PARIS — Swiss watch exports fell 3.9 percent in May, sapped by a drop in sales of gold watches and an unfavorable comparison with the same period last year, the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry reported on Thursday.
Foreign sales of Swiss timepieces reached 1.8 billion Swiss francs, or $1.93 billion, in the month, according to the federation. This followed increases of 5.7 percent in April and 0.6 percent in March.
Dollar figures are calculated at average exchange for the period to which they refer.
Growth in the first five months of the year totaled just 1.7 percent, reflecting a sharp slowdown in key markets like Hong Kong and China, where a government crackdown on corruption has dented sales of luxury timepieces.
The number of exported wristwatches fell 7.9 percent in relation to May 2012, due mainly to a 13.9 percent drop in the amount of gold watches. Over the first five months of the year, 840,000 fewer watches were exported, representing a drop of 7.3 percent, the federation noted.
Only timepieces costing between 200 and 500 francs, or $210 to $524, were exempt from the slide. Sales of watches costing less than 200 francs fell by 14.2 percent in volume terms. Meanwhile, exports of watches costing more than 3,000 francs, or $3,142, were down 4.1 percent, their first monthly decline in more than three years.
Hong Kong and China continued to report declining sales, with drops of 15.7 percent and 19.4 percent, respectively. Sales in the United States eased by 0.9 percent, while France posted a 14.7 percent decrease. Italy was up 4.7 percent, and Germany recorded a rise of 8.4 percent.
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast