Women’s Wear Daily • The Retailers’ Daily Newspaper • September 30, 2008 • $2.00
Happy Talk
John Galliano’s spring collection for Christian Dior
was inspired by Tribal Chic, but he underplayed the
theme, making it, as he said, “never, never literal.”
Key elements included a great lineup of fun, flippy
dresses and skirts in cheerfully vibrant colors, like
those shown here. For more on Dior, see page 6;
for more on Paris, pages 7 to 9.
A Dire Day for Retail:
Stocks in Record Fall
As Bailout Collapses
By Evan Clark
Things went from bad to worse for retailing
and the financial world Monday.
In Washington, House lawmakers voted
down a $700 billion Wall Street bailout package
by a 228-205 margin, prompting investors to
wonder when — and how — the credit freeze
would thaw, and pushing retail stocks to record
declines as already-skyrocketing fears over
consumer confidence and holiday spending
entered the stratosphere.
The Standard & Poor’s Retail Index
plummeted 6.7 percent, or 25.25 points, to
350.42 — the largest percentage drop in the
index since it was recalibrated in mid-2002.
Both the second and third largest drops,
See Stocks, Page 5
You feel it in your heart. You see the tag. When a design sparks wonder,
it is made with CRYSTALLIZED™ – Swarovski Elements.
Claiborne Shaking Up Mexx Exec Team
By Whitney Beckett
is getting new guardians to whip the retailer
into shape.
To turn around Mexx’s troubled European
business, Claiborne is shaking up the $1 billion retailer’s European management team by
launching a search for a new chief executive officer and tapping a new creative vice president.
The $4 billion Claiborne is searching for a ceo
for Mexx — preferably a European, the firm said
— which it hopes to find by early next year. In the
meantime, Tom Fitzgerald will serve as interim
ceo, in addition to his current role as senior vice
president of direct brands services at Claiborne.
Fitzgerald joined Claiborne a year ago from
Burlington Coat Factory, where he was executive
vice president and chief financial officer.
Former Mexx ceo Jeff Fardell is moving to senior
vice president and managing director of market development for Claiborne, where he will focus on
market development, including emerging markets.
On the product end, John Moore will join
the firm as consulting vice president for creative. Moore hails from Mossimo Inc., where
he was vice president and creative director of
the Modern Amusement brand. Prior to joining
Mossimo, Moore was senior director of global
concept at Abercrombie & Fitch, where he creat-
ed Hollister. Moore will start to influence Mexx’s
product for fall 2009 and fully put a stamp of
“fun” and “passion” on the brand by spring 2010,
according to Claiborne ceo William L. McComb.
Moore replaces Red Godfrey, Mexx vice president of product and marketing since January
2007, who is leaving the company. Godfrey had
been at Nike Inc. before Mexx.
Moore reports to Fitzgerald, who reports to
The new team’s to-do list includes improving product, strengthening retail operations and
making the retail and wholesale presentations
more consistent.
“There was a long list of things to do — this is
not a new list, we just need to get there faster,”
said McComb. “I’ve been dropping bread crumbs
that more changes are coming.”
Claiborne already has revealed that it is considering changing the Amsterdam-based firm’s
sourcing, after Mexx’s longer-than-expected
European turnaround played a large role in
Claiborne’s $23.2 million second-quarter loss.
Those plans, which sources said could end with
a deal with Li & Fung, should be completed in
the next month. Sources also have speculated
that Claiborne might sell the retailer.
These changes do not affect Mexx Canada, a
separate operating division of Claiborne that is
performing much better.
Fashion Week continued with spring collec6 Paris
tions from Maison Martin Margiela, Christian Dior
and others.
stocks posted record declines after the
1 Retail
House voted down a $700 billion Wall Street
bailout package.
to a majority investment by PPR-owned
3 Thanks
Puma AG, Hussein Chalayan hopes to broaden his
business to a wider range of customers.
4 EYE: Getting up to speed with the fresh-faced
starlets of two new TV series, Fox’s “Fringe” and
the CW’s “Privileged.”
president and ceo Isabelle Guichot is
11 Balenciaga
steering the rapid growth of the firm as it shifts to
a more retail-driven business model.
Designers shopping Première Vision
played it safe with orders as they dealt with the
financial crisis and a transit strike.
RTW: Madison Avenue retailers are bracing for
16 highly
uncertain times and are struggling to woo
shoppers this fall selling season.
Maison Martin Margiela
to sell its CCS brand to Foot Locker Inc. for $102
million in cash.
CCS is a direct-to-consumer retailer that sells
skateboards and related apparel, footwear and
accessories through catalogues and the Internet.
Annual revenues are expected to exceed $80
million, said Foot Locker on Monday.
“The impending purchase of CCS is in line with
one of our strategic priorities — pursuing the acquisition of athletic footwear and apparel retailers
that are compatible with our existing portfolio of
businesses,” stated Matthew Serra, chairman and
chief executive officer of Foot Locker Inc.
The acquisition should afford Foot Locker
synergies with its existing Footlocker.com/
Eastbay operation.
The deal is expected to close within the next
60 days, and is subject to certain closing adjustments and review under the Hart-Scott-Rodino
Antitrust Improvements Act.
“This was an opportunity for Delia’s to strengthen their balance sheet,” said Gilbert Harrison,
chairman of Financo Inc., which advised the teen
retailer. “In this crazy period of time, it is more
important to allow them to focus on the growth of
their core Delia’s and Alloy brands.
“The customer is one that Foot Locker has always targeted and totally fits in with Foot Locker’s
and Matt Serra’s ideal of focusing on growing
areas of the footwear marketplace,” he added.
In connection with the sale, Delia’s entered
into separate agreements with Alloy Inc. to acquire from Alloy certain intellectual property
assets used specifically in the CCS business
that will be transferred to Foot Locker at closing. Alloy previously owned the Delia’s, Alloy,
and CCS brands until the spin-off of Delia’s in
December 2005.
Robert Bernard, ceo of Delia’s, said the
company will “continue to prudently manage
our business and carefully allocate our capital
so that we may best position our company for
long-term, sustainable growth.… In the coming
months, we plan to fine-tune our long-term business strategy and expansion plans as we evaluate the level of our progress in our Delia’s brand
initiatives, the strength of and outlook for overall consumer demand, and the real estate opportunities available to us in this market.”
NexCen Sells Waverly Brands to Iconix
With the agreement to sell its Waverly Brands
home furnishings operation to Iconix Brand
Group Inc. for $26 million in cash, plus the assumption of future liabilities, cash-strapped
NexCen Brands Inc. is left to find a buyer for its
Bill Blass business to complete the planned divestiture of the non-franchise businesses.
The Waverly deal is expected to close within
30 days. NexCen said it will use the proceeds to
pay off the $21.3 million in outstanding debt of
Waverly and the balance, after deducting transaction costs, to pay down debt associated with
NexCen’s Bill Blass business.
For Iconix, Waverly presents synergies with
its Pillowtex operation, which the licensing and
brand management firm bought in 2007 for $231
million in cash and up to $15 million in contingency payments. Iconix is projecting $7 million
in royalty payments from the Waverly business
over the next 12 months.
NexCen bought Waverly for $36.5 million in
May 2007.
Neil Cole, chairman, president and chief
executive officer of Iconix, told WWD his firm
will “continue to be opportunistic in this environment” as it searches for more iconic brands,
whether fashion or home, to add to its portfolio. The difficult economy could aid the search.
“There’ll be more opportunities as the environment gets tougher,” he said.
Waverly, Iconix’s fifth home brand, gives the
firm a foothold in new categories, such as paint.
Kenneth Hall, ceo of NexCen, said the
Waverly sale “is just another confirmation to our
lender that the company is continuing to execute
under our revised strategic business plan.”
As for the Blass brand, Hall said the company
has received interest from multiple parties, all
of whom are in the process of completing due
diligence on the business. He noted that, as with
Waverly, the buyer would presumably acquire Blass
without assuming any existing Blass debt. While no
specific time frame has been set, Hall said that the
“hope is to have this closed in the near term.”
As reported, at least one international bidder and the investment firm Angelo Gordon are
believed to be eyeing Blass. One banking source
familiar with the process said that not all who
have peeked at the Blass books are interested
in the couture line. According to an industry
source, however, other potential bidders, including Angelo Gordon, could be weighing a bid that
does include the couture operation.
WWD first reported that Waverly and Blass
would be put up for sale, and probably sold
in that order, in May after NexCen said it had
failed to disclose that $30 million of $70 million
borrowed to acquire Great American Cookies
needed to be paid down on Oct. 17. In August,
the company said Robert D’Loren had resigned
as ceo and that it had restructured its bank facility with BTMU Capital Corp.
— V.M.Y.
[email protected], USING THE INDIVIDUAL’S NAME.
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It’s a difficult business
environment across the
board, all the way from luxury to mass. I
don’t see any bright spots. This is the most
difficult environment I have ever seen.
— Neil Cole, chairman, chief executive officer and
president of Iconix Brand Group Inc. Page one.
• Vuitton’s New Bond...
• Featured images from the
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• Up-to-the-minute coverage of
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Fashion Scoops
• WWDTrend: One-shouldered dresses
• Daily stock prices
By Vicki M. Young
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Not the Only One...
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East Deal
Adam Lippes Shuffles Into Buffalo
Hussein Chalayan
By Julee Kaplan
The contemporary sportswear designer will open his first pop-up store
in his hometown of Buffalo on Oct. 10. Located at 5454 Main Street, the
4,000-square-foot space will house the entire Adam collection for women and
men. The store, which will close just after the New Year, will also be one of
the first places where shoppers can find the designer’s modern basics collection, consisting of tissue-thin jersey T-shirts, viscose and cashmere hooded
wrap tops, draped open-neck jersey dresses, viscose waffle-knit long-sleeve
crewneck tops and ponte knit leggings.
“I have always been fascinated by the idea of a pop-up store in an outer
market,” Lippes said. “I particularly love Buffalo, since it is where I grew up
and spent my formative years.”
The opening of this pop-up shop will bring Lippes’ overall sales expectations to $15 million by the end of the year. The Adam brand is available in over 250 stores in 10 countries including Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf
Goodman, Saks Fifth Avenue and Intermix in the U.S., as well as Joyce in
Hong Kong, Garderobe in Russia, Olive in Indonesia, shopbop.com, shopadam.com and his own freestanding flagship in Manhattan’s Meatpacking
District. The Adam collection retails from $40 for a T-shirt to about $1,000 for
a coat or highly detailed dress.
Hussein Chalayan Hits the Mainstream
By Samantha Conti
Blahnik Honored by Walk of Style
LONDON — It’s Hussein Chalayan’s Hollywood
By Marcy Medina
BEVERLY HILLS — Manolo Blahnik got star treatment here.
Hundreds of fans gathered on the cobblestoned Via Rodeo, off Rodeo
Drive, on Thursday night when the shoe designer was honored as the 12th
recipient of Beverly Hills’ Walk of Style Award.
“This is a city of dreams, and it’s wonderful to see that luxury still exists
here,” said Blahnik, who stressed that he owes a great deal to legendary
Hollywood costume designers such as Gilbert Adrian, Walter Plunkett and
Travis Banton. “It’s those boys, not me, who should be receiving such an
award. If not for them, who would have created the looks for Bette Davis and
Joan Crawford that inspire us all?”
Via Rodeo was decked out to resemble Marie Antoinette’s boudoir —
Blahnik designed the shoes for the Sofia Coppola film — with tufted sofas and
pastel macaroons. Blahnik ascended to the balcony of the Versace boutique to
accept his plaque, which will have a permanent spot on Rodeo Drive.
Blahnik, who described himself as “terKathy
rified of crowds” was introduced by China
and Nicky
Chow, daughter of his late friend Tina
Chow, and actress Lucy Liu.
“I love how much he loves women and
the elegance and sophistication he brings
to everything he does,” Liu said.
Hilary Duff, Nicky Hilton and actress
Jennifer Coolidge were among those who
attended the ceremony and cocktail party.
“The first pair of high heels I ever
bought were Manolos,” said Duff, recalling
the mustard yellow pumps she bought at
age 14. “I remember they were so expensive
and they made me feel so grown-up. ”
Referring to the current economic turmoil,
Blahnik said: “These times are uncertain. I
never got into this business to make money,
but I hope that women will still want to invest
in beautiful shoes, even if they buy less.”
Lucy Liu,
Blahnik and
January Jones.
Hilary Duff
The designer, whose love of experimentation — from dresses that double as chairs
to long knits with built-in walking sticks —
means he’s often dismissed as niche, is aiming for a bigger profile. Thanks to a majority
investment earlier this year by sportswear
brand Puma AG, which is in turn controlled
by the luxury conglomerate PPR, Chalayan
hopes to broaden his business and appeal to
a wider range of customers. In addition, as
Puma’s new creative director, he’s been giving the brand’s lifestyle collections a shot of
fashion sensibility.
“There has always been this misconception of my brand as avant-garde, but I have
always made wearable clothes,” said the
38-year-old Chalayan, a native of Nicosia,
Cyprus. “I feel like a specialist actor, appreciated by the theater, who can now work
in Hollywood. And why shouldn’t a design
house like mine be more accessible?”
Chalayan and his recently named chief
executive Giorgio Belloli, formerly of Prada
Group, said the initial strategy is to increase
wholesale distribution, develop accessories
and explore collaborations, co-branding and
licenses. The two are working on relaunching
the firm’s Web site and restart the men’s wear
business, which last sold two years ago.
Eventually, the two plan to begin opening
stand-alone stores. The first concept corner — and a harbinger of what those stores
might look like — is located at London’s
Dover Street Market. Chalayan’s space has a
spare, organic feel with clothing suspended
from ropes slung between what appear to
be tree trunks. Belloli said the company expects to break even in five years time.
“We’re starting from zero, re-approaching
the market and building new relationships
with wholesalers. Our first aim is to create a
visible and credible main line,” said Belloli,
who joined the company in May.
Belloli said the distribution strategy in
the past had not been clear, and the brand
never really forged relationships with the
big American department stores, such as
Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue and
Bergdorf Goodman.
Until the Puma deal, Chalayan’s diffusion
collection was produced by Italian manufacturer Gibò Co. SpA, which also makes lines
for designers including Paul Smith, Michael
Kors and John Galliano.
“There is so much potential in the U.S.
market — it’s the one we’re looking at closely right now,” said Belloli, who worked in
the U.S. for the Prada and Helmut Lang labels. Chalayan’s collection currently sells at
stores including Barneys New York and at
Blake and Ikram in Chicago.
Earlier this year, the label unveiled its
first pre-collection — for spring — which
will hit shop floors later this year, and a
footwear line. An accessories collection is
in the pipeline and will bow for spring 2010.
