles in his latest meditation on
contemporary life, “Status Anxiety” (Pantheon).
“They responded better than I thought,” the British author
insists. “If you’re going on the Queen Mary, you’re not going to be
thinking about status. You are status.” As expected, de Botton
found his theories of status anxiety — this worry, “so pernicious
as to be capable of ruining extended stretches of our lives, that
we are in danger of failing to conform to the ideals of success
laid down by our society and that we may as a result be stripped
Alain de Botton
of dignity and respect” — were perfectly represented on board.
There were the retired people who felt a drop in status because they no longer held their chief
executive positions; there were the mothers who felt insecure since leaving jobs to raise a family,
and there were the showoffs wielding expensive suites and Vuitton luggage.
“You’re out there on the high seas and yet, every night, people dress up in black tie,” de
Botton explains, with incredulity. “What floor you are on is like who you are.”
De Botton’s fascination with such emotions as envy, schadenfreude, snobbery and ambition
began shortly after he left school. “I realized status anxiety was a major epidemic,” he says. “It
was the driving emotion of the modern world.”
And though he’s since become a best-selling author and ironically comes from a background
filled with wealth and status, he feels an added pressure to multitask. “People can do anything.
I’ve written books, but why not start a corporation?”
Nevertheless, what he calls the “permanent sense of possibility” is something of a mirage. De
Botton points out that it’s as unlikely today that someone can
become as rich and successful as Bill Gates as it would have been to
become Louis XIV in the 17th century. “But the key thing is that it’s
not made to feel unlikely,” he explains. “It’s made to feel really likely.
If you’ve got a few ideas about software, if you’ve got a garage, you,
too, could found Microsoft.”
The problem stems from there being a huge gap between
expectations and reality. “I read a New York Times report that 59
percent of Americans expect to die millionaires,” he recalls. “The
real figure is closer to 4 percent.” Since our society is built on
there being only “celebrities” and “nobodies,” we buy into the
concept that “the only way to be a good person is to be
extraordinary or to have done something extraordinary.”
“And that’s a very exhausting idea,” the author continues.
“You know, it really does kill people on golf courses all across the
United States.”
At the same time, de Botton thinks that a little status anxiety
can be a good thing. “It gets us out of bed in the morning,” he
says. “But it’s important to make sure you’re envying the right things.
“At the heart of it all is fear,” de Botton goes on. “We fear that other people will humiliate us
with their success. And they do. They forget to call us. They bore us. They have a slightly snooty
manner. It’s understandable that we celebrate their failure.”
There are certain things, according to the author, that we can do to keep our status anxiety in
check. We should be wary of the clichés about success and failure we pick up from reality
television, the movies or even the Wall Street Journal. De Botton, for one, tries to keep his distance
from status-obsessed individuals, the ones who ask him, “What parties have you been to recently?”
But, of course, it’s all easier said than done. “You know, if I told you I really wanted a
Mercedes, by the end, you’d want a Mercedes, as well,” de Botton adds. “We’re very bad at
keeping in perspective the things we really want.”
— Marshall Heyman
From the Hip
Fair Grounds
NEW YORK — There are plenty of ways to play it girly — a charming trend that’s clearly dominating collections this
resort. At Louis Vuitton, Marc Jacobs indulged in a little bit of “La Dolce Vita” and mixed up a sweet, bright brew of retrochic silhouettes. Bill Blass’ Michael Vollbracht got into the mood with flirty, full skirts and swirling ballgowns, all so very
romantic. Bryan Bradley, meanwhile, served up what he calls “Tuleh’s greatest hits.” This means he gave the line’s
faithful followers exactly what they want with colorful prints, sweet decorative touches and a dash of sparkle.
cotton tank
and viscose
lace skirt.
Tuleh’s cashmere
and silk twinset
with paillettes and
silk and metal
cargo shorts.
Bill Blass’ silk
chiffon gown.
WWD, TUESDAY, JUNE 29, 2004 7
Bill Blass’ cotton
and silk dress.
Louis Vuitton’s cashmere
and wool knit sweater and
beaded and embroidered
viscose skirt.
Ready-to-Wear Report
Following Their Dreams Without Much Fanfare
Hye-Jin Hwang and a Gam In Gale look.
clothes to private clients about 10 months ago through
her Web site Chomwan.com.
Under her new company, Chomwan Ltd., Weeraworawit
has developed a 15-piece collection and the Web site. In
September, she plans to show her first full collection here
in a venue that is “definitely a little underground” and will
eventually relocate to New York to attend Parsons School
of Design. Weeraworawit said her clothes are “what Daisy
Buchanan from ‘The Great Gatsby’ might wear if she came
to Thailand.” Wholesale prices range from $60 for wrap
tops to $150 for chiffon dresses.
Her career has a few layers. After receiving her law
degree from King’s College in London, Weeraworawit
worked for the international law firm Linklaters in
Bangkok in mergers and acquisitions for about a year.
Now she is getting her master’s degree in French law at
the Sorbonne, and then plans to sharpen her focus on
design. “I love studying law and it’s been very useful,”
she said. “It’s a means to an end. I’m getting technical
skills for [the business side of] fashion.”
Like Weeraworawit, Hye-Jin Hwang, the designer
behind Gam In Gale, which makes its debut this fall, has
labored outside the fashion world. Born in South Korea,
she has worked in graphic and interior design, putting
together the Chocolate Suites, a downtown pied-à-terre
that starts at $2,000 per night — from staining the floors to
making some of the furniture. Her work on that property
was recently featured in the French magazine Optima
positioned next to the interior of New York’s Spice Market
restaurant, a compliment as far as Hwang was concerned.
While she hasn’t ruled out doing more interior design
projects and often receives proposals, Hwang said her
attention is focused on fashion. “If I meet the right person with the same vision, I might do something,” she
said. “At the moment, I am so devoted to this. I don’t want
to work for a company and look for drapery all day.
That’s not so interesting.”
After attending Ducksung University in Korea for two
years, she moved to the U.S. where she picked up
three degrees. She earned an art history degree
in two and a half years at Ohio University. From
there, she went to the University of California at
Santa Barbara, where she completed a fine arts
degree in the same amount of time. Her next stop
was Parsons for a fashion degree.
Hwang then freelanced in design for Katayone
Adeli, partly because a “small company cares
about details.” But Hwang wasn’t a stranger
to the fashion world. In the Nineties her
father owned a 40-store fashion-forward
sportswear chain in Korea, which was
also called Gam In Gale. The name refers
to a group of whales swimming together in
gale-force winds and was a metaphor for a
young company, Hwang said.
Her fall collection consists of 35
pieces including a wool bomber
jacket, a strappy dress with German glass detail, a multitiered
flapper dress, tweed coats and
silk chiffon camisoles. Intermix
has picked up the collection for
its Madison Avenue store. Wholesale prices range from $160 to
$600. Fall 2004 and spring 2005
should generate $150,000 in sales, and that
figure is expected to double the following
year, said Maria McManus, sales and public relations director.
Sari Sloane, head buyer for Intermix,
said, “The tailoring was perfect and the
fabrics had a really soft hand. It’s really
sophisticated, clean and very good quality. There’s definitely been a void in that
market for nice, clean clothes,” she said.
Prabal Gurung was born in Singapore, grew up in Nepal and worked in
London and Australia, before moving
here to attend Parsons in the late
Nineties. As a junior, he was named
“best designer” at the Fusion show, an
annual fashion event featuring Parsons
and Fashion Institute of Technology students.
After the show his senior year, Cynthia
Rowley, one of the judges, offered him a job as
a designer, a full-time position he still holds.
Gurung also does freelance design for 429, a
new T-shirt line.
After seeing his work in the
Fusion show, a London
socialite, whom Gurung
declined to name, bought
his senior project, a sixpiece capsule collection, for $15,000. He continues
to design clothes for her and
other private clients under
his own label. On the side, he
has developed a full spring
collection. Dresses wholesale for about $200, jackets
are around $300 and tops are
$90 to $150. This spring about
six stores are expected to carry
his collection, he said.
Gurung said the collection,
which includes trenchcoats with hoodies and handstitched dresses, was inspired
by Bollywood, vamps and models. “I always try to think of
this woman who takes the gritty New York sidewalks as
her runway,” Gurung said. “Nothing is cute. Everything
has a little dark side to it. It’s for the very confident.”
