Michele watches is hedging a comeback on hybrid smartwatch technology.The midprice watch brand — a subsidiary of the Fossil Group — says that sales have lagged somewhere between $15 million and $20 million per year, since the label’s peak popularity about five years ago.The brand hopes to regain market share and consumer interest with the introduction of the Connected Hybrid Smartwatch, released today.“We have an advantage that we are less exposed to noise out there in regards to watches,” said Michele director for global brand management, Patrick Ranger. He feels the brand’s quieter notion will lend itself to exponential growth.Michele is on track to grow between 2 and 5 percent this year — and is projected for similar growth in 2018. Ranger anticipates the brand will net between $80 and $90 million in sales for 2018.“We are growing back. Our projection for next year is to be back where Michele was at its height. I think we’ve had to make some tough decisions with our distribution, we wanted to make sure we don’t chase quarterly purchases and are in it longer-term to maintain brand health,” Ranger said, noting the label hit its peak between 2010 and 2013.Specialty stores and department store partners including Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue and Bloomingdale’s will help launch Michele’s Connected watch. These bricks-and-mortar efforts are coupled with a digital sales and marketing strategy to leverage online sales, which account for 25 percent of brand transactions.The product will launch with four colorways: midnight blue, gray, and black faces, matched with variations of stamped alligator straps and metal bezels. The watch is priced at $495, retail.As is typical of Fossil-produced hybridized technology, the watches connect to Bluetooth and sync with wireless networks. Sleep tracking, phone alerts, music control and a camera are among its tech features.“It’s critical we engage in wearable technology and smartwatches but at the same time, do it in a way that fits our traditional Michele customer. Engaging with them and not intimidating them at the same time. It does also give us an opportunity to get in front of someone perhaps younger and more progressive, who [is] excited about wearable technology,” Ranger said of the introduction.The executive projects that the hybridized smartwatches could account for approximately 5 percent of brand sales over the next year. He aims for this ratio to grow to an eventual 20 percent.
“I design by visualization. I see things, and most of the time they’re not practical to actually make, and what I’ve found here, it’s like anything’s possible. This is the first time that I’ve made a sole unit in two months. That process usually would take six, so here’s a difference,” said @virgilabloh of the first sneaker sample he created for @louisvuitton, pictured here. Abloh spoke to WWD about his debut collection for Louis Vuitton, creating @kendalljenner’s #metgala outfit and redefining the heritage brand. Read the full story on WWD.com. #wwdfashion (📷: @alfredo_piola)
The world’s largest producer of denim @iskodenim is sharing the strategy behind its product development process. Read our full interview with ISKO’s product development manager Baris Ozden on the company’s extensive research practices, upcoming denim trends and the latest material innovations on WWD.com. #iskodenim
“I genuinely fell in love with water, I fell in love with Fiji, I fell in love with the whole life that we lived for those few months,” says @mrsamclaflin of filming for his new movie “Adrift” with @shailenewoodley. The 31-year-old actor spoke with WWD about his upcoming projects, meeting Jamie Dornan and working with co-star Woodley. #wwdeye (📷: @jamstoker)
3 years ago, fans of the late singer Aaliyah started calling for a collaboration with @maccosmetics. With the strength of social media — including mock ups of products — 25,000 people signed a Change.org petition for a limited-edition collection, and MAC couldn’t ignore the buzz. Tomorrow, MAC will unveil MAC x Aaliyah, a tribute to the singer who passed away nearly 17 years ago. Head to our stories to preview the new collection, which was worked on by Aaliyah’s family and inspired directly by her makeup bag. #wwdbeauty
Artistic director @clarewaightkeller will be dedicating @givenchyofficial’s fall 2018 couture show in Paris on July 1 to house founder Hubert de Givenchy, who passed away in March at age 91. Givenchy said the collection would be “an homage to his iconic creations, technique, and personal lexicon” and a “celebration of his timeless elegance and grace.” Head to WWD.com to read more. #wwdfashion (📷: Delphine Achard)
La Double J made a name for itself with its vintage-inspired prints, but for resort, designer JJ Martin has ventured into new territory: enter rich jewel toned solids and decadent embellishment, in the form of appliqués, crystals and sequins. #wwdfashion #resort19 #ladoublej
This Just In: J. Crew Group has named Johanna Uurasjarvi as its chief design officer.
Uurasjarvi succeeds Somsack Sikhounmuong, who left the company last September. Tap the link in bio for the full report. #wwdnews
“She came into my hotel room and she was like, ‘I have Chanel and Christian Dior.’ She was like, ‘Chanel likes you.’ And I was like, ‘I’m going to start crying,’” breakout star Maddie Hasson tells WWD of her styling sessions Molly Dickson. “I really like classic, elegant things. I love the way Anna Wintour dresses.” Read more about Hasson’s role in @impulseseries on wwd.com. (📸: @jgreenery ) #wwdeye
@virgilabloh revealed he's working with Australian stylist and
Vogue Australia fashion director @christinecentenera for his debut @louisvuitton men's collection, which will be presented in Paris on June 21. Centenera met Abloh while both working with Kanye West, where she consulted on his all his runway collections since his debut spring 2012 women's wear show. Read the full story on WWD.com. #wwdfashion #wwdnews (📷: @asussmanphoto)