Chalayan said both the footwear and accessories collections would benefit from the research he does for his ready-to-wear.
“I want to create a new point of view with
these collections, employing technology that
wouldn’t normally be used to make shoes or
bags,” he said. “Over the past 14 years, I’ve
looked at everything from aircraft design to
conductive fibers. I want to see where we
can take all that research. But no, you won’t
be able to put on my shoes and fly — I do
live in the real world.”
Chalayan said he’s excited, too, about his
access to the PPR and Gucci Group infrastructure. “It was the real reason I did the deal
with Puma — to tap into the know-how, logistics, operations and manufacturing of Gucci,”
he said, adding he was relying on Gucci’s customer service and delivery operations.
Chalayan’s collection will be made at the
Gucci factories in Novara, Italy, which also
produce for the other brands in the stable.
Logistics and distribution will be overseen by
the Gucci Group plant in Ticino, Switzerland.
The other half of Chalayan’s working life
is spent on the Puma sports lifestyle collections; his Puma team is even based at his
East London studio. Chalayan is not working
on one particular collection, but rather ad-
Hussein Chalayan looks.
vising Puma generally on its various lines.
“It’s more about adding a design content
to what they’re already doing — making it a
bit more fashion-conscious in clothing and
other areas,” he said. “Until now, they’ve
been very trainer-focused.” The initial impact of his work, Chalayan said, won’t be
seen until early 2010.
“Working there has opened up a whole
other world to me, with regard to technology, ergonomics and Puma’s approach to
urban living.”
Chalayan said that after years of struggle in order to keep his company afloat —
thanks to consultancies in the past with Tse
Cashmere and Asprey, as well as the Gibò
manufacturing deal — and coming back
from voluntary liquidation in 2001, he’s relieved to have a new partner and his first
ceo. “Giorgio has taken the pressure off me,
he is heaven sent,” said Chalayan.
But in many ways, the pressure has just
been turned up a notch. “I think it’s a big
challenge to develop your own identity. It’s
your name and you’re on your own. There is
no history behind you, no bigger label that
you are working for,” he said.
“Before, I had no life. Now, I have no life.
I’ve always been very busy,” he said. “But
the more pressure, the more exciting things
are — and that’s a big motivator.”
NAME: Anna Torv
AGE: 30
CATCH HER IN: “Fringe,” the latest
installment from “Lost” creator J.J.
Abrams. Torv appears alongside
Joshua Jackson as Olivia Dunham, an
FBI agent investigating the mysterious
dealings of a global research
corporation, called Massive Dynamic.
PROVENANCE: Melbourne, Australia
EDUCATION: Australia’s prestigious
National Institute of Dramatic Arts.
PREVIOUS CREDITS: Steven Spielberg’s
World War II HBO miniseries “The
Pacific,” BBC prime-time drama
“Mistresses” and a string of roles
Down Under in what Torv calls “one
hour-dramas about people who live in
apartment buildings.”
FAME GAME: Until 1998, Rupert
Murdoch was married to Torv’s
estranged aunt, also named
Anna Torv, with whom he had
three children, Elisabeth, James
and Lachlan.
“FRINGE” BENEFITS: “Sometimes it’s
creepy,” says Torv of the sci-fi show’s
special effects-filled sets. “You walk in
and go, ‘Oh God, that poor person is
lying in goo and has that pole sticking
out of his head.’”
STYLE FILE: “In Australia, you can get
away with murder. You can wear a
towel to the grocery store,” says the
actress, who relocated to New York in
July to film “Fringe.” Torv has adjusted
to her new surroundings by stocking up
on “clean and simple” separates from
labels such as The Row.
NAME: JoAnna Garcia
AGE: 29
CATCH HER IN: The CW’s “Privileged,” Palm
Beach’s answer to “Gossip Girl.” Garcia plays
Megan Smith, an aspiring journalist who settles
for a job as a live-in tutor to a pair of
spoiled teens. (Debi Mazar and Anne
Archer also appear.)
EDUCATION: A year at Florida
State University, where she was a
psychology major.
Nineties Nickelodeon horror show
“Are You Afraid of the Dark?” and
back-to-back star turns as a bubbleheaded cheerleader: first on the Judd
Apatow series “Freaks and Geeks”
and, most recently, as Reba McEntire’s
daughter on the country singer’s
sitcom “Reba.” “I actually never did
cheerleading in high school,” says the
former homecoming queen. “I guess I
seem like I’d be good at it.”
FAME GAME: Garcia is engaged to
William Rast co-founder and Justin
Timberlake sidekick Trace Ayala, though
the actress’ current small-screen gig has
forced her to put wedding plans on hold.
“I can’t even remember my own name
right now,” she says.
STYLE FILE: Don’t look for a Garciadesigned pair of William Rast jeans
anytime soon. “If anything, they help
me [get dressed],” says the starlet of
Timberlake and Ayala, whose denim she
likes to pair with labels such as Chloé.
ANIMAL HOUSE: Garcia owns 11 pets,
including a miniature horse.
But Tina Turner also has a 30-plus-year relationship with the bedazzler to
the stars. “No one does stage dressing the way Bob does. No one,” says
Turner, who enlisted Mackie to whip up looks for her 2008 world tour,
which opens in Kansas City on Wednesday.
“The first time I saw her,” recalls Mackie of meeting Turner in
the mid-Seventies, “she had on a beautiful man-tailored silk blouse,
gabardine pants and alligator loafers. So opposite to anything that we
thought of as Tina Turner at the time.” Nor did it really scream Bob
Mackie. Thankfully, designer and singer saw eye to eye — or perhaps
sequin to sequin — when Mackie was enlisted to outfit the star for her
appearances on “The Sonny and Cher Show.”
Tina Turner
wears Bob
Mackie for a
show in Las
Vegas, 1977.
Now, more than three decades later, Turner, 68, says she’s
“leaning a bit more towards a rock-influenced look.” To that end,
Mackie has been looking back at the thigh-grazing dresses, beaded
tops and shiny stretch pants he created for Turner’s solo club act in
the late Seventies. His new designs include the requisite “Proud
Mary” minidresses, as well as a postapocalyptic look inspired by
Turner’s role in 1985’s “Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome” and a vixen
getup à la “GoldenEye,” the 1995 James Bond film for which she
wrote the theme song. And, though he’s working in a mostly neutral
palette (“Because there’s so much there, you wouldn’t want to [use a
lot of color],” he notes), Mackie’s going full throttle with the details,
including plenty of lacing, fringe, studs and jewels.
“The only restriction I’ve given him is that I must be able to move
easily,” Turner says. “If I have to concern myself with a dress sleeve
or a sequin or things coming out that shouldn’t — that’s a problem.”
“No one does stage dressing the
way Bob does. No one.”
— Tina Turner
Factor in the wear and tear each piece endures in a single
show — let alone a seven-month tour — and Mackie’s challenge
becomes clear. “They may look like something that she could wear to a
party,” the designer says of the eight looks he’s creating, “but these are
work clothes. You have to make them like iron, but look like they’re made
out of butterfly wings.”
Despite having just wrapped work on Cher’s Caesars Palace
extravaganza, Mackie, 68, had no reservations about taking on another
high-profile project. In fact, the designer says he couldn’t wait to
reunite with the ever-energetic Turner, who credits her physique to
a daily swimming and hiking regimen and “at least eight hours of
sleep” each night.
But as far as Mackie is concerned, there’s just something about
Tina. “When I walked into her beautiful home in Zurich,” says the
designer, remembering his recent trip to the singer’s Switzerland
estate, “she had on a pair of Indonesian pants and a sarong tied
around a strapless top — and there she was out in this huge,
beautiful yard of grass and trees, and she’s telling the gardener
what to do and where to do it and she’s running up and down
the hills. She has such enthusiasm about life.”
— Nick Axelrod
A Mackie look
for Turner’s
upcoming tour.
T.V. Guide
The fashion flock typically gets a late start when it comes to fall television, what
with spring collections and the onslaught of autumn galas. But those who want to
spend tonight on the couch need not be daunted. Here, WWD helps viewers get
up to speed with the fresh-faced starlets of two new Tuesday night series, Fox’s
“Fringe” and the CW’s “Privileged.” — Amanda FitzSimons
Stocks Plummet on Bailout Blowoff
could spur some deal-making in fashion.
Continued from page one
6.4 and 5.9 percent, respectively, were “Values are just going to be coming back
registered earlier this month as inves- a little bit down to earth,” Aronsson said.
tors rode roller-coaster markets driven “This is a good time for equity deals.”
But as strategic acquirers prowl for
by bank failures, government takeovers
deals, shoppers, even at the higher end
and a severe lack of credit.
The 777.68 point drop in the Dow of the business, are seen tightening up.
“It definitely will impact the spending
Jones Industrial Average, to 10,365.45,
was the single biggest point decline on re- habits of an aspirational consumer, and
cord, nearly 100 points worse than when by that I mean someone who will buy at
the markets opened on Sept. 17, 2001, fol- an opening price point of a luxury brand
lowing the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The 7 to be in it,” said Aronsson, who before his
percent decline in the Dow was the 17th deal-making days was ceo of both Donna
Karan International and Marc Jacobs.
worst on record in percentage terms.
“Prior to the latest crisis, the cheap
The continuation of the crisis will only
add to the anxiety of shoppers, who are dollar has been helpful to maintain if not
increase sales of many of the
already battling a host of
brands, at least on the two
economic woes.
coasts,” Aronsson said. “As
“It will make it more
the banking and credit crisis
difficult for the consumer
spreads around the world,
to have any confidence in
continued performance will
the government because
be dependant on something
of the lack of leadership,”
more than a cheap dollar.”
retail consultant Walter
The ceo of one major
Loeb said.
importer, who spoke on the
And the news, even
condition of anonymity, said
with the defeat of the bank
retailers were cutting back
bailout, just keeps getting
on purchases, with some
worse as consolidation
chains carrying a large inroils on in the banking
ventory overhang.
sector. On Monday, it was
All this also spells trouble
the government-backed
for suppliers, who are alsale of Wachovia Corp.
ready dealing with rising raw
to Citigroup which folmaterial and labor costs.
lowed last week’s collapse
The ceo said a profit
of Washington Mutual,
margin squeeze would come
marking the largest bank
from “cost inflation that
failure ever. This month
could not be passed through
the government has also
as price increases, which
taken over mortgage giants
means either improve proFreddie Mac and Fannie
ductivity or perish.”
Mae, as well as insurance
The painful trading day left a number
giant American International Group.
Investment house Lehman Brothers was of retail stocks with double-digit losses,
among them Eddie Bauer Holdings Inc.,
allowed to fail.
Still, the fallout could ultimately pro- down 17.2 percent to $5.30; Casual Male
Retail Group Inc., down 14.9 percent to
vide some opportunity for investors.
“You have to let the fury of the current $3.60; Dillard’s Inc., down 12.8 percent to
day go past and in the next few days, peo- $11.20; Macy’s Inc., down 10.9 percent to
ple will realize neither industrial nor any $17.28; Rite Aid Corp., down 11 percent
commercial companies have really failed to 81 cents; American Eagle Outfitters
as a result of this,” Loeb said. “There is Inc., down 10.4 percent to $14.25, and The
still a lot of potential in these industries. Children’s Place Retail Stores Inc., down
The market will go up and recover some 10 percent to $33.04.
Falling just shy of the 10-percent deof the lost ground.”
But the commotion in Washington is ul- cline mark were Coldwater Creek Inc.,
timately expected to weigh on the consum- down 9.9 percent to $5.45; American
er, who already has been laid low by high Apparel Inc., down 9.3 percent to $7.80;
Saks Inc., down 8.6 percent to $8.48;
fuel costs and a worsening job outlook.
In August, personal income rose $61.5 Retail Ventures Inc., also down 8.6 perbillion, or 0.5 percent, as disposable per- cent to $3.81; Stein Mart Inc., down 8.5
sonal income fell $93.3 billion, or 0.9 per- percent to $3.64, and Abercrombie &
cent, according to a monthly Commerce Fitch Co., down 8 percent to $35.74.
Target Corp. was also down 8 percent,
Department report issued Monday. Personal
consumption expenditures increased $3.9 finishing at $47.35, while rival Wal-Mart
Stores Inc. dropped 3.7 percent to $58.45.
billion, or less than 0.1 percent.
Emerging from the storm with gains for
The Conference Board is set to release its latest reading on consumer con- the day were Delia’s Inc., which jumped
17.2 percent to $2.93 after agreeing to sell
fidence today.
“It’s a difficult business environment its CCS skateboard unit to Foot Locker
across the board, all the way from luxury Inc., and Gottschalks Inc., up 8.6 percent
to mass,” Neil Cole, chairman, chief ex- to $1.52 as investors continued to give the
ecutive officer and president of Iconix thumbs-up to its $30 million cash infusion
Brand Group Inc., said. “I don’t see any from Everbright Development. Another
bright spots. This is the most difficult en- regional department store, The Bon-Ton
Stores Inc., was up 7.3 percent to $3.17.
vironment I have ever seen.”
In Tokyo, where markets open first and
Despite holding out hope the presidential election will help boost confidence for investors often set the tone for traders
the holidays, Cole’s outlook for consumer in Europe and then the U.S., the Nikkei
225 fell 1.3 percent, or 149.55 points, to
spending is decidedly less than optimistic.
“I don’t think there’s a chance until 11,743.61. Stocks on the downtrend inthe second half of next year for a pickup cluded Link Theory Holdings Co. Ltd. (5.3
as retailers are now planning their inven- percent), apparel maker and marketer
tory conservatively,” he said. “I think it Onward Holdings Co. Ltd. (2.2 percent) and
Mitsubishi Rayon Co. Ltd. (4.8 percent).
will be a difficult spring.”
By the time the London Stock Exchange
Business forecasting, always an inexact
science at best, has been made all the hard- closed, the outlook had worsened and
er by the persistent credit problems and the FTSE 100 fell 5.3 percent, or 269.70
points, to 4,818.77. Among the decliners
the sometimes inelegant rush to fix them.
“The fires are still raging and the were Burberry Group plc, down 7 percent
smoke is yet to clear to really know what to 378.25 pence, and Marks and Spencer
the damage is,” said Jeffry Aronsson, who Group plc, off 5.8 percent, to 208.25 pence.
With the presidential and congrescofounded Aronsson Group.
The depressed markets have the poten- sional elections just five weeks away
tial to both give and take. For instance, they and mounting opposition from their con-
stituents back home, rank-and-file members from both major political parties
defied House leaders and defeated the
bill. Republican lawmakers criticized
the package for putting taxpayers at unnecessary risk and violating free-market
principles, and 133 Republicans joined
95 Democrats to defeat the measure.
House leaders huddled behind closed
doors after the measure failed and it remained unclear whether they would try
to proceed with a new bill. The vote effectively killed the bill and leaders would
have to go back to the drawing board, craft
another bill and hold a new vote in order
to advance a package. The House is set to
reconvene on Thursday following the Rosh
Hashanah holiday rather than adjourning
for the year as was originally planned.