This year’s sales are projected to be $150,000, and that
figure should more than double in 2005, Gurung said. He
ENK’S CONFIRMATION: ENK International’s Collective trade show
has entered a partnership with To Be Confirmed, a trade show
that focuses on emerging designers and is held twice a year in
New York, London and Tokyo. ENK assumes operations,
development and some aspects of marketing and advertising of
To Be Confirmed, which now will be called Confirmed. TBC will
operate under its existing name and will continue to control its
budget, finances and creative, including selecting people for the
Confirmed show.
has lined up a few investors including
the London socialite, with the hope of
eventually stepping out on his own.
“When I was coming to New York from
India to study fashion, everyone thought,
‘Oh, that’s a nice hobby. What do you
really want to do?’” he said, “They
couldn’t even fathom it being a career.”
Holding down a full-time job at
Cynthia Rowley, while developing his
business and helping 429 with design
can be difficult. “Sometimes it’s
really challenging, but that’s why I
Prabal Gurung
left Nepal. One day I will look
and one of his
back and know it was worth it,”
Gurung said.
— Rosemary Feitelberg
Chomwan Weeraworawit
and a Kittichai uniform.
NEW YORK — Three up-and-coming designers, each of
whom grew up overseas, are taking markedly different
approaches to setting up their businesses.
Instead of working under a series of well-known designers for years, Chomwan Weeraworawit, Hye-Jin Hwang
and Prabal Gurung are making names for themselves.
Raised in Bangkok, educated in London and based in
Paris, Weeraworawit plans to show her first collection
here this fall. She has designed the uniforms for the wait
staff at Kittichai, a new Thai restaurant at 60
Thompson, which is a popular Manhattan hotel. She
said during a phone interview last week that her
designs were inspired by trousers worn by Thai fishermen. Diners at Kittichai have liked her work so
much that she has taken 30 personal orders and her
Bangkok-based tailor will ship them next month.
“The response has been much greater than I
expected. Robin [Leigh] warned me, but I didn’t realize it would be like this,” she said,
referring to her friend Leigh, who launched
Kittichai with partners Michael Callahan,
Jean-Marc Houmard and Huy Chi Lee.
Weeraworawit agreed to make the uniforms
after bumping into Leigh in Bangkok. She had
started selling customized Thai-inspired
The Collective will be July 18-20 at Pier 94 at 55th Street
and 12th Avenue in New York and Confirmed will be held
concurrently on the Intrepid Air & Space Museum at 46th
Street and 12th Avenue.
EARLY WINTER: John Winter has joined Great White Bear as
president of sales, a new post. He oversees Regency, Regal and
Bubblegum outerwear — responsibilities previously handled by
co-owner Danny Fodiman, who remains with the company,
along with his brother and co-owner, Robert Fodiman. Most
recently, Winter was president of the Donatella label at Fleet
Street. In other news, Great White Bear has doubled its
showroom space at 1450 Broadway to 8,000 square feet.
WWD, TUESDAY, JUNE 29, 2004 9
Textile & Trade Report
Yarn Makers Ride Luxe Wave
Lora & Festa’s lineup will include
these yarns, from left: a blend of
merino wool, silk and cashmere, and
two all-merino wool products.
er. This led to what Gualtieri called the “necessary step” of
revisiting price lists upward more than once. Prices are
MILAN — The optimism that has washed through the lux- generally set in February and July at the time of Pitti Filati.
Gualtieri said part of the reason business has been
ury goods market after strong financial reports from
companies such as LVMH, Burberry and Richemont has difficult is that more U.S. companies are moving their
seeped into the yarn market, as Italian spinners prepare production to countries where costs are lower.
“If the experience of outsourcing is positive, it’s highto introduce their collections for the fall 2005-winter
ly unlikely that a company will ever go back, even when
2006 retail season at next week’s Pitti Filati show.
The boost comes after a tough year in 2003, when the crisis is over,” Gualtieri said.
However, sales have improved recently, increasing 30
European manufacturers were hurt by several factors,
including the relative strength of the euro against the percent for the spring-summer 2005 season, he said.
dollar that crimped their exports to the U.S. market and Gualtieri attributed this growth to the strength of worsted
worries ranging from the SARS outbreak to the Iraq war. yarns for spring.
Italian yarn producers, who will exhibit at Florence’s
“Last fall, the trend was carded-cashmere, which is a
Fortezza da Basso July 7-9, said they are readying for their very small business for us,” said Gualtieri.
Continued on page 10
next big challenge: On Jan. 1, the 147 nations of the World
Trade Organization are to drop
their quotas on textiles and apparel, clearing the way for low-cost
manufacturers, particularly in
Asia, to export unlimited amounts
of goods. Competition from lowcost countries is expected to further hurt textile and apparel
industries in wealthier nations,
such as Italy.
The steps Italian spinners are
taking to prepare for the competitive onslaught include investing
in technology, experimenting
with new yarns and stepping up
their customer service.
“I consider 2004 a year zero
for us, as we leave behind one of
the worst years ever for the sector, with a nonexisting demand,
an increase in raw materials
and a low dollar rate,” said
Giacomo Festa, chief executive
officer of Lora & Festa. “The
first six months of 2004 were better than the first six months last
year, with sales in the U.S. and
the Far East market picking up,
in Japan, especially.”
Festa said the company typically does more business in the
second half of the year when its
wool yarns are in greater demand
for fall and winter collections.
Arianna Leone, vice president of Gruppo Luigi Botto,
attributed her company’s sales
growth to a good performance in
the U.S. market.
“The main challenge these
days is the exchange rate, which
is making things a bit difficult
regardless of the actual sales
volume,” she said. “As for the
balance of this year, we expect
business to continue to improve
and hope the currency exchange
will shift a bit in our favor.”
The U.S. dollar on Monday
was equal to 82 euro cents, up
from the low of 78 euro cents in
January, but still below the yearago exchange rate of 87 euro
cents and well off the rate of 1.01
euro cents two years ago.
Leone said Luigi Botto was
expecting a rise in demand for
better quality knitwear at retail
next year and at Pitti Filati will
launch a family of 18.5-micron,
four-ply merino yarns called XTFour, which are made through a
new spinning technology that
produces a more stable yarn, the
company said.
“This technology allows us to
spin yarns which are finer and
more compact than through conventional methods,” said Leone,
noting that Luigi Botto has been
investing in this technology for
the past three years. “The benefits are greater pilling [email protected] [email protected] ✆ +39 015 7091 Valle Mosso - Biella - Italy - www.luigibotto.com
ance, greater resiliency, as well
Luigi Botto USA - 561 7th Ave, 21st Floor - New York, NY 10018 ✆ 212 730 8939 Fax 212 730 8919
as an improved feel and drape.”
The weak dollar has also
taken a toll on Filpuccui, said
Federico Gualtieri, sales manag-
By Luisa Zargani
Look ahead
Tomorrow fabrics_Future yarns
Ready 4
eXTtra performances?
Textiles & Trade
Solid Year Seen for Yarn
Continued from page 9
The carded-cashmere trend paid off for Loro
Piana, where it has resulted in a 25 percent
increase in sales, said Luciano Bandi, who heads
the yarn division.
Bandi said Loro Piana’s fall-winter trends would
lean toward yarns that “look heavy, but are light, and
hairier.” Accordingly, Loro Piana has developed what
he called a “technologically rustic” cashmere through
a spinning system that allows the yarn to be “puffy, but
light and resistant.”
Zegna Baruffa-Lane Borgosesia will be focusing on
materials that “convey a sense of security, soft and
warm and very luxurious, that highlight the quality of raw materials,” said Mila Zegna Baruffa, who
is in charge of product and communications and is
a member of the family that owns the spinner.
At Pitti Filati, Zegna Baruffa will preview its 18micron Saxxon wool, which the company is trademarking. She said it is made from wool that grows in
a helicoidal form — meaning the fibers naturally
spiral, taking a spring-like shape. When spun into
yarn, the wool staple fibers have a natural elasticity,
that Zegna Baruffa described as “reactive and alive,
it opens up as if it were mixed with [spandex].”
“It took us years of research and we grew special
sheep in Australia for five years,” she said.
Seeking to further improve its technology,
Filpucci at Pitti will introduce a category of Soffili,
the company’s trademarked extra-light wool yarns
Zegna Baruffa’s lineup
at Pitti Filati will
include, from left: a
blend of merino wool,
cashmere and angora;
an all-cashmere yarn; a
merino-wool yarn, and a
blend of merino wool,
silk and cashmere.
Luigi Botto’s XT-Four
merino wool yarn.
I demand.
I make a value choice.
I prefer garments made using
fabrics and yarns labelled
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called Soffili Next, five stretch
yarns with a 12 and 7 gauge,
thicker than their past range.
“This is a significant step for
us, as our historical Soffili yarns
came with a 5 gage maximum,”
Gualtieri said.
Cariaggi plans to introduce
its “duetrentasei” cashmere
yarn at the show. A company
spokesman described the yarn
as a cashmere for all seasons
that is thin, going through 10
steps of twisting. The company
has been working on the yarn for
three years.
Exhibitors said technology
alone will not be enough to
maintain their competitive position next year.
At Lora & Festa, Festa said
the constant changes of the fashion industry make it critical for
suppliers to focus on service.
“People no longer plan
ahead, they don’t take risks and
don’t buy in advance,” he said.
As evidence of this trend,
most exhibitors said they did not
WWD, TUESDAY, JUNE 29, 2004 11
Textile and apparel manufacturing employment: 638,331
Currency: $1 U.S. = 82 euro cents
55th edition,
July 7-9
GDP: $1.552 trillion/$26,800 per capita (2003)
GDP change: +0.5 percent
Population: 58.1 million
Unemployment: 9.2 percent
Textile and apparel imports to U.S.: $2.21 billion, +5.3 percent*
Key products: Men’s wool suits, women’s wool coats, cotton knit shirts and
pants, wool woven fabrics
The textile and clothing sector is a key driver of the Italian economy, and its
second-largest export commodity after agricultural and industrial machinery.
Italy relies on exports of its products to non-European Union markets, which
account for almost half its shipments abroad. Italy’s textile tradition goes
back centuries, and its industry is in some ways still organized among
regional clusters that have been in place for hundreds of years, with silk
specialists around the Lake Como area and makers of other wovens in Prato.
Like most industrialized countries, Italy’s high wages and costs put its
manufacturers at risk of losing market share to competitors in poorer nations
after the World Trade Organization drops quotas on textiles and apparel next
year. Italian makers argue that their quality and fashion sense offer a
competitive edge, although they’re also stepping up their efforts on the
technology front as they prepare for a new sourcing dynamic.
Fortezza da Basso,
Presentation of fallwinter 2005-’06 yarns
for knitwear.
78 companies from regions such as Piedmont,
Lombardy, Tuscany,
Emilia Romagna, Veneto,
Marche and Umbria.
6,500 attended February
expect to write many orders at
the show for the fall-winter 2005
merchandise they were previewing. They expect orders to arrive
in about six months, which
would leave seven or eight
months for the yarns to be knit
or woven into fabric, cut and
sewn into garments and shipped
to retailers. Festa said quick
turns and attention to customers’ demands is the best way
for Italian producers to operate.
“We also believe in personalizing yarns depending on the
client’s needs, a sort of made-toorder service,” he said.
At Pitti, Lora & Festa, known
for its worsted yarns, will introduce its first selection of carded
yarns — a grade of yarn that is
somewhat more uneven than
worsted varieties, but is often
used in chunky knit garments.
“This answers specific market
requests and shows how much
our clients trust us and are loyal
to us, asking us to try our hand at
carded yarns,” said Festa.
High quality quick response
Textiles & Trade
Forde, a 28-year veteran of DuPont’s fiber
business, now known as Invista and sold this
year to Koch Industries, has formed her own consulting company.
Forde was among the hundreds of people recently let go in a
restructuring effort at Invista. As the firm’s global ready-to-wear fashion
director for three years, Forde said she felt her experience was well suited
to consulting.
“I felt it was time to reach out on my own and offer some fresh ideas to
an industry where trends spread rapidly and edgy ideas are quickly
translated to all markets,” she said.
Her services as a consultant will include providing fashion styling, as well
as color, trend and merchandising information, for a variety of markets.
THE SMELL TEST: Nilit, a yarn producer based in Migdal Haemak, Israel, has
introduced an antibacterial nylon yarn called Sensil BodyFresh that helps
control odor. The odor-fighting properties last more than 20 washes, since it
comes from an antibacterial additive in the polymer, rather than a treatment
on the finished fabric.
Marketing manager Oded Breier said in a statement that antibacterial
qualities combined with the microfiber yarn “results in high-performance
garments that keep pace with an active lifestyle.” He added, “Nilit is
dedicated to meeting consumer demands for high-performance fabrics that
offer the feel-good factor during strenuous activity.”
The Fiber Price Sheet
On the last Tuesday of each month, WWD publishes the current,
month-ago and year-ago fiber prices. Prices listed reflect the cost
of one pound of fiber.
Polyester staple
Polyester filament
May Synthetic PPI
Price on
63.99 cents
60 cents
60 cents
Price on
62.75 cents
60 cents
58 cents
Price on
54.98 cents
52 cents
65 cents
*The current cotton price is the May average on fiber being delivered to
Southeastern region mills, according to Agricultural Marketing Services/USDA. The
wool price is based on the average price for the week ended June 25 of 11 different
thicknesses of fiber, ranging from 15 microns to 30 microns, according to The
Woolmark Co. Information on polyester pricing is provided by the consulting firm
A MUSEUM WITHOUT WALLS: The Chance Foundation of Providence, R.I., has
given the American Textile History Museum in Lowell, Mass., a grant of
nearly $445,000, which the museum will use to make portions of its
collections of textiles, decorative arts, tools, machinery and workplace
artifacts available online.
“By harnessing the power of technology now available, we can provide
access to our collections that creates what is, in some ways, a virtual
museum without walls,” museum president and chief executive officer
Michael Smith said in a statement.
Jan Russell, strategic planning committee chair of the museum’s
board of trustees, said: “Too often, the most rare objects that museums
collect are never seen by the public. Now, scholars and lifelong learners
from across the country and anywhere in the world will be able to access
our wonderful collections in a way that preserves the objects while
sharing the knowledge.”
TIME TO CHANGE: Bolstering its place in the phase-change materials
DeWitt & Co. The synthetic-fiber producer index, or PPI, is compiled by the Bureau
of Labor Statistics and reflects the overall change in all synthetic-fiber prices. It is
not a price in dollars but a measurement of how prices have changed since 1982,
which had a PPI of 100.
business, Outlast Technologies Inc. last month acquired the assets of Frisby
Technologies Inc., including technology licenses, the Thermasorb trademark,
logo and Web site, intellectual property rights, customer and supplier
databases, and office and lab equipment. Phase-change materials help
fibers and fabrics store, absorb and release heat.
“This acquisition will further enhance our intellectual property, diminish
any product confusion in the marketplace and give us access to Frisby’s
library of test results, data and product development,” Outlast global vice
president Brad Poorman said in a statement.
Hockey Co.’s Ratings
Get Boost From S&P
NEW YORK — The Hockey Co.’s debt
rating got a much needed boost after
the company’s acquisition by Reebok
The supplier’s senior secured debt
rating was raised by Standard &
Poor’s Ratings Services Monday.
The Hockey Co., a Montreal-based
manufacturer of hockey equipment
and apparel, was lifted to “BBB” from
“B” and removed from CreditWatch,
where it was placed in April.
The S&P’s ratings service credited
the boost to Reebok’s recent $200
million-plus acquisition of nearly all
of The Hockey Co.’s stock, as well as
the assumption of about $125
million in debt.
Reebok also had its “BBB”
corporate credit and senior
unsecured debt rating affirmed, and
both companies’ outlooks were listed
as “stable” by the S&P.
“The ratings on Reebok continue
to reflect its well-recognized brand
name, improved product portfolio and
good cash flows and liquidity
position,” S&P’s credit analyst Jean
C. Stout said in a statement. “These
factors are somewhat offset by the
high degree of fashion risk in the
athletic footwear market and
significant competition in Reebok’s
core segment.”