Praising the 60 percent of Democrats in
her caucus who voted for the bill, House
Speaker Nancy Pelosi said: “This is the
President’s proposal, acted upon in a bipartisan way, improved upon in a bipartisan manner. The legislation has failed. The
crisis has not gone away. We must work in a
bipartisan way in order to have another bite
at the apple in terms of some legislation.”
Pelosi told reporters she had spoken
with Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson Jr.
after the vote and that the “lines of communication remain open” with the Bush
administration and Republicans. She did
not provide any details about whether
leaders would try to hold a new vote on a
repackaged bill in the near future.
“What happened today cannot stand,”
Pelosi added. “We must move forward
and I hope that the markets will take that
“Our tool kit is substantial but insufficient,” said Paulson. “Therefore, I will
continue to work with Congressional
leaders to find a way forward to pass a
comprehensive plan to stabilize our financial system and protect the American
people by limiting the prospects of further deterioration in our economy. We’ve
got much work to do. This is much too important to simply let fail.”
— With contributions from Vicki M. Young,
Kristi Ellis, Liza Casabona and Arnold J. Karr
Delia’s (DLIA)
Gottschalks (GOT)
Bon-Ton (BONT)
2.93 +17.20
115.00 106.99
Hermès * (RMS:PA)
Orchids Paper (TIS)
586813 114.00
Tandy Leather Factory (TLF)
Finish Line (FINL)
Syms (SYMS)
French Connection * (FCCN:L) 209.3
Weyco (WEYS)
Tandy Brands (TBAC)
3.80 -28.16
Jaclyn (JCLY)
4.75 -20.17
Developers Diversified (DDR) 31.8
General Growth (GGP)
Casual Male (CMRG)
3.60 -14.89
Dillard’s (DDS)
11.20 -12.77
IAC Interactive (IACI)
14.86 -12.59
Eddie Bauer (EBHI)
27.60 -17.37
5.30 -17.19
14.21 -16.66
NexCen (NEXC)
0.29 -10.94
Macy’s Inc. (M)
17.28 -10.93
* Editor’s note: European stocks are quoted in the currency of their principal exchanges. Shares on the
London Stock Exchange are quoted in pence, Richemont and The Swatch Group are quoted in Swiss francs
and Hennes & Mauritz is quoted in Swedish kronor. All other European stocks are in euros.
The Party Lines
Let’s celebrate. That seemed to be the message
of two disparate collections: Christian Dior, where
John Galliano went for fun, look-at-me clothes, and
Maison Martin Margiela, as the designer marked
20 years in business with plenty of witty ideas.
Christian Dior: “Tribal Chic,” proclaimed the program
notes for John Galliano’s spring show for Christian
Dior. Once upon a time, that might have meant an overthe-top costume affair, the kind to delight Galliano’s
countless devotees who reveled in such glorious
mayhem and infuriate those who didn’t. But not this
season. Instead, Galliano took a decidedly subdued
approach to the so-up-his-alley motif. “It’s a sideward
glance, an abstraction of Africa,” he said before his
show. “It’s never, never literal.”
Certainly not. In fact, the tribe whose chic he
seemed most interested in is that of the tony types used
to forking over ample wampum for fabulous flash-andfashion, but who these days may be feeling cautious,
and who could blame them? Now they need a reason
to buy, which means goodbye to fall’s tailored Mrs.
Robinson retro; they’ve got plenty. These gals want a
new spin on fun, beautiful look-at-me clothes, without
spinning out of control. Galliano’s solution: dresses, an
explosion of them, with lean, waist-cinching bodices
and short, flippy skirts. He showed them mostly in
happy brights or “fingerpainted” animal spots, with lots
of workable transparency. And they looked appealing,
whether reasonably unfettered, as in strapless and
halter prints, or embroidered, jeweled and studded
in articulated patterns that apparently accounted for
those tribal glances. (Inventive shoes with full-figured
goddess heels did so more directly.) Ditto the gowns,
which Galliano kept in the same feeling, only long.
Yet for all the prettiness, the collection had issues.
Most quizzically, it formed an unlikely intersection
between the safe and the impractical, with some
looks wafting toward contemporary. Lucky, then, that
Galliano set the record straight with a few ingeniously
constructed jackets in leather and python.
Christian Dior
Christian Dior
spring ’09
Christian Dior
Christian Dior
▲ Christian Dior
Maison Martin Margiela
THE WHITE STUFF: Renzo Rosso slipped into the Maison Martin Margiela
show Monday night and denied published reports that the Belgian designer
would be hanging up his duct tape, scissors and white paint. “It’s not true.
It’s a rumor the press wants to create. It’s been six years people have been
talking about this,” said the Italian industrialist, who acquired Margiela in
2002. “We’re working very well together. He inspires me so much.”
DIESEL’S DENIM FRENZY: Speaking of Renzo
Rosso, his Diesel brand will kick off its 30th
birthday celebration on the morning of Oct.
10 by offering die-hard denim aficionados a
limited edition pair of jeans for only $50. Diesel
is manufacturing only 20,000 of its “Dirty
Thirty” jeans, 8,000 of which will be available
in select Diesel stores in the U.S. for one
day only. The jeans will feature a back patch
with the “xXx” logo, the dates 1978-2008
embroidered on the side and customized
buttons reading “Diesel 1978.” Diesel also has
added to the entertainment lineup for the finale
of the brand’s 24-hour global birthday party the
following night at Brooklyn’s Pier 3. Chaka Khan
and Joel and Benji Madden will be performing,
along with N.E.R.D, M.I.A. and Hot Chip. More
performers are expected to be added.
will offer
a limited
pair of
PROTOTYPE: Why go beyond the
original design mock-up? That
was the philosophy behind Yohji
Yamamoto’s debut men’s and
women’s sunglasses line, Prototype,
made in association with Linda
Farrow. The collection, featuring
purist, work-in-progress-style
functional forms and industrial
details, was introduced in
the house’s show on Monday.
A rendering of the new Prototype
sunglasses line by Yohji Yamamoto in Sophisticated elements include
clip-on titanium and aluminum
association with Linda Farrow.
colored lenses — in hues such
as smoky brown, white and graduated blue and green — that provide
contrasting layers of color. Chrome-coated frames come in a range
of finishes such as white, black and brown. Prices have not yet been
released for the line, which will be distributed to select retailers and Yohji
Yamamoto, Y’s or Linda Farrow Gallery stores.
REVIVAL CHEZ REGINE: André, the Parisian after-dark baron, has acquired
the keys to one of the city’s most mythical clubs, Chez Régine, whose
dance floor once welcomed the likes of Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin,
Liza Minnelli and Jackie Kennedy Onassis. “We’ve still kept the disco,
funky Seventies vibe. It’s still very Madame Régine, but we plan to also
add a bit of rock ’n’ roll,” said André, adding that the venue, which
reopens this week, will host parties for the likes of Givenchy, Sebastien
Tellier and Colette. “It now has the best sound system in the city,” he said.
EYE EYE: Delfina Delettrez has applied her unique gems to a new line of
sunglasses, made in collaboration with luxury French eyewear brand
Alain Mikli. The collection will be unveiled today at Paris’ Grand Véfour
restaurant. “They’re kind of like sunglasses with earrings,” said Delettrez
of the four styles that feature silver ear chains and silver and enamel
jewelry charms from the designer’s signature skull and animal themes.
Maison Martin Margiela: He insists otherwise, but if the rumors turn out to be true and the 20th
anniversary collection that Martin Margiela showed on Monday night was his last, the invisible man
left his disciples with enough enigmatic nostalgia to keep them entertained for another 20 years.
Whether it was his final word or not, the show was a retrospective of sorts. Indeed, Margiela worked
one of his conceits — recycled material — here, all his own. He started at the very beginning — that
iconic white lab coat that doubles as house uniform — and led into the first jacket shown in spring
1989. Literally? Please. First, it appeared as a photograph on a silk dress; a plaster-mold version
followed. And the concepts just kept on coming.
True to Margiela form, this runway had little to wear — although those clothes do exist — but lots
of ideas, big and small. Proportion played out in shoulders, from sloping to linebacker, shoes too
big and too small, and silhouettes that either swallowed the body or shrunk into it. Also on the hit
parade: plastic bags, disco balls, catsuits, Barbie clothes, AIDS T-shirts and the house obsession with
anonymity — all of the models were faceless. Instead of exact replicas, Margiela rewrote his own
language, and the crowd ate it up with ample applause.
It all added to the party atmosphere, and, remember, fun was not always part of Margiela’s
repertoire. He has lightened up from the house’s serious intellectual beginnings, and, here, his
wicked wit was overt in the clothes and the way he showed them. He poked fun at his own more
commercial nature, wheeling some looks out on individually sized stages. One featured a model
framed by a jewel box, a spotlight shone directly on a necklace from the fall 2008 debut jewelry
collection, while another illuminated the mannequin’s sequined sandaled feet. By the time two killer
pairs of legs walked out under a giant silk birthday cake, it felt like, for once, we were in on the joke.
NEW HOMME: Lanvin has given its men’s boutique on the Rue du Faubourg
Saint-Honoré a makeover to reflect its more modern direction under the
guidance of Alber Elbaz and designer Lucas Ossendrijver. Shoppers now enter
the ground level to find Ossendrijver’s runway collection, merchandised in
a white space on metal racks.
Doing away with former dark
Views of the revamped Lanvin
wood paneling, the shop plays to
men’s boutique in Paris.
a contemporary gallery mood —
with a dose of Paris chic. On the
second floor, Ossendrijver’s more
sporty looks are on display, while
on the third floor is the company’s
traditional business suit department.
The ultimate experience is reserved
for the fourth level: a wood-paneled
made-to-measure salon.
RUSSIAN AROUND: Karl Lagerfeld,
who had planned to show his
next “métiers d’art” collection of
luxury ready-to-wear for Chanel in
Moscow in December, has opted
for Paris instead, as reported.
Turns out showing in Russia was
logistically too complicated, as
it would have required, for one,
The Théâtre le Ranelagh.
sending the collection three
weeks ahead. Nonetheless,
Lagerfeld plans to keep the theme
for the Paris-Moscow collection on Dec. 3. The venue is the Théâtre le
Ranelagh in Paris and “it has the look of an old Russian theater in a way,”
the designer said of the 189. He also plans to “show a little movie” to
open the show about the famous mademoiselle. Meanwhile, look out for
Lagerfeld to introduce a new handbag line on the runway at his signature
show on Wednesday — with his own famous face adorning some styles.
For more Scoops, see page 10
Transparency and Texture
Undercover: Remember that old Gypsy
Rose Lee song, “Let Me Entertain
You”? It’s becoming an increasingly
on-point chorus for fashion as
the business has become about
much more than the clothes. So
Undercover provocateur Jun
Takahashi ditched the usual
runway circuit and, taking a
fashion-and-art approach, opted
for a multimedia installation. Here,
he had a very specific story to tell: a
supernatural fantasy about llamalike
creatures named Graces and their human
guardians. Giant moody photographs by
Katsuhide Morimoto created the narrative
As for the collection itself, displayed on
mannequins at the center of the exhibition,
it was a rather quiet affair for Takahashi: a
tight, 21-look lineup of entirely off-white looks,
all romantic and feminine, with a soupçon
of tech. Case in point: the satin coat with a
plastic pocket and outlet on the sleeve for some
electronic device. To this, he added a furlike
fringe motif on tunic dresses and pants, as well
as casual blouses and cardigans spliced from
different textured cottons. On a runway, the
collection might have looked a bit lackluster,
but here, it was delightful. And, in keeping with
the fairy-tale theme, the mannequins sported a
whimsical accessory on their shoulders: fluffy
bejeweled Grace dolls, designed by Takahashi.
White looks laced with surface interest, fur coats inspired by confetti,
sheer lace pieces and others with see-through panels were all part of Paris lineups.
spring ’09
Revillon: Peter Dundas is hardly a one-season
wonder. After winter’s sumptuous ethnicinspired effort, he offered an unexpected
blend of soft romanticism and stark futurism
that added up to an ultraluxurious collection.
“Constructed optimism,” said Dundas of
the lineup of minks with diamond or floral
decorative patterns worn over dresses of
geometric silhouettes à la Courrèges. With a pale
palette of pinks and blues, there were plenty
of stunners, including a coat of cascading fur
circle appliqués that Dundas said was inspired
by confetti. Though the designer is on his way
to Emilio Pucci, he said he would continue at
Revillon, too. That’s good news for fur fans,
because the association is proving a great fit.
Isabel Marant: A little bit country, a little bit
rock ’n’ roll. That was the adorable spring
spin Isabel Marant put on her signatures —
slouchy pants, quilted minis, henleys and
boyish jackets — turned out in flannel plaids
and Laura Ashley-esque florals and worn with
suede ankle boots wrapped in chains. Marant
held steady with her staples, but lest things get
sleepy, she energized them with shots of cobalt
blue and red, topping it all off with a spoonful
of sugar in tiered ruffles and some lovely lace.
And it all marched to an Eighties beat — the
soundtrack and the styling. The downside: The
march was a little too long.
Isabel Marant
Sharon Wauchob: The idea of lightness was the
theme of Sharon Wauchob’s collection. To
create that effect, the Irish designer cut gauzy
lace and metallic silks into an array of airy
dresses. They came pleated in veiled layers
or folded in a variety of inventive ways. The
effect was often beautiful. Wauchob tempered
this ethereal fare with flowing trousers and
intricately draped, metallic jackets that show
the designer knows it’s important to offer a bit
of grounded fare, too.
Antonio Berardi: Antonio Berardi is an exacting
designer, and his spring collection stayed
firmly on course, though this season he curbed
his enthusiasm. A run of organdy dresses
— either long and lean or brief encounters
— came cleanly constructed, slightly A-line
in form, breaking into rounded sleeves
or sprouting small ruffles at their hems.
Lingerie-inspired bobbin lace insets, a nod to
the designer’s Sicilian roots, and scorching
shades, namely hot pink, red and turquoise,
turned up the heat, as did nods to the season’s
transparency themes.
more from the shows...
A.F. Vandevorst: Delightful variations
on the white shirt, lingerie-inspired
ensembles and granny fabrics in
Tropicana shades tumbled together
in An Vandevorst and Filip Arickx’s
playful spring collection, seen in
quilted cotton lace slips hitched up
with ribbons, floral satin bustiers and
wraparound cotton patchwork dresses
that added a sweet note.