Reebok’s stock closed at $37.01
Monday on the New York Stock
Exchange, down 11 cents, or 0.3
— Carrie Melago
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WWD, TUESDAY, JUNE 29, 2004 13
HaaT Stuff
NEW YORK — Trend-shy designer Issey Miyake believes an eclectic collection by
Makiko Minagawa, his former textile designer, can make it — even as ladylike glamour stages a fashion comeback.
Bergdorf Goodman and Neiman Marcus agree.
HaaT, which bowed under Miyake’s umbrella of collections in fall 2001, is the brainchild of Minagawa, who worked alongside Miyake for more than 30 years. Minagawa
helped mold the designer’s Pleats Please line in 1993, which featured textiles pleated
through a special process. While Minagawa serves as HaaT’s creative director and textile designer, Hiroaki Ohya, who has worked in the Miyake Design Studio since graduating from Bunka Fashion College in Tokyo in 1992, is the line’s designer.
The collection, whose name is derived from the sanskrit word for village market,
consists of two groups: Haath, which means hand and features limited-edition pieces
made in India, and Heart, a group produced in Japan with a wider distribution. It is
available at Issey Miyake stores in New York, Tokyo and London, as well as at
Bergdorf Goodman here. This fall, Neiman Marcus stores in Los Angeles, San
Francisco and Chicago also will carry the line.
The philosophy behind HaaT, which wholesales for $150 to $1,500, is its focus on
global fabrics. The luxurious elements, however, come from a spiritual place rather
than from a place of wealth, Minagawa said.
Both materials and techniques are borrowed from exotic locations such as Africa,
One of the
rose looks
for fall.
Fabrics used in the fall collection.
Textiles & Trade
Makiko Minagawa
India, Mongolia, Peru and Thailand. Examples include a collaboration with women
from Thailand’s Akha tribe that has produced fine, colorfully embroidered fabrics
and a denim used for fall 2003 that’s made of an Egyptian cotton seed grown in
Zimbabwe. The climate and soil there grows a cotton that is sturdy and rugged, unlike
the soft and silky variety grown in Egypt.
Preserving rich traditions of the past and melding them in sophisticated ways for
the future is what the collection is all about, Minagawa said.
“I feel that if the traditional techniques can be given life within a contemporary
context, they also can be passed on to future generations,” she said.
Textiles, it seems, have been woven into her life. Born
to a traditional dyeing and weaving family in Kyoto,
Japan, Minagawa’s father and grandfather were textile
artists, and her mother was a traditional Japanese
painter. The process of creating a fabric is something
that the designer likens to planning a new piece of architecture.
“My inspiration can come from many places,” she
said. “I tend to have no interest anymore in a textile
after I have finished it. My interest always lies in the
creation of the new.”
Her latest line for fall was inspired by roses and ancient
Greek times. Some of the patterns in the collection depict
flowering plants wrapped around pillars of Greek ruins.
“I was inspired by looking at roses through a magnifying glass,” Minagawa said. “A colorful view of the
world unfolds to show a beautiful collage of scattered,
overlapping flower petals.”
Variations of rose pink and red tones abound, as do
white silver, deep green and other earth tones.
Signature pieces include jackets, skirts, wrap sweaters
and a dress, all featuring a rose motif that looks appliquéd but is actually part of the fabric’s design. Other
highlights include a colorful tweed skirt and jacket with
bright tones of orange, blue, green and yellow, as well as
a pieced patchwork apron dress made of velvet in
earthy tones, and a one-sleeve cashmere wrap.
Roopal Patel, women’s fashion director at
Bergdorf ’s, which has carried HaaT since fall 2003, said
the line “has its own concept, its own identity. It’s very
well conceptualized and the execution is amazing.”
Patel also noted that the HaaT woman is someone
who is part of an almost “secret club.”
“The collection has its own loyal following and is really known by word of mouth,”
Patel said. “Women who buy HaaT are really connoisseurs of intellectual fashion.”
The store receives monthly deliveries of the collection — about 10 to 15 pieces —
which keeps the selection fresh.
“The beauty of it is that there are pieces in the collection that can work on anyone,”
she added. “Any woman can layer a piece from the line into her existing wardrobe.”
— Daniela Gilbert
U.S. Firms to Bush: Sock It to China
issues. A commerce department spokeswoman declined to comment
on the petition.
China agreed to a special safeguard provision when it entered
WASHINGTON — The U.S. socks industry is seeking the Bush administration’s help in curbing imports from China, saying they have the World Trade Organization, allowing countries to impose quotas
on products if they determined Chinese imports were causing mardamaged domestic manufacturers and disrupted the market.
Four trade and lobbying organizations — The Hosiery Asso- ket disruption. Under the textile-specific safeguard, the U.S. can
ciation, the American Manufacturing Trade Action Coalition, the place quotas on an import category for as long as a year.
National Council of Textile Organizations and the National Textile
A group of federal agencies overseeing the safeguards last year apAssociation — representing socks manufacturers and yarn suppli- proved three of four petitions placing quotas on knit fabric, dressing
ers filed a joint quota safeguard petition Monday. They said man- gowns and robes and bras, limiting the growth in each to 7.5 percent for
made fiber, wool and cotton socks imports from China have skyrock- a year. The group, known as the Committee for the Implementation of
eted from fewer than 1 million
Textile Agreements, has 15 workdozen pairs in 2001 to 22 million
ing days or until July 20 to deterdozen pairs, valued at $91.2 milmine whether it will accept the
lion, in 2003, while prices and dosocks petition.
mestic socks production have
Erik Autor, vice president and
fallen dramatically.
international trade counsel at
“This is the first time we have
the National Retail Federation,
ever asked that quotas be placed
— Charles Cole, The Hosiery Association said, “One thing that is different
on socks,” said Charles Cole,
about this petition is you actually
chairman of the domestic production committee of The Hosiery do have sock manufacturers on this petition and you actually do
Association. “We really haven’t gotten involved in this type of legis- have significant U.S. production of socks.”
China’s share of the U.S. socks import market ballooned to 15
lation in the past, but our industry is being hurt.”
The petition contains a list of about 40 firms that have closed or percent last year from 1 percent in 2001 and surged to 21 percent in
had major job cuts, primarily because of the influx of cheap im- the first quarter, according to the associations. The average market
ports, Cole said. Socks makers are worried that their domestic base price of socks, based on the average landed duty paid, fell from $9 a
will shrink even more when quotas are eliminated on Jan. 1 and dozen in 2001 to $4.15 a dozen in 2003.
U.S. domestic socks production declined to 166 million dozen
China has open access to the U.S. market.
The filing comes as the Bush administration is under election- pairs in 2003 from 207 million in 2001, and production employment
year pressure from manufacturing and labor groups to challenge in the sector fell to 16,000 last year from 19,300 in 2001, said Jim
China on unfair trade practices, which they said have decimated Schollaert, director of strategic outreach at AMTAC. U.S.-made
U.S. jobs. Several high-level officials, including Secretary of socks dropped to about 40 percent of the retail market in 2003 comCommerce Donald Evans, were in China last week to discuss trade pared with 76 percent in 1999.
By Kristi Ellis
J.C. Penney
Sued Over
NEW YORK — Chicago-based clothier Hartmarx Corp. waded
more deeply into the women’s wear market with the acquisition of
luxury knit designer Exclusively Misook Inc. Monday.
Hartmarx expects the $30 million purchase to boost its annual
women’s segment revenues up to $100 million while pushing the
company closer to its goal of a split between men’s tailored and
other categories.
“This company used to be strictly a tailored suit company 10
years ago, and we’ve gradually been shifting the mix,” Hartmarx
president and chief executive officer Homi B. Patel told WWD.
Under the five-year employment agreement, Exclusively
Misook will continue to operate as a freestanding unit. At the close
of the deal, Hartmarx will pay $30 million, as well as more payments over five years if certain earning levels are met.
“Our business has grown very rapidly and we were looking for a
partner that would help take us to the next level,” Misook
Doolittle, founder and designer, said in a statement.
Hartmarx, which closed the 2003 fiscal year with $3.1 million in
net income, expects the acquisition to boost earnings by 12 to 15 cents
a share in 2004 while adding $35 million to sales. The company fended off a hostile takeover by Lincoln Co. three years ago, and management viewed the Misook acquisition as a preview of things to come.
“We’ve made a lot of progress. Since the threat of the hostile
takeover, our stock has tripled, almost quadrupled, and so have our
earnings,” Patel said. “The company is now very solid and financially sound, and in a position to make more acquisitions. And we
hope to do so.”
PARIS — Carrefour on Monday said a new pact had been
signed by its principal shareholders, effectively quashing speculation the French hypermarket and supermarket operator
could fall prey to Wal-Mart.
The Halley and the March families, as well as Carrefour
chief executive Daniel Bernard, sealed an agreement that
gives them 25 percent of Carrefour’s voting rights, said Paroma,
the Halley family’s holding company.
Together the three control 16 percent of the firm — the
Halleys have 12.4 percent, the Marches 3.4 and Bernard 0.2
“The agreement means these families are committed to the
future and the growth of the firm,” said a spokesman for
Earlier this month it was reported that a previous agreement was on the rocks, and there was speculation family
shareholders might oust Bernard and replace him with Luc
Vandevelde, former chairman of Marks & Spencer plc. The
shareholders were said to be disgruntled over the slow growth
at the world’s second-largest retailer.
A meltdown was seen as an overture to a hostile bid by WalMart, which has said it wants to grow in Europe through acquisitions.
Meanwhile, Paroma said Vandevelde would oversee the pact.
As reported, Vandevelde assumed Paul Louis Halley’s place on
Carrefour’s board after the French businessman and his wife
died last December when their private airplane crashed.
NEW YORK — A New Yorkbased apparel firm, claiming
its business was destroyed because of chargebacks, filed a
lawsuit against J.C. Penney
Co. Inc.
The lawsuit by Nazareth
International Inc. was filed on
June 10 in a federal district
court in Dallas, alleging
breach of contract, fraud and
A spokesman for J.C.
Penney said, “J.C. Penney [is]
committed to the legal compliance and ethical business
practices in our supplier activities. We’ve operated consistently with the contract
and have abided by the rules.
We feel that the claims
against J.C. Penney are without merit, and that it would
be inappropriate to comment
further because the case is in
pending litigation.”
According to the complaint,
Nazareth entered into a trading partner agreement with
the retailer on April 30, 2002. It
sold and delivered to J.C.
Penney merchandise valued at
$750,784. The problem arose
when J.C. Penney allegedly refused to pay Nazareth a
$360,752 balance on the goods.
The lawsuit said J.C.
Penney also demanded “gross
margin support,” or chargebacks, as a condition of any
payment. The New York firm
said it agreed to a $50,000 reduction if the retailer would
pay the balance remaining.
The firm said the retailer did
not make that payment.
Because J.C. Penney declined to pay the amount owed,
Nazareth said its factoring facility revoked the financing. “At
that point, [the] plaintiff could
no longer take new orders or
fulfill orders it had because it
no longer had the financing capability to continue to do so,”
court documents said.
Nazareth said it was forced
to fire key employees and that
its “business was destroyed.”
Nazareth is seeking the
$360,752 as well as lost profits in addition to unspecified
exemplary, incidental and
consequential damages.
— Carrie Melago
— Robert Murphy
— Vicki M. Young
haven’t gotten involved in
“thisWetypereallyof legislation
in the past, but
our industry is being hurt.
Hartmarx Acquires Carrefour Principals
Exclusively Misook Expand Voting Power
Wet Seal’s Key Season
Playboy’s search for a new
editorial director is finally
beginning in earnest — but
is it just a formality? While
headhunter Karen Danziger of Howard-Sloan-Koller sounds out
potential replacements for James Kaminsky, the feeling among
many people at and close to the magazine is that it’s only a matter
of time before the job is awarded to Chris Napolitano, one of
Playboy’s two executive editors. He’s based in New York. (The other,
Stephen Randall, is based in Los Angeles.) Sources say Playboy
founder and editor in chief Hugh Hefner believes he gave up too
much control to Kaminsky, whose 18-month tenure ended in April.
A Maxim veteran, Kaminsky moved Playboy’s main editorial office
from Chicago to New York and overhauled the entire front of the
magazine. “It was too much change for Hefner’s liking,” said one
source. “He felt it had gotten too far from his original vision.”
Napolitano, in contrast, is someone Hefner is comfortable
with, having spent more than a decade at Playboy.
So why conduct a search at all? Perhaps to appease Christie
Hefner, chairman and chief executive of Playboy and Hugh’s
daughter. Unlike her father, Christie is said to favor bringing in
a big-name editor who will impress advertisers and generate
buzz, sources said. This time around, the hope is to poach
someone from the more sophisticated end of the men’s market
rather than the lad books. Several high-ranking editors at major
titles confirm having been contacted in the past few weeks.
Most potential candidates, however, express major reservations
about the job — specifically about the prospect of working
Same-Store Sales (%)
Trailing 24 Months
Sagging Sales
Sales (millions)
new creative director, Victor Alfaro, there are
high hopes for looks called “vintage angels” and
“granny chic.”
“A lot is riding on fall,” said Liz Pierce, an analyst with Sanders Morris Harris in Los Angeles.
“Is it a make-or-break situation? It’s too early to
say. Some of the [fall] product is coming [in
stores] on an item-by-item basis. That’s not merchandised like they told us it was going to be.
They said it’s going to be a compelling selling
Wachovia analyst Teklits, wrote in his research
note, “We have learned from industry contacts
that Wet Seal’s woes are deepening on all fronts.”
Those fronts, according to the analyst, include inventory issues and the exodus of internal talent.
He also wrote that the company might be an acquisition candidate, but that buyers who see
value to the Arden b. concept
might think twice about undertaking the task of turning
around the Wet Seal division.
Members of the financial
community are trying to remain optimistic regarding
Wet Seal, but emphasized the
retailer is heading into a critical juncture as to the state of
its financial well-being.
Jim Rice, credit analyst at
Bernard Sands, said, “We’re
watching them very closely.
They do need a good fall season and back-to-school, as
well. The company sources
overseas, and the problem
and risk are that if there is a
fashion mistake, it can’t really be corrected because there
will be too much product already in the pipeline.”
One factoring executive on
the West Coast, who requested anonymity, acknowledged
he’s heard of Wet Seal’s request for capital, but
said it may not be easy for the company to secure
funding. “There has got to be some very special
arrangements when it gets down to granting them
credit,” he said. “It’s something that the credit
community is very concerned about.”
However, Wet Seal has the advantage of having
no debt on its balance sheet, which may give the
retailer additional breathing room beyond for a
few quarters as it tweaks it merchandise mix.
Howard Tubin, an analyst at Cathay Financial,
observed, “We have a neutral rating on the stock.
Based on the back-to-school preview I saw, the
line’s got potential. It offers some fashion newness and some differentiation that was lacking in
the spring line. If back-to-school doesn’t work,
and the fall and holiday seasons are a miss, then
it will be another story.”
Trailing Eight Quarters
Bottoming Out
Profit/Loss (millions)
Continued from page one
that the “company will never return to profitability.” He noted that the “odds of a Chapter 11 filing
over the next 12 months appear to be greater than
50 percent.”
According to executives at Wet Seal, the SEC filing language about a possible Chapter 11 is part of
its legal disclosure. “I would say it’s routine for a
company in the situation that we are in,” said
Helen Rotherham, a spokeswoman for the Foothill
Ranch, Calif., retailer. “We are required by law to
do that. But we have no plans whatsoever to file.”
Rotherham said the company is looking for additional capital and “working in total accordance” with the company’s turnaround plans. “We
definitely have big plans for the future,” she said.
Katherine Rose Galligan, an analyst at
Aperion Group Inc., which has a hold rating on
the stock, said, “While the
risk of a Chapter 11 is standard language, the truth of
the matter is that this company is teetering on the fence. If
it is not successful with its
back-to-school season, the
feasibility of a bankruptcy is
more likely than it might have
seemed six months ago or
even one month ago.”
Wet Seal also disclosed in
its regulatory filing, “Due to
our financial results over the
past 22 months, we have
begun to experience a tightening of credit extended to us
by vendors, factors and others for merchandise and
services. The initial impact of
this credit tightening has reA back-toquired us to issue letters of
credit outside of the ordinary
course of business, or, in look from
some instances, shorten ven- Wet Seal.
dor credit terms.”