Cacharel: Mark Eley and Wakako
Kishimoto’s first catwalk show for
Cacharel focused on retro, young-atheart summer frocks in seagull-print
cotton lace and the duo’s signature
kawaii prints, but the highlight was
a limited edition group of Libertyprint dresses based on Seventies
archive designs for the house’s 50th
Sharon Wauchob
Antonio Berardi
▲ Azzaro: Vanessa Seward
knows how to cut a very sexy
dress, a talent she displayed
expertly in her dramatic twotoned frocks decorated with
jewelry flourishes or with floral
cutout patterns.
Dice Kayek: Glitzier numbers
worked best — a curvaceous
jet-beaded take, say, or a
twisted metallic mini — at
Dice Kayek, but Ece Ege’s
strong-shouldered, bulbous
confections struggled to bloom.
Isabel Marant
Marion Cotillard and Seymour
Harvey Weinstein at Dior.
Emma Watson and
Zoe Saldana
PAINTED LADIES: “I love the madness,” shouted Eva Green as she whisked into the
Dior show Monday in a gray suit, looking every inch the schoolteacher she plays
in her latest movie, “Cracks.” “It’s quite a dangerous story, there’s a lot of taboos.
I play a swimming team teacher who seduces a student,” she said. She’s hoping
the film, directed by Jordan Scott and set in the Thirties, will make the final
selection for Cannes. Lily Allen, who sat painting her nails with silver varnish from
the gift set on her seat, said she’d arrived in Paris this weekend to record some
tracks with Gonzalez.
Oscar-winner Marion Cotillard of “La Vie en Rose” said she’ll be singing again
in “Nine,” a new musical comedy set in the Sixties starring Nicole Kidman and
Penélope Cruz that starts filming in October. Accompanying her was film mogul
Harvey Weinstein, who said he’s “in town to scout for a new Quentin
Tarantino movie.”
Nearby, President Bush’s daughter Barbara Bush noted she was in
town visiting family. Zoe Saldana, meanwhile, has just wrapped “Avatar”
alongside Sigourney Weaver, and the remake of “Star Trek” alongside
Winona Ryder. Saldana said her outfits, by costume designer Michael
Kaplan, were far from geeky. “I wore very short, short, short dresses. It
was petrifying,” she described.
U.S. pop singer Katy Perry is on a whirlwind tour to promote her first
single, and is gearing up to release her second. Emma Watson, aka Harry
Potter’s Hermione, could have used some magic to clear a throng of
photographers and screaming teens who surged ahead of her coming
out of the show. Hobbling toward Place de la Concorde afterward, a
monochrome Róisín Murphy, who had road-tested one of Gareth Pugh’s
articulated, armorlike frocks for the occasion, confessed she’d had a
difficult time sitting at the show. “It’s not very comfortable,” she said.
DEAR JOHN: Meanwhile, if John Galliano adores Dior, the feeling is entirely
mutual. According to a Paris source, the designer has just inked a
“long-term extension” of his design contract as couturier of the storied Paris
house. Last year, Galliano clocked a decade at the helm of Dior as the house
celebrated its 60th anniversary. What’s more, it is understood that Dior plans
to integrate the John Galliano business under its auspices, underlining the
continuity of a close partnership. With Galliano at the creative helm, the
brand has charted a global retail expansion, planting more than 220 stores
around the world, with sales advancing in the Middle East, China and Russia
despite an uncertain economic environment. Later this month, Dior will fete
its flagship in New Delhi as it also plots major events from Beijing to Moscow.
While it was shock treatment at Dior in his early years, Galliano recently has
steered the house in a more sophisticated and demure direction, with French
First Lady Carla Bruni Sarkozy sporting the new look at official functions in
England, Israel and the U.S.
Today will see the Paris presentation of Bruno Pieters’ second
collection for Hugo, the edgy diffusion line of Hugo Boss. A
graduate of Antwerp, Belgium’s Royal Academy of Fine Arts,
31-year-old Pieters worked as assistant to Martin Margiela and
Christian Lacroix before launching his signature ready-to-wear
line in 2002 at age 24. In April 2007, Pieters was appointed
art director of Hugo. Sales for the designer’s first collection
there, currently in stores, rose 18 percent.
WWD: What’s your aim with Hugo?
Bruno Pieters: The original idea for Hugo was to create an
avant-garde, fashion-forward brand within the Hugo Boss
Group. I’m trying to develop a look and codes for them that
are recognizable and are theirs by focusing on their strengths,
such as tailoring and cut. Hugo is known for suits and it’s an
element I love to play with in my designs.
WWD: What was your vision for the spring collection?
B.P.: I explored all that is interesting in Germany’s culture,
Cruz in
Oscar de
la Renta
at Dior.
TANGO IN PARIS: Inés Sastre and Mónica Cruz joined Valentino Garavani and Mango
president Isak Andic at the Spanish chain’s new 13,000-square-foot Boulevard
Haussmann store Sunday, followed by dinner at the Opera Garnier to launch the
2009 Mango Fashion Awards, judged by Valentino. Cruz, whose fourth Mango
collection with sister Penélope comes out in spring, is turning her hand to costume
design for her next movie “Jerry Cotton,” which is based on a German comic strip.
“They told me I could come with my ideas,” the actress said. “They don’t know
what they’ve done.” Sastre, meanwhile, has re-signed at Lancôme, for whom she’s
been a spokeswoman for 12 years, to front its Miracle fragrance.
While many guests teamed Mango dresses with designer jewelry, Julie Depardieu
donned a kooky men’s wear ensemble topped off with a bowler hat, acquired
hastily when she realized the “cocktail” dress code. “All the girls are
Valentino checking me out,” she said. Spanish actress Goya Toledo said she’s
at the looking forward to the premier of “Los Años desnudos” (“The Nude
Mango Years”) in which she plays an actress who destroys herself, while French
store. actress Linda Hardy is next playing a man-eater in “Marginal Tango”
alongside Zoé Félix.
Mango, which previewed its spring collection by Belgian designer
Sandra Fasoli, winner of its inaugural award, has a host of upcoming
collaborations, including apparel with American designer Adam Lippes,
a shoe line with Carlos Puig and T-shirts with writer Paulo Coelho.
Executives said they would love to recruit Valentino to the Mango team.
“No, no, no,” said the man himself when asked if he would consider
designing a fast-fashion line. “I am not in that mood anymore,” he said,
adding that he has many surprises up his sleeve, including designing for
theater, next year.
LADIES FIRST: Oscar de la Renta joined Mark Ingram at his East 55th Street
bridal atelier Thursday to raise a glass to the staff for being the designer’s
top-selling outpost. With security detail for various U.N. dignitaries and
Clinton Initiative attendees posted at nearby corners, the conversation couldn’t
help but turn to politics and the beyond-anemic economy. “Fashion is not political.
I like to dress every lady,” said a diplomatic de la Renta, who, after all, has clad
both Hillary Clinton and Laura Bush. “Whoever is elected president, we will have a
very attractive first lady.”
Until that happens, Bush is keeping up appearances and buzzed by the
designer’s showroom Wednesday. Campaigning seems to have kept Cindy McCain
away for a spell, but de la Renta has designed some clothes for her. Like Barack
Obama and John McCain, de la Renta is also all about bipartisanship. “Who am
I going to vote for? I don’t know yet. If Hillary would have been the candidate,
I would certainly have voted for her. She is a close friend. But I never vote for
a party. I have always voted for a person. Sometimes I’ve made big mistakes,
sometimes I have done the right thing.”
its history and art scene, since it was a German company
originally. This season it was Bauhaus. I wanted the whole
collection to look very clean and graphic, with elements of
classic men’s tailoring.
WWD: You’re holding a party here. Is it a sign you’re opening
a store?
B.P.: The last two shows were in Berlin. Next January we
would love to debut in Paris. I think Paris is unavoidable to
create growth.
WWD: How has your new position affected work on your
own line?
B.P.: I consider my own line today as a laboratory. It’s fun to do.
WWD: Is taking up design posts at established houses vital
to your own brand’s survival? Are you receiving any financial
support for your line?
B.P.: I’m completely independent for now. One of the reasons
I accepted this position is because I love to work on different
projects. I also work for Delvaux, a little-known luxury leather
goods house in Brussels — actually the oldest in Europe — a
great place to learn the trade. Of course, having a contract with
Hugo Boss does make life as a designer more comfortable.
WWD: You’re based in rainy Antwerp. Do you socialize much
with fellow Antwerp designers?
B.P.: Antwerp is very small. It’s like a village; everybody knows
each other. I enjoy it because it allows me to focus on my work,
whereas cities such as Paris have too many distractions. I went
to school at the same time as many other designers, such as
Kris Van Assche. When I was offered the position at Hugo, Raf
Simons was so kind as to advise me on certain things. We all
respect each other. We all work hard so there is not much time,
at least not for me, to socialize often.
WWD: How is it to be a Belgian designer today?
B.P.: I think it doesn’t have any importance today. I feel people
accept Belgian designers as part of the industry. We are just
there, as are London designers or New York designers. What I
find is a positive change in fashion is this tendency to focus on
the individual, and no longer the nationality. If there are many
Belgian designers working for different companies, I think this
is because they fit the brand, not because they are Belgian.
WWD: Looking back, do you think you jumped into launching
your own brand too early?
B.P.: Of course it was too early, but I don’t regret it. It was fun,
naïve and completely mad but everything that happened was
necessary for where I am today. I feel like I have learned a lot
and that I can begin my journey.
WWD: What are the pros and cons of being a young,
independent designer today?
B.P.: This reminds me of what Julie Gilhart from Barneys New
York told me when I presented my first couture collection:
“There will never be enough good designers, always room for
more.” Today the interest in new designers is very low. It exists
in London. When the press and buyers have a moment of
interest in a young talent, the difficulty, then, is the ability to
compete with the quality, deliveries, etcetera, of established
houses. This was for us a big issue in the past. As a young
designer, you are also expected to present something different
— extreme — to be noticed. Big companies can afford to show
a press collection and a different showroom collection adapted
to retailers; this is impossible for an independent designer with
no financial partner. They need to show what they sell, which is
not always very exciting or innovative. But it’s not all bad — if
there is a will, there is a way. This is still very true, and there
will never be enough good designers.
— Katya Foreman
Lily Allen
Guichot Steers a Burgeoning Balenciaga
By Miles Socha
PARIS — Good luck opening a fashion magazine this fall and not seeing one of Nicolas
Ghesquière’s impeccably sculpted black dresses for Balenciaga splashed all over the
editorial pages.
And better luck getting your hands on one as they arrive in stores this month:
There are waiting lists at Balenciaga’s growing network of retail stores, meaning the
300 dresses are unlikely to make it to the racks.
“Runway sells, much more than you think,” said Isabelle Guichot, Balenciaga’s
president and chief executive officer. “We have numbers that are pretty impressive.…
It’s not only a runway show, it’s a reality.”
Managing rapid growth of the Paris fashion house as it shifts to a more retaildriven business model has been the chief task of Guichot, a focused but fun-loving
executive who tools around Paris in a silver Suzuki SUV.
Since assuming the helm of one of Gucci Group’s fastest growing brands last year,
Guichot has been quietly orchestrating steady product and boutique expansion.
Arriving this fall-winter are new capsule collections for denim and black dresses,
the latest complement to lines devoted to knits, silk, pants, T-shirts and leather. And
a company that counted only three directly owned locations as of December 2007 —
Paris, New York and Milan — is gunning for 20 by the end of this year.
These include not only high-profile new flagships in London and Los Angeles,
which opened in February and March, but shop-in-shops in department stores like
Galeries Lafayette in Paris and Hankyu in Osaka, Japan, which recently christened
the world’s first men’s-only Balenciaga corner. Yet the brand has yet to leverage its
profile in Asia, one of the world’s fastest growing regions, and to reenter the fragrance
business, which has been on hiatus since December.
“The sky’s the limit. We’re still at the early stages of the brand development,”
Guichot said in an exclusive interview, her first since joining Balenciaga from Sergio
Rossi. “We still have a long way to go to reach the scale of our competition. We know
that we still have a big reservoir of growth.”
In her modest office across the street from Ghesquière’s
studio on the Rue du Cherche-Midi, where visitors sit on a
Isabelle Guichot
bench facing a desk piled high with spreadsheets, she described a deliberate and focused approach to growth, resisting opportunistic avenues such as licensing or co-branding.
“We’re not here to try to inflate a balloon that will only deflate
a few years later. We only keep a long-term view,” Guichot
stressed. “We’re really working on sustainable growth — all
the pillars that will make Balenciaga healthy, growing and
profitable for the long term.”
Indeed, the house has shifted gears — and even retrenched
the same week in Las Vegas and Costa Mesa, Calif.
Guichot said sales density per square foot at the company’s stores is comparable to
its competitors. Besides the black dresses, Balenciaga expects lusty demand this fallwinter for new versions of its classic “motorcycle” bag with leather-covered studs.
Also new in stores this fall is an expanded men’s wear collection, as Ghesquière
— now at the house for 11 years — applies his touch to the men’s department. “Now
he really wants to impose an identity: re-create the wardrobe, and then extend it,”
Guichot explained. Although the designer does not stage men’s wear shows, he expanded the collection this season to include what Guichot described as “reshaped
classics” for men, including a “big” collection of neckties. The men’s universe now encompasses everything from shoes and eyewear to travel bags, and Guichot described
it as a key category as it charts expansion in Asia.
“One of the focuses for us in the upcoming years will be Asia-Pacific because it’s an
obvious: It’s where everyone is growing the strongest….It just hasn’t been a priority so
Two fall 2008 looks
from Balenciaga.
The sky’s the limit. We’re still
at the early stages of the brand
— Isabelle Guichot, Balenciaga
in some cases. In August, Balenciaga quietly shuttered its
swimming pool-like boutique in Hong Kong, which had been a
franchise location operated by retailer Lane Crawford Joyce
Group. The fashion house plans to open a company-owned
flagship there in due course as it plays catch-up in Asia.
And last January, Balenciaga bought out its joint venture
partner in Japan, Restir, to get a tighter grip on a fashioncrazed market where it is arriving late compared with most
European designer brands. “We’re representing for the
Japanese clients a new kind of attraction, so it’s sometimes
good to be very late on one market because you come up almost as a pioneer after, especially when you come with such
a different point of view,” she said.
Guichot declined to provide any figures, although market sources estimate
Balenciaga’s revenues are currently north of 100 million euros, or $146.1 million at current exchange. The ceo reiterated what parent PPR already disclosed when it reported
first-half results last month: continued “high-double-digit” growth across all product
categories and regions and a shift to a less wholesale-driven business model. The brand
already reached profitability in 2005, beating a Gucci Group deadline by two years.
“Seeing the momentum the brand was gaining, and the credibility in terms of fashion, it seemed obvious that we needed to go beyond a purely wholesale business,”
Guichot explained, pushing up the sleeves of her black dress from the new fall capsule line. “If we were to remain in a wholesale mode, it would give a very scattered
and blurred image of the brand that would somehow be detrimental to its future
growth. It’s just shifting to a more personalized business model.”
To be sure, Balenciaga boutiques, designed by Ghesquière in collaboration with French
artist Dominique Gonzales-Foerster, are hardly generic, blending sci-fi futurism — lighting fixtures resembling satellite arms, display plinths like giant crystal shards bursting
through the floor — with local touches for unique shopping environments. Guichot describes them as being “between a store and a piece of art — a contemporary installation.”
For example, the London store glows orange, like Mars amid the red brick facades on
Mount Street, along with a noisy carpet that’s a wink to jumbled English decorating.
Guichot also stressed the importance of retail as a platform to showcase the breadth of
Balenciaga’s product range. While the models storming down Ghesquière’s catwalk are
never encumbered with accessories, the product range in boutiques spans sunglasses,
small leather goods, footwear, costume jewelry and eveningwear. “It adds to the interest
of the shopping experience and it gives wealth and boldness to the brand,” Guichot explained. “We’re here to present Nicolas’ point of view and to present a brand universe.”
As Balenciaga layers on more directly operated stores and corners — for instance,
the shop-in-shop at Printemps in Paris, previously a concession, is now directly operated — Guichot is handling the organizational, logistical, supply chain and human
resources implications behind the scenes, hiring managers, planners and buyers to
make sure the right merchandise lands at the right time.
Given the brand’s limited retail experience to date, Guichot likened each store
opening to delivering a baby. “It’s becoming more natural, easier,” she said. To wit:
Earlier this month, Balenciaga delivered twins in the U.S., with boutiques opening
far. We need to look east,” she said, adding, “We have plans for China in 2009.”
In women’s, runway styles represent about 40 percent of Balenciaga’s ready-towear business, higher than the 30 percent often cited in the industry, the balance
being pre-collections, Guichot said. The executive also brushed away a lingering stereotype that the brand only fits skinny models.
“It’s true to say that it’s part of the brand DNA that Nicholas has a much more tailored
and shaped and structured vision than, say, Stella McCartney,” she said. “I mean, I wear
Balenciaga and I’m not a 36, unfortunately.” She noted that 38 is the bestselling size, “and
you can find a 40, 42.” (Those are equivalent to sizes 6, 8, 10 and 12 in the U.S.)
That Balenciaga’s “classic” bag with braided handles and tasseled zipper pulls
generates the lion’s share of revenues is also a misperception, according to Guichot,
who describes it as a “pillar” of the brand, but hardly a one-trick pony. “A Balenciaga
bag has to be timeless. It’s part of the point of view of Nicolas,” she said, also describing strong demand for the range of Lune bags, including clutch versions.
Guichot declined to say what proportion of revenues is generated by leather goods, “but
when you look in our store, you can understand it’s an important part of our business.”
As are the capsule lines, which allow women to build wardrobes with staple styles
done in a Balenciaga way. She said recent bestsellers include lightweight cashmere
sweaters, motorcycle-style jackets, trenchcoats and jodhpurs.
Guichot declined to give a timeline for reentering the beauty business, but described it as an urgent project. “We are actively working on it,” she said, although resisting on naming any potential partners. “I would say that’s the most obvious missing
category. There is no plan to do watches, no plan to do kids’ wear.”
Balenciaga let its licensing pact with Groupe Jacques Bogart expire at the end of
2007, meaning any beauty products remaining on the market represent old inventories.
Another under-the-radar initiative that speaks to the brand’s momentum was the
May launch of e-commerce in the U.S. The site — offering all manner of accessories,
from shoes and handbags to sunglasses and scarves — has generated reams of discussions and information trading on blogs, and ferreted out mostly new clients across
the heartland of America, Guichot said, noting she is mulling expansion to Canada
and possibly the U.K. “We were amazed by the reaction, and the fact that without any
marketing dollars, there was an instant payback,” she said. “It was a good measure of
the brand’s natural attraction.”
Textile & Trade Report
An origami-inspired
red design
rroom Victoria
ria Shepherd.
eefftt:: A fabric
ic by
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Buyers Focus on Proven Product at Première Vision
By Katya Foreman and Ellen Groves
PARIS — Designers shopping last week’s Première Vision
textile fair played it safe with orders as they considered
the global financial crisis and contended with a French
train strike during the show’s four-day run.
Many designers said they planned to reorder sure
sells and invest in “eye-candy” fabrics to stimulate collections. But the higher end showed some resilience.
“In Russia, the world banking crisis hasn’t rendered
a strong influence on a demand of luxury products,” said
Moscow-based designer Igor Schapurin, adding the company is opening boutiques and increasing distribution.
“We haven’t stopped buying luxury fabrics, we’re
just forced to be a little more focused,” said Proma Roy,
chief designer at New York label Ports 1961.
“It is important to keep designing special pieces
rather than commercial pieces and that is our forte,”
said designer Collette Dinnigan, who added she’s keeping sexy, pretty things and adding more daywear.
“Yesterday we had a client from New York who
yelled, ‘Your fabrics are more valuable than money,’ as
she was leaving,” said Martin Leuthold, creative director of the luxury Swiss mill Jakob Schlaepfer.
Leuthold, who noted brisker business than last season, listed the U.S., France, Russia and Asia among continuing strong markets for the firm.
Bestsellers included the firm’s new takes on the synthetic Seventies fabric Helanca that Leuthold first presented
to Pierre Cardin and Courrèges in the Seventies. “We’ve
brought it back as embroidery in a new range of colors,
using laser cutting or encrusting it with rhinestones,” he
said. “Designers love it as it has great volume and it’s stiff.”
Undyed, rustic fabrics and natural materials were
key directions.
“We saw cashmere that looks really itchy, but is beautifully soft when you touch it,” said Ports 1961’s Roy, citing Louis Vidon knits.
Emanuel Ungaro’s designer, Esteban Cortazar, lauded new, modern lace at the salon’s Seduction section.
“Lace that doesn’t look like lace,” he said, adding that
jersey was his main mission.
We haven’t stopped buying
fabrics, we’re just forced to
be a little more focused.
— Proma Roy, Ports 1961
Continuing trends included 3-D, raised textures on
fabrics and contrasting patterns on structured fabrics
such as stripes on chevron.
“It’s not new, but it’s a strong direction,” said Silvie
Herrera Ortega from the purchasing department at
Inditex Group’s Berschka label.
Fabrics and function were also mixed.
“I liked the jogging fabrics used for a technical purpose,” said Carol Wu, product developer for Japanese
activewear giant Asics.
However, price emerged as a major preoccupation.
“It’s very hard, we are negotiating on
price,” said Christine Fillou, designer at
French fashion chain Carroll. “We have to
be careful with regard to lace and guipure,
which is expensive.”
Fernanda Blasco, women’s wear designer for Zara’s
higher-priced sister brand Massimo Dutti, said her budget was down “quite a lot.”
Andrea Motta, owner of Motta Alfredo, an Italian tannery that specializes in lambskin, goatskin and suede, said
it was vital to resist lowering prices to appease designers.
“Prices in general are going down because people
aren’t willing to pay for creativity anymore, but if we follow that trend it will be impossible to survive,” he said.
Exhibitors at Eurovet’s Zoom by Fatex section, dedicated to high-end local contractors, said they’d made
vital contacts, but that traffic was slow.
“I think many are frustrated with the cheaper quality and delivery problems associated with Asian manufacturers,” said Kris Pidial, managing director of Fit
U-Garment Ltd.
More consumers are looking for cheaper eco-friendly
fabrics which, given the economy, are hard to find, said
Vicky Wilson, a freelance textile buyer who lauded the
recycled fabrics proposed by Japan’s Toray.
In a bid to stand out, some mills had upped marketing efforts. Scotland’s Holland & Sherry, with clients
such as Bergdorf Goodman and Saks Fifth Avenue, has
sent samples of its fabric that’s a play on the American
Stars and Stripes, a blend of merino wool containing
Texan wool and American buffalo fiber with a navy blue
background and red-and-white pinstripe design, to presidential candidates John McCain and Barack Obama as
well as to President Bush.
Creativity abounded among the winners of British
textile design competition Texprint.
“There’s sheer talent here,” said Emma Manston, head
of fabric design for London’s Liberty Fabric, which has
commissioned Victoria Shepherd, whose origami-like, 3-D
designs took top prize together with print artist Hannah
Jeffries, to create seven designs for fall-winter 2010.
“It’s what textile design should be,” said Manston.
“There’s so much copying nowadays.”
U.N.: Foreign Investment to Tumble
likely to subdue cross-border M&As,” according to the
“World Investment Report” by the UN Conference on
Trade & Development.
The study said mergers and acquisitions in the first
moil, total foreign direct investment is forecast to decrease 20 percent this year to $1.6 half of 2008 were 29 percent lower than in the second
trillion from a record $1.83 trillion in 2007, half of last year.
In 2007, foreign direct investment to rich industrialaccording to a United Nations report.
“The strong tightening of credit standards ized countries, spurred by unprecedented levels of M&A
and the rise in risk premiums, especially for activity, totaled $1.2 trillion, compared with $940 billion
buyouts by collective investment funds, are the year before, and in emerging economies reached a
record $500 billion. Emerging countries, especially in Asia, are expected “to be less affected” by the
financial crisis, UN analysts said.
In 2007, China was the top recipient of foreign direct investment
among emerging economies, with
$83.5 billion, up from $72.7 billion
in 2006. Foreign direct investment
in the U.S. reached $232.8 billion
Tiger Button Co Inc - New York
last year, boosted partly by the low
Tiger Button (hk) Ltd - Hong Kong
value of the dollar against key forTiger Button (India) Pvt Ltd.
eign currencies, and in the same
Tiger Button BV - Amsterdam, The Netherlands
period the U.S. also remained the
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foreign direct investment to the rest
of the world of $313.8 billion.
By John Zarocostas
GENEVA — Amid worldwide economic tur-
Textiles & Trade
Texworld Feels Economy’s Sting
By Robert Murphy
PARIS — Economic turmoil and a
strike by transit workers did little
to aid order writing at last week’s
Texworld fabric fair at Le Bourget exhibit halls here.
Buyers attending the four-day event
said the chaotic economic environment forced them to buy more conservatively and place smaller orders. The
impact of weakening economies further showed in the fair’s attendance
figures. According to organizers, 15,952
people visited the show, representing a
10 percent decline from last year and a
2 percent drop from the February edition. Organizers attributed a portion of
the decline to the transit strike that occurred during the show’s run.
Fewer Chinese visitors attended the
show and American attendance trailed
off by 10 percent as well. Compared
with the February edition, Asian atBuyers at work
tendance shrank 20 percent and
at Texworld.
European attendance fell 9 percent,
as fewer Italians, Spanish and British
made the trip.
“To say that business is difficult is an understatement,” said Darren Peden, fabric
technician with Leeann Fashions Ltd., a company that works for major retailers in
the U.K. “Price is definitely a big concern.”
Jessica Cheres, a designer with Disca, a Mexican fabric wholesaler, said she has
been attending Texworld for four years and had never seen a more dour mood.
“People are being very careful,” she said. “Business is tough.”
Michael Scherpe, president of Messe Frankfurt France, which runs the fair, said he
expected Texworld to benefit from the economic malaise because buyers were looking for ways to save money.
“It’s certain that many of our exhibitors are in a better situation to weather this
type of financial storm than many more expensive European companies,” he said.
Many exhibitors at the fair said business, though not spectacular, was holding.
“With what’s happening we aren’t doing so bad,” said Ayush Murarka, partner at
The last Tuesday of every month, WWD publishes the current, monthago and year-ago fiber prices. Prices listed reflect the cost of one
pound of fiber or, in the case of crude oil, one barrel.
Price on
Price on
Price on
55.3 cents
60.07 cents
59.85 cents
Polyester staple
92 cents
96 cents
85 cents
Polyester filament
85 cents
89 cents
78 cents
August Synthetic PPI
Crude oil
Ventures, an Indian mill that specializes in embroideries. “We are close to fulfilling
our target.”
The majority of buyers said they would keep their budgets on par with last year.
Some said they would reduce spending as sales show no sign of rebounding. Most
voiced hunger for exceptional fabrics.
“I’m looking for technologically advanced fabrics and new types of embroidery,”
said Mar Pastor, a designer with El Corte Ingles, the Spanish department store.
“Organic fabrics are also very important. The big companies are all moving green. It
is important because customers are asking for it.”
Anup Agarwal, vice president of Eastern Silk Industries Ltd. in India, said business this year is down “a minimum of 10 percent.”
“The problem is that people want better quality and at less expensive prices,” said
Agarwal. “People are asking for prices that are below our costs. Obviously, that makes
it difficult to satisfy our clients.”
ITCB Study Reports Lopez, the Beckhams at Macy’s
Post-Quota Findings
Dan Matthias Retires at Mothers Work
By Sharon Edelson
NEW YORK — Mothers Work Inc. said Monday that Dan Matthias, who in 1982
cofounded the business with his wife, Rebecca, is retiring as chief executive
officer today. Matthias, who is also the company’s chairman, will continue
to serve as a director of Mothers Work and as nonexecutive chairman of
the board. He will remain available to management in an advisory capacity
through September 2012.
Matthias, who will be 65 years old on Oct. 5, will be succeeded on
Wednesday by Edward “Ed” Krell, chief operating officer of Mothers Work.
Rebecca Matthias, president and chief creative officer, will continue in those
roles and will report to Krell.
The 45-year-old Krell joined Mothers Work in 2002 as senior vice president and chief financial officer. The following year, he was promoted to executive vice president and cfo. In 2007, Krell added chief operating officer
and cfo. In July, Krell was named chief operating officer of the company.
Mothers Work had a difficult 2007. Sales for the fiscal year declined 3.5
percent to $581.4 million, driven by a 4.8 percent decrease in comparablestore sales.
The company had a net loss of $400,000, or 7 cents a share, in 2007, a significant earnings reduction from fiscal 2006.
Krell was instrumental in the restructuring of Mothers Work brands and
store nameplates in July that effectively eliminated the Mimi Maternity moniker. “One reason for the restructuring is to reduce costs in a tough environment,” Matthias said in July. “Doing this will help sales, improve our operations and de-confuse the customer. We were a very confusing company.”
Founded as a catalogue business, Mothers Work has become the world’s
largest maternity apparel retailer with more than 1,500 locations under the
Motherhood Maternity, Destination Maternity and Pea in the Pod nameplates. Mothers Work produces a line of maternity apparel for Kohl’s and
operates leased departments at Sears. In connection with Matthias’ retirement, the company expects to take a pretax charge of about $2.5 million in
the fourth quarter of fiscal 2008.