Wet Seal’s same-store sales have been negative
for the past 22 months with declines as high as 32
percent. It’s important to note that the retailer’s
sales fell along with the entire specialty teen sector. But as the sector recovered, Wet Seal did not.
Over the past several months, competitors such as
PacSun and Hot Topic have delivered stronger
comps. PacSun, for example, has posted samestore sales gains of 12.4, 11.4 and 7.8 for March,
April and May, respectively.
Wet Seal emphasized that it hasn’t experienced any significant delay or disruption of merchandise flow. The retailer noted in the filing that
the b-t-s season represents a “pivotal point in our
turnaround strategy.”
As reported in WWD, the Wet Seal previewed
its b-t-s line to analysts, scheduled to hit stores on
July 12 on both coasts. Designed by the company’s
Compromised Comps
Trailing Eight Quarters
under a boss committed to preserving Playboy as an historic
artifact. One editor of a men’s book summed up the dilemma
this way: “It would be a fun thing to be the editor of Playboy,
except you’re not really the editor.” The Hefners, through a
spokesman, declined comment. — Jeff Bercovici
THE ENEMY WITHIN: Forget about the rigors of getting into the
club of the moment, these days its becoming tougher to stay in at
Soho House. In an effort to preserve the exclusive hangout’s
gossip firewall, management has instituted an informal demerit
system. “We’ve recently started keeping notes on members who
violate club policy,” said Tim Geary, who handles the club’s p.r.
“Whether it’s trying to get too many people in, or yelling at a
waiter, or printing something negative about the club. So far,
though, we haven’t had to revoke a membership.”
Not according to Gawker editor Choire Sicha, who earlier this
month claimed to have been banned from the club, a favorite
of media types. “Choire’s membership came up for renewal
right about the time a couple of negative pieces ran [on
Gawker.com],” said Geary. “We told him it was a conflict of
interest for members to write about the club. He simply chose
not to come back.”
Sicha remembers it differently: “When Soho House had its
renewal, I never got mine in the mail. Tim just stopped
returning my e-mails.” Which hasn’t stopped Sicha from
returning to the glorified watering hole. “I have been back,”
said Sicha. “And I don’t wear a mask.” Or use a pseudonym,
like New York magazine Intelligencer scribe Deborah
Schoeneman recently claimed to do in an article on
Gothamist.com. “I was just making a joke,” Schoeneman said,
when asked by WWD what names she’s given at the door.
“I have a rule about gossip,” said Page Six’s Paula Froelich,
also a member at Soho House. “If more than two people see
something happen, it’s going to get out. [With Soho House] you’re
talking about people who are prone to gossip anyway.” Froelich
then added, “They claim to have a lot of media members, but the
majority of people are just publicists” — a profession that seems
to foster a strange, reflexive ability to pick up a phone.
“I just publish other people’s reports,” said Sicha. “I never
even saw anything interesting at Soho House. And I have yet to
see a celebrity there.” And Froelich? “I’ve only been three
times this year. When something big happens, people call us
the next day to tip us off.” — Sara James
TOUGH LOVE AT PARENTS: It looks like Russell Denson, Gruner + Jahr
USA’s new ceo, has a zero-tolerance policy for circulation
shenanigans. Denson, who took over this month after a four-month
interregnum, last week fired Bill Carter, the head of consumer
marketing for Parents magazine, after an audit exposed problems
with the title’s subscriber file. According to an internal memo from
Denson, copies of Parents were sent to some customers who had
let their subscriptions lapse, violating Audit Bureau of Circulations
rules. Besides Carter, two circulation officials with companywide
duties lost their jobs: business director Grace Dynan-Surdi and
fulfillment manager Kristi Basset. It’s no surprise Denson is anxious
to be seen as running a tight ship: Under his predecessor, Dan
Brewster, three G+J titles — YM, Rosie and Fast Company —
reported circulation numbers that later proved to be inflated. — J.B.
Predict Your Own Future.
WWD’s Second Half Forecast Issues
Issue Dates: July 6-9, 12 th
Close: 4 days prior to issue
WWDForecast issues provide an outlook for the second half of 2004
across more than a dozen categories. WWD editors will focus on
the variables that affect the market, including:
• Key Issues
• Mergers & Acquisitions
• Upcoming Events
• Product Innovation
• Newsmakers
Ensure your future success by getting your ad in front of
top-level executives that rely on these forecasts as an
essential industry planning tool.
For more information on advertising in WWD, please contact Ralph Erardy, senior v. p. group publisher, at 212-630-4589, or your WWD sales representative.
-RESUMESJersey + Rib Lycra
Fleece + Velour
Drake Fabrics
Leather, silks, fancies or upholstery fabrics.
Remnants or full pieces. Call: 212-243-4913
*TD Sweater Cut & Sew Knits........$75-80K
*Work in Westchester, NY...............$75-80K
Free Evaluation - Lifetime Updates
(800)967-3846 amex/mc/visa
*Sr. Tech. Lingerie/Foundation......$75-85K
*Spec Tech/Assoc Tech Lingerie ...$35-65K
[email protected]; Call 212-947-3400
Lifetime Updating/Phone Interviews
Rush Service Available
Design Assistant
Sean John’s new Women’s line seeks a creative designer with
at least 5 yrs experience in Contemporary Women’s Design.
Must have knowledge of Fabric and Fit. Candidate should be
energetic, innovative and creative.
Technical Designer
Since 1967
F: (212)986-8437
1)Artists: Girls-Boys-Juniors 2)SpecTechs
3)Designers-assoc-assists boy-girl-YG men-Jr
Call (212) 643-8090 or fax: 643-8127 (agcy)
Must have 5 years tech design experience in women’s design.
Responsible for communicating with vendors/factories to
resolve tech pattern related issues and problems. Proficient in
technical drawing and garment construction.
Join us and you will receive an excellent compensation
package working with one of the hottest apparel companies
around. To be considered for the above positions, please
email resume to: [email protected] Indicate clearly
which position you are applying for.
Apparel Trim Components
37th St. Full Floor 7500 ft.
Beautifully Built Move In Condition
Prime Manhattan Jon 212-268-8043
Showroom / Office / Retail
We find you space-best deal-no fee
Sublet 525 7th/ready
Garment Center Real Estate
Call Paul 212 947-5500 X 100
Showrooms & Lofts
Great ’New’ Office Space Avail
ADAMS & CO. 212-679-5500
Major global mfr. seeks an energetic &
motivated Account Executive to work out
of our NYC office calling on existing &
prospective accounts - major apparel
brands & retailers - to promote our global
offer, services, and capabilities. Experience in denim, trim management, technical design and/or apparel construction
a plus. Competitive benefits package.
Salary commensurate with experience.
Please Fax resume to: 212-561-6468
Intimate Lingerie/Swimwear Co. located
midtown seeks:
PATTERNMAKER: 2+ years experience
for fast paced department.
DIGITIZER: Work or knowledge of Lectra
Systems & Windows with knowledge of
CAD system preferable. Fax resume &
salary requirements: 212-337-0639
to Head of Import Division
Top Lingerie Co. seeks person with 5 years
minimum import experience, dealing
with vendors, costing, and styling. Individual must have good sense of fabric
& color. Strong organizational, communication, and computer skills req’d.
Wal-Mart experience preferred. Fax or
E-mail resume & salary requirements to:
212-679-4975 / [email protected]
Asst. to President &
Head Merchandiser
Private label women’s manufacturer
seeking organized, pro-active assistant
with a "do-anything’ attitude for fast
paced office. Strong communication
and computer skills a must. Some
light secretarial duties. Great opportunity. No experience required.
Fax resume to 212-868-2801
French fashion. Wholesale/retail exp.
Hi-end fashion ’couture’ house.