GENEVA — The end of quotas three years ago hasn’t resulted in major disruptions to global textile and apparel trade, according to a study by the
International Textiles & Clothing Bureau.
“Admittedly, post-quota developments have produced substantial shifts in
export fortunes,” said the report by Geneva-based ITCB, representing industry in 26 developing countries that favor fewer trade restrictions. “Yet, it is
now apparent that dire predictions proved ill-founded.”
The study noted, however, that it is still “early days in the adjustment
Gains in U.S. and European Union imports in the last three years have
been “slower” compared with the preceding decade, the report said. From
1995 to 2004, imports of apparel in the U.S. grew at an average of 8.9 percent
annually, but in the three post-quota years, they have grown by 5.4 percent. In
the EU, import growth advanced 10 percent in the decade before the elimination of quotas, but by 6.5 percent during the post-quota years.
The co-authors, ITCB executive director Munir Ahmad and analyst Dinora
Diaz, noted that several developing countries that were projected to “fall victim to heightened competition have been holding their own or even increasing their share of the enlarged pie.”
For example, China posted sharp export growth to the U.S. and European
Union, as did India, but at somewhat lower levels than predicted. The report
said solid advances were also registered by smaller players that had been forecast to become major casualties in the post-quota era that began Jan. 1, 2005.
“In the U.S. market, Vietnam, Nicaragua, Haiti, Bangladesh, Cambodia,
Indonesia, Jordan, Egypt, Peru and Pakistan all logged respectable rates of
growth,” said the study.
Between the beginning of 2005 and the end of 2007, Bangladesh averaged
growth rates, in value terms, to the U.S. of 15.6 percent, and an 11.9 percent
expansion in volume, while Cambodia saw a 19.1 percent gain in value and a
9.7 percent volume increase. Indonesia posted a 17.1 percent rise in value of
imports and an 8.4 percent gain in volume. Vietnam registered an 18.8 percent
climb in value an 18.5 percent in volume.
But the ITCB conceded that some countries have found the going difficult
and experienced stagnation or declines in annual apparel shipments to the
U.S. This list includes: Guatemala, which was down 9 percent; Canada, off
21.8 percent, and Mexico, down 13.9 percent. Countries that are part of the
African Growth & Opportunities Act trade preference program saw apparel
imports fall 9 percent and the U.S. partners in the Central American Free
Trade Agreement posted deceases in imports of 4.1 percent. Other places
with notable falloffs in apparel shipments to the U.S. were Hong Kong, dropping 21.4 percent; South Korea, declining 31 percent, and Brazil, falling 25.6
The study said there are likely to be further shifts in fortunes, with the
driving force being the “profound influence” government trade policy has had
in shaping the direction of trade and investment in textiles and apparel. The
large number of players in the industry worldwide and its history to respond
“with agility and pace” to changes in the policy environment should not be
underestimated, the report said.
Since the end of the quota regime, changes in trade policy have witnessed
the temporary imposition of quotas on China, improvements in preferential
access for Haiti and Peru to the U.S. market, new dispensations under CAFTA
and Vietnam’s entry into the World Trade Organization. Thanks to the U.S.
qualifying industrial zones program, Jordan has seen apparel exports to the
U.S. reach $1.2 billion in 2006.
By John Zarocostas
appearance at Macy’s Herald Square
Monday that Jenny still has plenty of
pull — and fans — on the block.
Six years after launching her first
fragrance, Glow by JLO, at the store,
Jennifer Lopez returned with her 10th
scent (and first for men), Deseo for
Men. She pulled in an estimated 2,000
fans — roughly equal with the tally
her Coty mates, David and Victoria
Beckham, garnered at their Friday evening appearance in the same spot.
“I can’t believe it’s been six years,”
said Lopez, clad in a white Fendi dress,
jeweled YSL stilettos and diamond
Lorraine Schwartz hoops — not to
mention her canary diamond engagement ring. “The fact that we’re still
making an impact with Glow, as well as
our other fragrances, it’s amazing. And
we’re going to keep doing new things.”
Could that include color cosmetics
or skin care? Perhaps, but not anytime
soon. “These are all things that we’ve
talked about, but you have to have the
proper amount of time to put into it.
You can’t just say, ‘Go do a color line
for me, go do a skin care line for me.’ Jennifer Lopez at Macy’s on Monday.
That’s not how I work….I think those things twins did accompany Lopez and Anthony to
are in my future, but we need to wait for the Europe. “I won’t leave them,” she said.
The triathalon? “It was challenging, but
proper time.”
And right now, she admits, she doesn’t I like a challenge,” she said. “I am a very
feel like giving up the time with her seven- goal-oriented person, and it was a great way
month-old twins, Max and Emme. “I’ve been to get back in shape, and it was a great thing
easing back into work, but I’ve gotten to to raise money for the Children’s Hospital,
spend all this time with the babies. I love which I’ve worked with for many years. It
being able to do everything for them — I re- was good to have a goal after the babies.”
The fans who had purchased a $94.50 set
ally don’t like other people doing [things]
for them. I’m having to learn to do that right with the Deseo men’s and women’s scents
now, which is very difficult for me. When I had priority in line, but the entire Lopez
have to come and do this [Macy’s personal franchise was said to have received a conappearance] for four hours, I’m away from siderable bump during the two-hour appearthem for four hours, and that’s hard for me.” ance. While executives declined to discuss
Of motherhood, she says: “It’s so amazingly sales figures, industry sources estimated
that Lopez’s scent franchise did at least
fun, and so much joy. But it’s work.”
Fashion? “We’re doing great with the $35,000 in retail Deseo sales alone during
women’s fashion,” said Lopez. “We have her appearance.
A few days earlier, the
Beckham Signature franchise
was the focus at Macy’s Herald
Square. The rainy weather
didn’t dampen the spirits of
David and Victoria Beckham
or the approximately 2,000
screaming fans who showed up
at Macy’s Friday evening for
the launch of the couple’s fragrance duo, Signature for Him
and Signature for Her. Clad in
a natty striped Tom Ford suit,
David Beckham was quick to
credit his Giambattista Valliclad wife as the brains behind the fragrances, although
Victoria Beckham insists that
he is not giving himself deserved credit.
“It’s great for me to be able
to create a fragrance for him,
but he is much more involved
than he gives himself credit
for,” she said. “David has such
amazing taste.”
David and Victoria Beckham
“She brings it back and we
JLO, which is totally international, and decide together,” he said with a quick grin.
Just 300 of the hysterical fans — all of
Sweetface, which we have in the boutiques
here, and that’s how I like it. We’ve kind of whom purchased a $122 gift set — actually
streamlined it — it feels really great and got to meet the pair, who seemed surprised
manageable for me. We have 25 stores in by the turnout. “For us to get such a pheEurope. I wait for the day that we open up nomenal turnout is fantastic,” Victoria said
here somewhere. I’m still working toward before heading out to greet the masses. “We
that, and we’re going to do it one day. We’re really weren’t expecting it. It’s an opportuniplugging along.” She plans to head back to ty to meet lots of our fans, and the sales staff
Bryant Park, but hasn’t yet decided on a who have worked so hard on this project.”
The appearance, the first the couple has
season. “I have to have the right season and
collection — and the amount of time to do made together on behalf of their fragrances,
did upward of $35,000 in sales in just one
it right.”
Speaking of fashion, she jetted to Milan hour, according to industry sources. Sources
for the Dolce & Gabbana show. “And it was estimated that it will do $50 million globDomenico [Dolce]’s 50th birthday, so he had ally in its first year on counter, which would
a great party. It was a lot of fun — it was kind make it Coty Beauty’s biggest launch ever.
Victoria noted that she and David are alof Marc [Anthony]’s birthday trip that we
went on. I wanted to take him away, because ready at work on a pair of flankers for the
we haven’t been on a vacation in two years brand, due next September, but declined to
or something like that. We’ve been holed give additional details.
up in the house taking care of babies.” The
— Julie Naughton
Ready-to-Wear Report
By Rosemary Feitelberg
tremors keep rumbling, several Madison
Avenue retailers are bracing themselves
for what could be a long stretch of even
more uncertain times while already
struggling to woo shoppers this fall.
Last week, sales associates at 25
stores surveyed were suddenly having to
face the fallout, which could be seen in
the cautiousness of price-sensitive and
indecisive clients, a rash of returns and
moratoriums on shopping. Compounding
the problem is a slight slowdown in
European visitors, who are now thinking
twice about visiting the U.S. due to the
weakening euro against the dollar. When
the currency was stronger this summer,
European shoppers made the most of the
exchange rate in what one saleswoman
described as “abusing the dollar,” and
substantially boosted sales.
An increasing number of loyal, freewheeling shoppers are now acting as
though they are on a tight budget —
whether they actually are or not. Sonia
Rykiel sales associate Caroline TreveloO’Neil said, “It’s not like these people
don’t have money anymore, but some are
going to behave that way. They will say
they don’t want to try something on even
though they have diamonds all over. A lot
of this [fear] is perception. People are
kind of frozen now.”
A salesman at an American designer’s boutique, who requested anonymity, has been “shocked” by the number
of Madison Avenue salespeople he has
seen standing near their front doors staring blankly out the window, half expecting shoppers just to waltz in. “When the
Great Depression happened, that’s when
some of the people made most of their
money. A lot of people are being complacent. It doesn’t matter how good your
windows look or how good your merchandise is. You have to show the customer
how to wear it and when to wear it to
make it valuable to them,” he said. “The
store might be dead but I spend all day
on the phone with [international] clients,
e-mailing them or sending them pieces
on consignment.”
At Mulberry’s Madison Avenue store,
more shoppers are consulting with their
husbands on their cellphones before buying anything. “We’ve actually had clients
on the phone describing what they are
looking at, and their husbands will tell
them, ‘Not now. Let’s talk about it when
you get home,’” said Lawrence Coote,
loss prevention specialist at Mulberry.
Shoppers are now thinking twice
about buying anything $1,000 or higher,
he said. The number of American shoppers in the store has trailed off, and the
European customer base, which accounts
for 70 percent of all shoppers in the
Midtown store, has decreased slightly
due to the weakening euro, Coote said.
Mulberry is trying to offset the slowdown
with some belt tightening of its own in
terms of overhead expenses, corporate
layoffs and negotiating lower salaries
with new hires, he added.
Sonia Rykiel’s Trevelo-O’Neil, who is
studying psychotherapy, said, “Fashion
is very much for people to please themselves and to look good. When there is a
time of austerity, people think, ‘Let’s go
back to serious things.’ Even if they have
the money, they are going to act as though
they aren’t the kind of person who spends
money on those kinds of things.”
Some shoppers are going through the
motions, but then they come up with a
reason as to why they can’t buy something on a particular day. Many women,
including longtime clients, are asking
why a garment has the price it does and
some will flat out ask, “Don’t you have
anything under $500?” Trevelo-O’Neil
said, adding the store does. Last fall 15
people might make purchases at the
store a day, whereas recently 10 people
each day on average, including browsers,
visit the store. These times just call for
more personal service and phone orders,
she said, adding that one client recently
spent $10,000 in the store.
Despite consumers’ skittishness,
Matthew Bauer, president of the Madison
Avenue Business Improvement District,
does not expect the neighborhood’s 272
fashion-related stores to be hard hit by
the economic shift underfoot. “So much
of the client base is very local within a
couple of blocks. They generally view
Madison Avenue as their Main Street. We
continue to be very attractive to the visitor market. This is a mile and a half of
great international luxury boutiques, galleries, salons, hotels and restaurants.”
At Etro’s Madison Avenue store, Jana
Olson, who runs women’s wear, said this
summer’s sales were up 25 percent compared with last year due to the bevy of
Erratic Market Affects Madison Ave. Shoppers
Shoppers in Midtown Monday.
European shoppers. But this month’s
sales would “definitely be different,” she
said. “There is definitely more talk about
price. They will say, ‘Oh, this jacket is
$2,000? I don’t necessarily need that.’ It
is usually not that way.”
“We’re OK here because of our
European clientele. As long as we have
people coming over here to, as we like
to say, abuse the dollar, to get their retail
fix, we’ll be alright. People who do live
here can’t be as liberal,” Olson said.
En route to make a return at Barneys
New York, one woman, who requested anonymity, said Wall Street’s fallout and the
uncertainty that has ensued is similar to
the post 9/11 retail scene. “We need people
to keep shopping to support our economy,”
she said. “Don’t be negative — please.”
Upstairs, a salesman said: “It depends
on the person. Some may say, ‘Oh, my
husband has me on lockdown.’ and others will be spending like crazy.”
However, a saleswoman at the store
noted how the demise of Lehman
Brothers triggered loads of returns. “It
was huge but it was just for one day. I
don’t think it will affect Barneys as much
as some of the other stores because we
have more elite shoppers,” she said.
On the store’s main floor, British
tourists Katherine Goodwin and Trudy
Jackson said they had spent $3,000 and
$3,500, respectively, at Barneys and other
stores, and planned to spend $5,000 each.
Prices are 30 to 40 percent lower than
what they would be in the U.K., due to
the weak dollar, they said. “It’s always
worth flying all the way over here to buy
it. But the savings are not as good as they
were a year ago,” Jackson said.
Killing time in the Co-op before meeting a friend for lunch, a self-described
New York housewife, who declined to
give her name, said she is being more discriminating about what she buys and is
walking away from overpriced European
goods. “Everybody is so tired of the [rising] prices [due to the euro]. My friends
and I are having a quiet little strike,” she
said. “Nobody needs anything. I know a
lot of people with money aren’t running
out to buy a ton of stuff.”
At Searle, store manager Normia
Perry believes that having a wide range
of price points, especially items in the
$200 to $500 range, which are not always
easy to find on Madison Avenue, is helping business.
The economic fallout has slowed down
foot traffic on Madison Avenue, especially
in the beginning of the work week. “You
do have your days where you say, ‘Where
are the people?’” she said.
At Chloé, saleswoman Gisela Jimenez
said, “People are definitely more cautious, and they definitely want quality
versus quantity. They feel a little guilty
too. We do hear that from clients. But
people are coming in and buying,” with
Europeans still driving sales.
Zara’s Midtown store was buzzing
with shoppers lining up to make multiple purchases one afternoon last week.
Sales associate Jannelly Espinal said, “If
anything, it’s busier than usual. But it’s
mostly tourists.” Saks Fifth Avenue also
had its share of customers beyond the
bustling main floor.
A sales associate at a Madison Avenue
European designer store said the weakening euro was affecting store traffic but
not dramatically.
“The middle class is usually affected
first. I have friends who work at department stores who are really worried about
business,” she said. “Every day I’ve been
getting e-mails from Saks and Neiman
Marcus about sales. What exactly is on
sale? Fall just started.”