FAX: 212-481-4086
[email protected]
Gorgeous Chelsea loft. 4,000 sf Wood
flrs. Column-free. Call Allan Gallaway
Bernstein R.E. 212-594-1414 Ext 251
Est’d fast-growing domestic, importer of
children’s 7-14 sweaters and cut & sew
knits seeks take charge designer with
min 3 yrs exp. Responsibilities include
color forecasting, line planning & total
follow thru from concept to finished
sample of coordinated line of swtrs &
knits. Exp w/ majors a plus. Salary
commensurate w/ exp. Fax resume:
Att: Merchandiser 212-768-7856
DESIGNERS (2) $100K+
Domestic denim start-up seeks financial
backer or prod’n partner. Stand-up,
visionary mgmt. w/ proven track record
of bldg $15M+ 1st yr. co’s. In strict
confidence: [email protected]
or Fax: (310) 246-1905, Attn. WD PART
Pattern - Production - Samples
Full - Fast - Quality
Reliable. High quality. Low cost. Fast
work. Small/ Lrg production 212-629-4808
All lines,Any styles. Fine Fast Service.
Call Sherry 212-719-0622.
Samples and patterns full servcie shop
to the trade. Fine fast work.
(1) Contemp & (1) Missy Moderate
Sweaters & Knits Exp a MUST
Fashion Network: 201-503-1060/Fax 1070
Timeless Treasures Fabrics
Leading Cotton Design House has excellent opportunity for experienced
head stylist to manage "quilt" division.
Must have extensive experience in designing & coloring Quilt collections.
All responses will be kept confidential.
Please fax resumes to: 212-226-1786
Attn: Kim Mouzouras
Exciting Opportunity!
Patternmaker & Digitizer PRODUCTION ASSISTANT
Established Social Occasion Dress
Manufacturer seeks extremely qualified
production assistant with minimum 5
years experience. Background must be
in designer/couture production with
perfect understanding of patterns &
fabrics- especially knits & novelties.
We need a dynamic, smart & organized
individual with strong analytical &
problem solving skills, capable of
multi-tasking. Duties include, maintain &
update piece & finished goods inventories,
Great opportunity for highly motivated project fabric needs, issue cutting tickets,
individual at a top fashion doll co. track and follow up production schedules
located in the Mid-Hudson Valley. The to meet projected deliveries etc. Must
right candidate must be able to make have excellent computer skills including
patterns from designer sketches, sew excel & word. Queens Location.
own outfits for dolls, be hardworking Fax resume and salary requirements to:
and detail oriented. Make the move
from the fashion industry to the doll
industry. Contact Joe Petrollese at:
845-339-9537. EOE. M/F
*Gerber/PDS (2). Jeans & Jackets .$75-85K
*Better Pvt label. Dress/Jackets.....$80-90K
[email protected]; Call 212-947-3400
Patternroom Clerk
Lingerie Co. seeks entry level Clerk/
Trainee to work in Pattern Design Room
making ladies’ underwear. Must have
basic pattern knowledge, a good command
of English, and be willing to learn. Fax
rsume/salary requirements: 212-337-0639
Private Label
Product Manager
NY based Missy Moderate Private
label Sptswear company, seeks Private
Label Product Manager for Wovens.
Must be well organized, detail
oriented. Have strong follow up, and
computer skills. self motivated, able to
walk in and take over.
Fax all resumes to: 212-730-0913
• Bachelor’s degree or higher.
• Excellent Written and oral
communication skills
• Computer proficiency with AS400,
Word, Excel, and Outlook.
E-mail: [email protected]
DSGN - (2) GIRLS 2/16
production assistant. Highly motivated
individual with 5 years experience in
retail and manufacturing. Must be
detail oriented with good organizational, follow-up and communication skill.
Please fax resume to 212-249-1427
450 7TH AVE (AGCY) 268-6123
Costume Jewelry
Looking for min 10 years exp. in set up
of overseas factories, line prod, inventory
control. Looking to move facility to
Central or South America. Huge
growth potential both professionally
and personally. Rapid expansion of
company and need person with the
right exp. to develop new system.
Spanish speaking nec.
Please fax resume and salary history
to: 212-625-8345
Seeking exp’d. individual to sew Evening
Suits & Bridal Gowns for Ladies’ Evening
Wear Designer. Call Rachel: 212-398-0487
Develop Tech Work w/Designers $65K
SPEC TECH Better Designer $37-57K
[email protected]; Call 212-947-3400
Tech Designers DIR/MGR/SRS
*Dir Tech-Woven Suits, Better Mkt
*Tech Mgr-Better Sportswear
[email protected]; Call 212-947-3400
Moderate Ladies Sportswear Company
seeks technical design person for
sweaters, and cut & sew knits. Must
have a minimum of 5 years experience
in sweater construction, cut and sew
patternmaking, and development of
specs. Good follow-up and computer
knowledge required.
Fax resume to: 212-730-0913
Well established multi-line Los Angeles
Showroom opening in NY. Excellent
oppty. for highly motivated, assertive
salesperson with a positive attitude. 2-4
yrs. experience in women’s contemporary
market. Extensive travel required.
Please e-mail resume to:
[email protected]
Interviews in New York, July 8 - 11
Leading Intimate Apparel Manufacturer
seeks a seasoned Account Executive to
manage & grow existing accounts and
open new business opportunities.
Qualified candidates have a min. of 5
yrs of wholesale/retail buying experience
in dept. or specialty stores. Intimate
Apparel background preferred. Candidate
must have strong retail, analytical, and
computer skills and a proven track record
of building customer relations. Travel req.
Please send resume w/ salary req to:
[email protected]
Sales Executive
Missy woven shirts mfr. seeks sales
pro for NY showroom. Must have
strong dept. & chain store contacts.
Fax resume to: 201-330-0002
SALES - Knitwear
Salesperson needed for knitwear mfr.,
with emphasis on creativity, service &
professionalism. Must have private label
experience & have confidence to work
with buyers with initiative & creativity.
Experience essential & a good working
knowledge of sweaters & cut and sew
knits an added advantage.
Well established, high-end women’s
Please respond to: Box # 1069
fashion designer seeks highly motivated
7 West 34th Street, NY NY 10001
individual with 3-5 years experience to
purchase production trim. Excellent
communication and follow up skills
are a must. The candidate will be
communicating with suppliers both
domestic and overseas.
skills required. Please fax resume to
Rapidly growing contemporary dress
(646) 572-0163
collection seeks dynamic & experienced
Specialty Store Salesperson to help
get us to the next level. Friendly work
environment. Please fax resume &
salary requirements to: (212) 465-9187
Production Manager/
Import Textile
Production Patternmaker
Jr., Missy and Women’s
Knit & Woven Sportswear
Major Private Label apparel co. seeks
individ. w/3 to 5 yrs exp. Excell. technical & organizational skills necessary.
Fast paced co. Computer literate
(Excel/Word.) All major benefits. (EOE)
Fax resume incl. salary req. to:
FAX 212-556-5431
Prod Asstnt - Imports - Activewear MFR
Sourcing Coordin.-Bi-lingual-Sptswr. Co.
Trim Coordin.-Sportswear-L.I. Location
Other [email protected]
or Fax Resume to (212) 302-1161
Production Assistant
Sales Rep
Timeless Treasures Fabrics
Product Development Coordinator/
Production Coordinator
•Monitor and report all Product
Development stages including
samples execution and fit comments.
•Conduct Fabric and Trim Research.
•Travel to vendors when necessary to
ensure quality and timely delivery.
•Monitor multiple production
schedules including Fabric & Trims
deliveries and Finished Garments
[email protected]
Production Manager
Leading Cotton Design House has
excellent opportunity for experienced
Converter. Correspond w/ overseas
mills on daily basis. Ability to multitask in a fast paced environment.
Strong import exp. w/ textiles a must.
JNCO JEANS, industry leader, is seek- All responses will be kept confidential.
ing a qualified Product Development Please fax resumes to: 212-226-1786
Coordinator/Production Coordinator with Attn: Kim Mouzouras or mail resumes
5+ years experience to join our L.A. to: Timeless Treasures Fabrics, Inc.,
team for its Young Contemporary divi- 485 Broadway, NY, NY 10013.
sion, J&Company.
Major West Coast Denim Co. seeks innovative DESIGNER for JUNIOR JEANS
LINE. Candidate needs to contribute to
the development of seasonal lines, concepts, and consumer relevant product
opportunities. Support the development,
evolution, and communication of a brand
look. Domestic & overseas travel. Must
be able to work in a fast-paced & fun
environment. Please E-mail resumes to:
[email protected]
Lots of opportunities for upbeat, detailed candidates with excellent followthru skills. 1+ years’ exp. $30-40K+.
Call Laurie: 212-947-3399 or
Email: [email protected]
Est’d. Ladies Private Label Importer
seeks an exp’d. Design Assistant
to support the Head Designer in all
daily design activities. Ideal candidate will have strong organizational
and communication skills as well
as full command of Photoshop &
Illustrator. We are a flexible and
highly entrepreneurial Hong Kong
based Co. with strong financial
and operational capability. We are
offering an outstanding opportunity
for the dynamic self starter who
can help us unlock the value in
our infrastructure. Email resume in
strict confidence to:
Madison Avenue Designer Boutique
seeks sales associate with a minimum
of 3 years experience. Must be highly
motivated and professional. Part time.
Please fax resume to: 212-249-1427
Production/Studio Mgr.
Hip designer men’s/women’s sportswear co. seeks individual to oversee
in-house & NYC prod’n. Must know
MAC/Photoshop & Excel. Tech garment
knowledge a +. Soho location.
Email: [email protected]
Director of Sales
Established textile design studio seeks
exp. sales rep to sell advanced CAD
services to apparel & home markets.
Call 212-244-1426
A well known brand distributor is looking
for a seasoned sales executive with customer relationship in the bridge and
designer ready-to-wear market. Must
have minimum 5 years experience,
strong organizational skills and be
computer savvy. If you meet these
qualifications, please fax your resume to:
(212) 391-9559
Showroom Sales
Mfr./Importer of Branded Jr. Knit Tops
& Sleepwear seeks exp’d. Sales Pro for
its NY Showroom. Must be energetic,
willing to travel, and have existing contacts in Chain, Specialty & Major Dept.
Stores. Minimum 2 years showroom sales
exp. req’d. Fax or E-mail resumes to:
212-719-9328 / [email protected]
WWD, TUESDAY, JUNE 29, 2004 19
Luxe Leaders Bullish in Florence
Continued from page 2
customers in the high-end range of the
market appear to have been “holding
back” in 2003, and, as they feel “out of the
recession,” they’re spending freely. “The
accessories business has led the way, with
[Neiman Marcus recording] an outstanding handbags business for the past 14 to 18
months,” said Katz.
She said the shoe business is also
“amazing” and noted the stores have sold
more alligator shoes over the past year
than in the past three years combined.
“We are now selling many more jewelry
pieces costing above $100,000 and less
pieces costing around $50,000,” said Katz,
adding she was also surprised by a
“strong return” of the men’s wear business over the past 14 months.
Jack Mitchell, ceo of specialty stores
Mitchells of Westport and Richards of
Greenwich, Conn., said that, barring new
“terrorism attacks,” he believes the luxury goods business will continue to be
strong for another six to nine months and
that customers are feeling better about
the economy and “excited about the future.” Mitchell said he has had a 20 percent increase in customers visiting his
stores this year.
Debi Greenberg, ceo of specialty store
Louis Boston, said American customers
are “becoming used to terrorism and being
in a war, settling, and spending more for
Italian executives, notwithstanding
the difficulties connected to the dollareuro exchange rate, were also optimistic
about their business.
“Our core customer is back and ready
to spend, and we are registering a boost in
sales in the U.S. across the board, from
sportswear to accessories,” said Gildo
Zegna, chief executive officer of Ermenegildo Zegna Group.
Umberto Angeloni, Brioni’s ceo, said
the “new wealth is everywhere” and noted
how real-estate rates in Monte-Carlo have
unexpectedly grown by 50 percent over
the last three years. “Who would have
thought? Rates already seemed sky-high
enough,” said Angeloni, adding the drop in
Leonardo Ferragamo and Howard Socol; The scene at the Altagamma round table in Florence.
tourist flow last year forced companies to
pay more attention to their local customers, selling them “an experience, an
emotion rather than a product.”
The difficulties of the past 18 months
forced entrepreneurs, designers and retailers to “reevaluate how to run their business and reorganize it” and worked as an
“energy charger” according to Ron Frasch
“In the short term, the luxury sector
couldn’t be better, with a good balance in
sales between women’s, luxur y, and
young sectors, overall I’d rather be at
Barneys than at Wal-Mart,” said Socol.
In general, Italian designers and manufacturers have limited their profitability by
reducing their margins, while maintaining
the same prices, despite the strong euro.
We are registering a boost in sales in the U.S.
the board, from sportswear to accessories.
— Gildo Zegna, Ermenegildo Zegna Group
of Saks Fifth Avenue on the sidelines of the
Indeed, last year was widely described
as a “wake-up call” for the industry, which
had to look for new creative energy.
Howard Socol, chairman, president and
ceo of Barneys New York, said “in 2004,
the dominant factors are creativity and
product development, rather than price”
and that the industry is looking at different ways to boost business.
Leonardo Ferragamo, chairman of
Altagamma, said 2003 was “one of the
worst” for the sector, but that Italy’s ability
to react and look for new business models
set the Italians apart and have made them
more competitive. “The market is increasingly demanding more special products,”
he said.
“The luxury goods business in the U.S.
is on fire, simply amazing,” said Michael
Burke, ceo of Fendi, after the meeting.
“Italy is a manufacturing and design
country, so the issues are different here.”
Vittorio Missoni, sales and marketing
manager at the family-owned company,
said the firm can’t make cheaper items because the dollar is weak and thus hikes
prices by at least 20 percent. “What can we
do? We make something special and keep
our customers loyal, they pay more but
they get something special,” said Missoni.
Katz concurred. “American customers
shop everywhere — that’s why we give
them that extra special cashmere,” she
Others present were in fact pleased
with business in the U.S. Enrico Mambelli,
ceo of Gianfranco Ferré, said sales in the
U.S. are growing by 20 percent each season, and Gianfranco Pené, chief of Gibò,
said resort sales in the U.S. grew 75 percent this season. In addition to its own
Gibò line, Gibò produces and distributes
ready-to-wear collections for Viktor & Rolf,
Hussein Chalayan, Antonio Berardi, Marc
Jacobs, Michael Kors and Paul Smith,
among others. Gibò also makes the new
men’s line for John Galliano, launched for
spring 2004.
Tory By TRB is currently seeking Sales
Professionals for Full-Time positions
with its Flagship Store in Nolita. Ideal
candidates will have a minimum 3 years
of fashion retail experience, a strong
clientele base, and will be customer
service driven.
The industry leader in headwear is
seeking experienced sales representa- Tory By TRB offers a competitive salary,
tives with strong relationships with graduated commission structure, and
specialty and better department a full benefits package. For considerastores. We are launching our new bag tion, please Fax or E-mail resume to:
and eyewear extensions. We have terri- (212) 334-3038 / [email protected]
tory opportunities available in multi- For more information about Tory By TRB,
a luxury women’s apparel & accessories
ple states throughout the USA.
collection, please visit our website at:
For consideration pls email your
resume to [email protected]
S U S A N B R I S T O L, Inc.
Manufacturer of Better Women’s Sportswear
Hot young contemporary/young men’s
denim line seeking Sales Executives
for all regions. Qualifications: 3-5 yrs.
whole sale experience, contacts with
dept. & specialty stores, denim industry
experience.Please e-mail resume to:
[email protected]
New England Territory & Mid-Atlantic Territory
Susan Bristol is a women’s sportswear manufacturer that
was established in 1970. We have strong brand name
recognition and a loyal customer following. We have
evolved from designing what has been categorized as a
traditional sportswear line to designing a line of clothing
that has a more modern, contemporary feel. We continually
strive to remain true to our spirit of passion, innovation and
superior quality.
For consideration, it is imperative that you have demonstrated
successful sales experience specific to our business.
We offer a competitive commission structure and believe in
creating a commitment to a long-term partnership. These
positions are available immediately.
Interested candidates should send their resume to:
[email protected]
Fax: 617-241-3958 or Phone 617-241-5300 ext: 1166
We will also be available at our new booth at the NEAC show.
All territories. Contemporary Missy
Spring/Summer/Resort line. Moderate.
Resort/Hotel/Cruise a major plus.
Fax resume to: 305-500-9394
September 2004:
JANE’s Seventh Anniversary Issue is the Ultimate Makeunder.
The Seven Year Itch.
A new girlfriend…without the cheating.
On-sale: August 24. Contact Eva Dillon, VP, Publisher at 212.630.3960.