Asprey’s international public relations director Ellen Niven said if people
are going to spend money, they are more
inclined to buy items that will last a long
time “more so than a trendy trenchcoat.”
That bodes well for Asprey, which specializes in milestone gifts like christening
items, watches and engagement rings.
For more, see
Milly by
Forget cold shoulders. There’s nothing chilly
about spring’s one-shoulder dresses. Rather, those
asymmetric bare looks are as alluring as it gets.
BAD NEWS ALL AROUND: Media companies, like everyone else,
A selection of Sophie Reyre’s colorful rings.
PARIS — Ready-to-wear may take
center stage this week, but an intriguing
range of accessories awaits visitors to Paris
Fashion Week. Here’s a look at some of the
newest in the arena. — Katya Foreman
Gueta launched his jewelry line two years ago
following years of working as a couture textile
designer and researcher.
“When I work with coral, say, I don’t remove it
from its habitat. I prefer to be inspired by nature,
but not use it,” said the designer, whose spring
collection is inspired by bones, horn and fossils,
Not many Kalashnikov bullets carry 7,000 euro, as a poetic study of the elegant structure of anior $10,200, price tags. But then, not many come mal skeletons.
Gueta’s vision is to explore materials differconstructed from white gold, their brushed tips
ently from the way people are accustomed to
flecked with pavé diamonds.
Fine jewelry newcomer Caroline Gaspard, seeing it in jewelry.
“I want to show a new material that
who will be launching her Akillis colcan really imitate and push forward
lection this week, said the loaded
innovation, as well as show its
charms are designed to bring out
advantages,” he said, deone’s “inner James Bond girl.”
scribing how silicon, an ul“I wanted to create a coltralight and soft material,
lection that was inventive
also caresses the shape
and interchangeable, with
of the body. “It’s very
a new, rather aggressive
similar to our organs
[spirit],” said the 26-yearbone-inspired spring line.
in structure and can
old designer, whose
imitate a wide range
other lines include diaof matter, be it glass,
mond-encrusted jigsaw
wood, leather.”
puzzle pieces and link
bracelets inspired by her
father’s Rolex watches.
Gaspard’s ambition is
Sophie Reyre is out
to shake up fusty attitudes
to run rings around
to fine jewelry.
the Paris jewelry scene.
“Women tend to either buy
The designer’s first, colorclassic jewelry or cheap fashsoaked collection takes inion-forward pieces, even if they
spiration from India’s ancient
have big means,” she said. “It’s time
Mogul Empire.
to add a bit of fun and fashion to this frosty
“I like surprising color mixes and the
idea of encrusting motifs on colored stones,”
said Reyre, who also favors contrasting highlow materials, such as resin with precious and
Man has forever imitated nature. But Israeli jew- semiprecious stones like tourmalines, amber,
elry designer Tzuri Gueta has brought the art to rubies and sapphires.
The line is sold at Karry O’ in Paris, retailing
new heights with his realistic imitations crafted
for 1,200 to 2,300 euros, or $1,750 to $3,350.
from silicon, silk and viscose fiber blends.
Jay Ahr’s Madison
Avenue salon.
“I’m crazy about this city,” says the Parisbased Belgian designer of Jay Ahr, and he’s
working hard to make the feeling mutual.
Bergdorf Goodman introduced Jay Ahr’s
easy cocktail dresses to the American public
last spring, and, while Riss was pleased to
have such a prestigious New York address,
he felt “it was important to have a place here
to show more than one dress on a rack.” So he
opened a private salon at 801 Madison Avenue last
month. Done up with crown moldings imported
from Versailles, marble furniture and Baccarat
crystal, the salon, which Riss believes offers the
complete Jay Ahr experience, brings a touch of
traditional French grandeur — not to mention the
firm’s full ready-to-wear, jewelry and accessories
collections — to New York.
Manhattan is more than just a new home to
Riss. It has sentimental value. According to Riss,
Jay Ahr, launched in 2005 and named for the
phonetic spelling of Riss’ initials, was inspired
by American style. “In New York, I saw all of
these girls wearing dresses all the time,” says
Fresh Ahr
Riss. “I said, ‘Let’s
do something more
dressy for women
in Paris, so they can
take their jeans and
put them somewhere
else.’ Just wear a dress,
like that line from
Jonathan Riss
Diane von Furstenberg,
‘Feel like a woman, wear a
dress.’” He started with jersey
T-shirt dresses and eventually
added eveningwear to the mix. Within a year,
Riss, who got into fashion by working in textile
factories in the Ukraine and India before privately
designing wedding dresses, opened a boutique on
Paris’ Rue du 29 Juillet. The Jay Ahr collection,
which retails for $1,500 to $6,000 for clothing and
up to $8,500 for jewelry, is in more than 40 stores,
including Bergdorf Goodman, Hirshleifer’s and
Harrods and is also available on Net-a-Porter.com.
Of course, Riss considers his Madison Avenue
outpost to be the most exclusive venue of all.
— Jessica Iredale
were hit hard Monday by the collapse in congressional efforts
to pass the $700 billion bailout plan. Shares in News Corp.,
publisher of The Wall Street Journal, sank 9.6 percent to close
at $11.77, while the New York Times Co. fell 3.8 percent to
$14.35, and shares in The Washington Post Co. dropped 4.2
percent to $540. Over at Time Warner Inc., shares fell 9.2
percent to $12.90.
And, in further bad news for print media, today’s edition
of The New York Sun will be its last. The broadsheet, which
published its first issue a few months after Sept. 11, 2001,
with backing from the likes of former press baron/now convict
Conrad Black, didn’t get the necessary funding it needed to stay in
business. “Nearly seven years later, our editors and backers are
even more of the view that there is indeed a place for the kind of
intelligent, thoughtful broadsheet we envision in our city, which
is why we are scrambling to find others who share this vision and
the sense of possibility,” wrote editor in chief Seth Lipsky, in a
letter to readers that ran on Sept. 4. “If we fail, the newspaper
and its voice will die. All the more energetic will be our efforts in
the coming weeks to ensure that the conversation we’ve begun
these past few years will continue.” But with the stock and credit
markets being what they are, no more money to back the paper
could be found. — Amy Wicks
DUBAI STILL HAS LOTS OF MONEY: With massive consolidation in
the U.S. financial sector and oil prices still high, Doubledown
Media is heading to where the money is. The publisher of Trader
Monthly and Dealmaker started printing the former in Dubai this
summer, and now it has revealed plans to launch the second title
there, too. Randall Lane, president, said both magazines will be
sent to a targeted group of readers — all of whom easily have
an annual household income north of $600,000. “We’ve seen
readers grow in the emerging markets,” said Lane. “It’s really
become a global community.”
To publish the Middle Eastern editions, Doubledown has
partnered with a Dubai-based start-up, International Media
Ventures. Launch advertisers for Dealmaker include Omega,
Bentley and Infiniti. The company also publishes both
magazines in the U.K., although the financial sector there isn’t
any better than its U.S. cousin’s. “Our readers are more likely
to be transferred to London, Hong Kong or Dubai than, say,
Toledo,” said Lane. “We are expanding globally. We’ve seen
a lot of interest in what we do. We’re certainly not slowing
down.” — A.W.
NO TAKEOFF JUST YET: After a decision Friday night by New York
State Supreme Court judge Richard Lowe 3rd blocked The Weinstein
Co. from moving “Project Runway” to Lifetime from Bravo for its
sixth season, plenty of questions still swirled on Monday. What
does the ruling mean for Marie Claire, the reported magazine
partner for season six? For the title’s fashion director, Nina Garcia,
the bridge between Marie Claire and the hit reality show? For guest
judges such as Lindsay Lohan, who reportedly have committed to
appear on the next season? For advertisers?
What it means is that nothing changes, everything stays the
same and season six filming goes on, just without a home. For
now. The Weinstein Co. is appealing the decision, which could
mean it gets reversed and the show moves to Lifetime after all.
“Obviously we will be appealing and remain committed to our
partners,” the company said.
Production for season six began in the middle of this month
in Los Angeles and will continue through mid-October: Season
six is scheduled to air in January (the finale of season five
will air on Bravo in November). Some plans for the show’s
guest stars and sponsorships reportedly have been finalized:
Marie Claire is said to be the magazine partner for season
six, though The Weinstein Co. has yet to confirm the deal.
Advertisers, meanwhile, have taken the news in stride. Said
one top television buyer, who requested anonymity: “I don’t
think anybody is freaking out, because the show is still being
Any advertisers who negotiated integrated deals with the show
likely finalized terms months ago and will still move forward.
“When you’re doing an integration, you have to work with the
show’s producers and the sales force,” the buyer said. What could
be in jeopardy is any additional ad dollars a marketer spent with
Lifetime to support any product integration on “Project Runway.”
“Those dollars are most in limbo, because those could disappear if
the show disappears” and head to whatever new network “Project
Runway” would air on.
As part of the decision Friday, NBC Universal was ordered to
pay a $20 million bond. NBC Universal and The Weinstein Co. are
due back in court Oct. 15 for a hearing to schedule resolution of
the matter, though some believe the parties could settle the matter
beforehand to ensure the sixth season airs. Said the media buyer:
“I would not be surprised if money were exchanged between the
two networks.” — Stephanie D. Smith
NEW AT ASME: The American Society of Magazine Editors created
a new staff position to lead the group, appointing Sid Holt as chief
executive officer. Holt was most recently editor at go2 Media,
a mobile content publisher, and also has served as editorial
director of Nielsen Business Media and executive vice president
and editor in chief of Adweek magazines. He was managing
editor of Rolling Stone from 1990 to 1997. Marlene Kahan, who
has served as executive director for 18 years, will now report to
Holt. — Irin Carmon
Taylor, Stone Speak Out at Macy’s Fund-raiser
By Anne Riley-Katz
Industry Leaders Turn Up
At Purses and Pursenalities
SANTA MONICA, Calif. — Elizabeth Taylor and Sharon Stone pushed back hard against the nation’s
By Caroline Tell
eating for New York’s lunching ladies, who came
out to bid on their favorite handbags at the third
annual Purses and Pursenalities Luncheon at
the Metropolitan Club.
The event, which benefited the Madison
Square Boys & Girls Club, also honored handbag designer Monica Botkier, Badgley Mischka’s
Mark Badgley and James Mischka, and Judith
Leiber, recipient of the Living Legend Award.
Handbags ranging from a Tory Burch clutch
to a Tod’s python messenger bag were on silent
auction. Some pieces, like a green Hermès waist
bag, generated several bids, and some had none.
After an hour of socializing and shopping, the
Elizabeth Taylor
Monica Botkier, Judith Leiber, James Mischka
and Mark Badgley.
economic travails at the Macy’s Passport gala here.
Taylor, the featured speaker at the annual HIV/AIDS fund-raiser, said, “We must be damn
certain our message is heard.”
The actress, seated in a wheelchair, stumbled over her speech at times before revealing to the audience that she had forgotten her glasses and was having trouble reading the Teleprompter, which drew laughter and a standing ovation.
A look from
Auction emcee Sharon Stone said, “I do understand that we
Calvin Klein at
are facing the biggest economic crisis since the Depression. I
the Passport
know that to be here tonight, for all of you, is a sacrifice and a
gala’s fashion
gift. I will ask you to open your hearts and your wallets.”
The annual fund-raiser, held in Los Angeles and in San
Francisco, raised an estimated $1.45 million in its 26th year.
Macy’s and its sponsors and partners have raised a total of almost $30 million since the event started.
Tommy Hilfiger and Ed Hardy’s Christian Audigier were
among the guests Thursday at the Santa Monica Airport’s
Barker Hangar.
The event featured Pop Art from the estate of artist Keith
Haring — who died of AIDS in 1990 and would have turned 50 this
year — live and silent auctions, dance and musical performances
and a fashion show.
Jeff Gennette, chief executive officer of Macy’s West, expressed the hope that upheaval in the financial markets would
not dampen fund-raising.
“The cause is just so important….The disease has changed
over the years; it’s not as visible now,” he said.
This year also marks the debut of a related fund-raising effort, Macy’s Celebrity Catwalk Challenge, which will air Oct. 11 on
NBC. The special will be hosted by Tori Spelling, and models will
include NBC Universal TV personalities such as Jerry Springer,
Jack Coleman and Kate Flannery, as well as musical performances
by the Pussycat Dolls, Fall Out Boy and Ne-Yo. The broadcast will
use behind-the-scenes footage from the Passport fashion show.
Also, for the first time this year, the Passport event will be
simulcast into 27 theaters in select cities nationwide on Oct. 23,
including Boston, Honolulu and Orlando, Fla., as part of an expanded fund-raising effort.
Karstadt Parent Arcandor Invokes Share Sale “
By Damien McGuinness
BERLIN — Troubled Arcandor AG, the
parent company of the Karstadt department store chain, on Monday unveiled
an emergency share sale in a move to
avoid having to sell some of its assets.
The capital increase will allow
the company to retain its 52 percent stake in British travel business
Thomas Cook Group.
Analysts welcomed the news, saying that holding on to Thomas Cook,
Arcandor’s only profitable unit, is
positive in the long run. Shedding
Thomas Cook would have halved
Arcandor’s turnover.
However, after a slight rally on
Monday morning, when the capital
hike was revealed, the stock price remained low. After opening on Monday
morning at 2.05 euros, or $2.94, it fell
sharply to end the day at 1.87 euros,
or $2.67. On Friday the stock price
had reached an all-time low of 1.58
euros, or $2.27, compared with a
52-week high of 24.19 euros, or $34.69.
All dollar figures are converted from
the euro at current exchange rates.
The decision was made by
Arcandor’s supervisory board at the
weekend, after its stock fell 46 percent
at the end of last week. The group has
been under increasing pressure be-
cause of the poor performance of its
Karstadt division, which operates 90
department stores and 28 sporting
goods stores. Rising costs and low
consumer spending in Germany led
to a drop in the group’s third-quarter
earnings, pushing Arcandor to lower
its forecast for 2008-09.
Over the last year, Arcandor’s
shares have lost more than 90 percent
of their value as a result of increasing uncertainty about the group’s
future. So far, no announcement has
been made about a potential change
of ownership of Karstadt, and negotiations on possible international partnerships have yet to bear fruit.
I’m hoping that we’ll be
able to continue what I
started and make it even
more beautiful.
— Judith Leiber
group moved into a ballroom for lunch and the
awards presentation.
“What a fantastic crowd, the checks must have
been mailed before the events of last week,” joked
accessories designer Eric Javits, the emcee.
Javits presented the honorees with their
awards, which took the shape of painted portraits of handbags made by the members of the
Madison Square Boys & Girls Club.
“I am very happy to be here and I’m hoping
that we’ll be able to continue what I started and
make it even more beautiful,” Leiber said.
Rocker Brings Onstage Glamour to Jewelry
By Sophia Chabbott
it’s when they’ve already achieved critical, or at least financial, acclaim. But Justin
Tranter — a lead singer in an underground “garage glam” band — is hoping his jewelry designs will help him garner the fame he has yet to achieve.
The platinum-coiffed Tranter, whose blue eyes are regularly lined in kohl, is the lead
singer of Brooklyn’s Semi Precious Weapons. The group has gained some footing in the
last few years playing gigs in New York, London, Paris and Montreal, and counts Kate
Moss and Moby as fans. But Tranter, who describes the band’s music as AC/DC meets
David Bowie, had to finance his musical musings.
So with his mother, a Chicago jewelry designer, as
an inspiration and mentor, Tranter took a stab at creating jewelry. He launched Fetty of Brooklyn, a line
of 14-karat gold, silver and diamond jewelry that sells
for $600 to $800 at Barneys New York Co-op, as well as
Precious Weapons, a $15 to $30 costume jewelry collection using motifs like guns and axes inspired by his
band that retails at Urban Outfitters, Hot Topic and on
the band’s Web site, semipreciousweapons.com.
“Being a singer and songwriter, my goal is to inspire people and make them feel awesome,” said
Tranter, who was once the jewelry buyer for Calypso.
“[Having a jewelry company] allowed me to reinvent
the indie band model.”
Tranter has been eager to make connections, but
it’s all with the band in mind. After a chance meeting
with a MAC executive, the beauty company signed on
Justin Tranter of Semi
to sponsor the band. Through the funding of the jewPrecious Weapons.
elry, the band was able to work with producer Tony
Visconti, who has worked with the likes of Morrissey and David Bowie.
The brand’s inaugural album, called “We Love You,” will have a wide release on
Tuesday and the band has also produced a video for its single, “Magnetic Baby.” In the
video, there are piles of people painted in gold. But it couldn’t be just any golden hue.
“Ten-karat gold is my favorite color,” said Tranter. “I just love it. So the makeup team
added more silver to it, to make it look like 10 karat.”
This month, Tranter begins filming an episode of “Made” on MTV where he will
mentor a young girl on how to pursue her dreams of becoming a rock star.
But cross-promoting is never far behind the music. Each CD will come with a gun
charm necklace, while 2,500 bonus CDs will come with an oversize gun charm necklace
with a USB port that will have music and the band’s
video. Barneys will sell a sterling silver version of the
USB necklace starting Oct. 21.
“It’s charming, funny and whimsical, but it’s
definitely edgy,” said Carrie Chapman, senior buyer
of Barneys New York women’s Co-op accessories.
“Each detail is well thought out and the fact that
he’s a rock star is appealing to customers. Everyone
Fame bracelets
loves a story.”
featuring braille
Tranter has also launched another costume jewelwriting in crystals.
ry line called Fame. The brass and crystal collection
comprises highly polished brass cuffs and medallions,
each having crystals that spell out words like “gorgeous” or “forever” in Braille. This line, which bowed
in July, will be sold at Nina at Fred Segal, Alter in
Brooklyn and Karmaloop.com at $40 to $100.
“My main goal is to change the way pop culture
Fetty diamond
looks,” said Tranter. “I want to accomplish all the
and silver bangles
things Gwen Stefani and Jennifer Lopez accomand pendant.
plished, but in my own…way.”
Sidney Garber, Fine Jeweler, 89
Chicago-based fine jeweler, died Sept. 20
at his daughter’s home in Wainscott, N.Y.
He was 89.
“He was a fanatic for quality and for
value,” said his daughter, Brooke Garber
Neidich. She noted that her father was ahead
of the competition by bringing products from
Europe to the store as far back as 1970. “He
continued to work until May 2007,” she said.
Sidney Garber Jewelers Inc. is located at
118 East Delaware Place in Chicago. It remains family-owned and run by Neidich and
her friend Jennifer Aubrey.
The son of a watchmaker, Garber opened
the store in 1946 and established a reputation for design and craftsmanship. Born
in Chicago in 1919, Garber attended the
University of Illinois and was a decorated
veteran of World War II.
In addition to his daughter, Garber is survived by his wife, Deanna Berman Garber;
son Blair; sister Esther Port, and three
A memorial service will be held at
Chicago Sinai Congregation at 15 West
Delaware Place at 11 a.m. on Monday. In lieu
of flowers, donations may be made to the
NYU Child Study Center Open Door Fund.
— David Moin
Jay-Z, Iconix Face Trademark Infringement Suit
Group Inc. of trademark infringement over the use of the phrase “I will not lose.”
According to documents filed in federal court in Atlanta last week, I Will Not Lose LLC
has created apparel under that name since 2004. In its complaint, the company takes issue
with the use of the tag line in an advertising campaign for the Iconix-owned and Jay-Zfounded Rocawear apparel brand. As part of the campaign, Rocawear registered the Web
site domain iwillnotlose.org, launched a channel bearing the name on YouTube and made
the phrase a prominent part of its print ads.
According to I Will Not Lose LLC, the fame and reach of the rapper and Iconix have led
consumers to states of “reverse confusion” resulting in the belief its goods are Rocawear
I Will Not Lose LLC registered its namesake as a trademark in 2006. Jay-Z, whose real
name is Shawn Carter, declared the phrase to close the song “Change the Game” on his 2000
album, “The Dynasty: Roc La Familia.”
I Will Not Lose LLC is seeking an injunction against the further use of the phrase by
Iconix, profits derived from actions found to be unlawful, legal fees and other, unspecified
Iconix declined to comment.
— Matthew Lynch
• SYMS LOSS NARROWS: Improved gross margins and a onetime real estate gain
helped off-pricer Syms Corp. reduce its second-quarter losses. In the three
months ended Aug. 30, the Secaucus, N.J.-based retailer had a net loss of $1.3
million, or 9 cents a share, versus a loss of $1.4 million, or 10 cents, in the
2007 period. Sales declined 3.8 percent, to $59 million from $61.4 million, and
dropped 2.5 percent on a same-store basis. However, gross margin increased
to 39.2 percent of sales in the most recent quarter, versus 36.7 percent in the
year-ago period. The loss in the 2008 quarter was reduced by a $548,000 pretax
gain on the sale of a parcel of land. In the first half of the fiscal year, the net loss
dropped to $669,000, or 5 cents a share, from $748,000, also 5 cents. Sales fell 3.8
percent, to $123.6 million, and dipped 2.4 percent on a comparable-store basis.
• SENTENCED ON TAX EVASION: A federal judge in Manhattan last week sentenced
a former sewing company owner to four years probation for payroll and income tax violations. Kevin Weng, 37, who owned the Manhattan-based stitch
firm Maple Corp., pleaded guilty in June to evading over $324,000 in taxes
from 2003 to 2006. In entering his guilty plea, Weng admitted to paying employees at the now-shuttered Maple more than $2.1 million off the books.
According to testimony, Weng compensated his workers in cash so they could
receive welfare and health benefits from public sources. Judge Denny Chin
ordered Weng to serve four years probation, including one year of home confinement, and to pay $124,151.36 in evaded taxes. He had already paid back
$200,000 prior to his sentencing. “Under the circumstances it was a very fair
sentence,” said Ian Redpath, Weng’s attorney. “But the judge made it clear
that this type of activity has to cease in the garment district.”
• HANESBRANDS BOARD MOVES: Ann Ziegler, senior vice president and chief financial officer of CDW Corp. and a former cfo of several Sara Lee Corp. divisions, has been elected to the board of Hanesbrands Inc., filling a vacancy
created by the retirement of Charles Coker. Additionally, J. Patrick Mulcahy,
a director since Hanesbrands’ 2006 spin-off from Sara Lee, has been named
to the new board position of lead director. The changes are effective Dec. 8.
Richard Noll, president and chief executive officer of Hanesbrands, will assume the additional title of chairman upon Lee Chaden’s retirement on Jan.
1. Chaden and Noll continue as directors. After the transition, Hanesbrands
will continue to have 10 directors, seven of them classified as independent.
The nonindependents are Chaden, Noll and, because of her previous affiliation with Sara Lee, Ziegler.
• NUXE INVESTOR: Private French skin care brand Nuxe has sold a “small minority interest” to Naxicap Partners, part of private equity firm Natexis, the
beauty company said Monday. The cash injection will be used to develop
Nuxe’s domestic and international businesses, the firm added. The deal
comes as Nuxe prepares to open a spa, the brand’s fifth, in Paris’ Hôtel
Zébra Square.
For more career opportunities log on to fashioncareers.com. Call 1.800.423.3314 or e-mail [email protected] to advertise.
Garment center location. Professional
/Reliable Quality. Men & women all style.
Low Cost. Small production. 212-629-4808
All lines, Any styles. Fine Fast Service.
Call Sherry 212-719-0622.
Full service shop to the trade.
Fine fast work. 212-869-2699.
Head Tailored
Patternmaker (NYC)
Seeking someone to collaborate
with design team to create tailored
sample patterns, attend fit meetings
to oversee the fitting of garments,
and create production patterns as
needed. Viable candidates must
have a strong background in
patternmaking, luxury design exp.,
and a clear understanding of fabric
fundamentals. If interested, please
send resume and salary reqs to:
[email protected]
or apply online at: www.dkny.com
At Ann Taylor, we recognize that
talented associates are a great
competitive advantage. We strive
to match individual talents to the
right role to create a perfect fit.
We are currently hiring for Designers for both Ann Taylor Stores
and LOFT. You may learn more
and apply online at :
Luxury Production Mgr
Customer Service Rep
Customer Service/Sales
Growing Accessories co. seeks outgoing,
detail oriented person with customer
relations and sales assistant experience.
Knowledge of order entry and shipping
procedures a plus. North Bronx Location.
E-mail: [email protected]
Account Executive
Luxury Fashion Co. seeks AE for
Shoes & Accessories div. Must have
3-5 yrs exp in Women’s Shoes & Acc’s,
For more info go to fashioncareers.com .
Email resume: [email protected]ugoboss.com
Subject: AE - Shoes & Acc’s
Fast paced Jr. Knit/Swtr importer
seeking highly motivated, organized,
team player w/ strong computer skills.
Will train, must have positive attitude,
eager to learn all aspects of sales, w/
potential to grow.
Please e-mail: [email protected]
Sales Person
Junior sportswear company is looking
for a dynamic sales / merchandiser for
their junior and junior plus bottoms &
knits division. Strong following with
RTW co sks Prod Mgr w/5 years of exp specialty stores. Please fax resume to:
to oversee entire prod process. Will have 212-840-0102 or call: 212-205-3506
to correspond w/ factories, mills & customers as follows prod, development &
costing. Fax resume 212-239-4006
or email [email protected]
Production Manager
Large Access Co sks expd jewelry merchandiser to manage product development team for its jewelry div. Must
have exc skills in dev/design w/min. 5 Leading Jr. swtr/knit importer seeking
yrs exp & solid Asia background. Fax res designer w/ strong creative and techni212-302-2753 or [email protected] cal skills: flat sketch, teck packs,
CADs. Must be organized, detail
oriented & highly proficient in
We are seeking dynamic Customer Illustrator,
Service oriented individuals with great Please e-mail: [email protected]
communication and typing skills needed
to work on behalf of our company this
Service Representative will earn up to
$3000 monthly any job experien c e
needed. E-mail if interested at:
[email protected]
Production Colourist
Panties Plus, growing Intimate Apparel
leader, seeks ind to report to (CD) Creative
• Responsible for Lab Dips, Strike Off’s
& Communicating w/ Mill via email.
• Work with CD to keep cohesive Seasonal
Colour Palette consistency across various
• Min. of 2 years Industry related exp.
• Bachelors or Ass. Degree in related field.
• Self motivated, detail orientated,
works well within a team.
FETHERSTON seeks an experi- • Organized, excellent communication
Customer Service/Sales ERIN
enced womens wear PM w/background & strong follow up skills. Knowledge
Growing Accessories co. seeks outgoing, in high end. Job profile & contact info at of Microsoft a must
detail oriented person with customer
Salary comm. with exp./skills. E-mail
relations and sales assistant experience.
resumes & salary history to:
Knowledge of order entry and shipping
[email protected]
procedures a plus. North Bronx Location.
E-mail: [email protected]
Seeking experienced and well organized
asst designer for leading manufacturer
of social occasion dresses. Must be
experienced w/sample room, computer
literate, communicate with factories
off shore, able to work in fast-paced
design room and have knowledge of
garment construction and consumption. Candidate must be motivated,
creative, able to multi-task and work
well within the design team to meet
deadlines. Email resume and salary
history in confidence to:
[email protected]
We are a contemporary collection
sportswear, dress and swim company.
Due to growth, we are seeking a
designer with a min of 3-5 yrs experience
designing in the contemporary market
to join our team. Individual must be
highly creative, motivated, organized,
and a team player with technical knowledge. Candidate must be proficient in
PhotoShop, Illustrator & Excel. Competitive salary with benefits
E-mail resume to: [email protected]
Current exp working for a garment co
planning retail analysis, replenishment,
inventory. Will create systems to be initiated for use with vendor client. Mdtn.
[email protected] 973-564-9236
Senior Designer
Contemp. designer seeks creative
hardworking person in designing
collection w/strong tech skills. 5 yrs. exp.
& communication w/the Orient a +.
E-mail resume w/cover letter to:
[email protected]
Asst. Patternmaker
Designer brand is seeking an assistant
eveningwear. Must have draping,
sewing, finishing knowledge. The
individual should be a team player
with strong interpersonal skills. Ideally,
the candidate should have at least 2-3
yrs of related experience. A bachelors Collaborate w/Creative Director of high
degree is pref’d. Please e-mail resume -end RTW women’s designer brand in
developing seasonal RTW & accessory
to: [email protected]
collections. Qualifications: 5-10 yrs design exp w/global, high-end RTW women’s brand, BA in Fashion Design
(Masters pref’d), extensive knowledge
of design techniques incl. fabrication,
Manufacturer of baselayer underwear silhouettes, color ways, construction, finhas an opening for an experienced ishing. Resume [email protected]
piece goods and trim buyer. The position
includes purchasing all fabric and trim
accessories and recording all transaction s
in our CGS Blue Cherry system. Located
1) Missy-Jrs.-Mens 2) Girl/Boy Mgr
in lower Westchester County. Please
3) Knits or Wovens 4) College Grads
e-mail resume to: [email protected] Call B. Murphy(212)643-8090; fax 643-8127
Piece Goods & Trim Buyer
Issue date: Nov. 24
Close: Oct. 27
For more information on advertising in WWDScoop, contact Christine Guilfoyle,
publisher, at 212-630-4737, or your WWD sales representative.