WASHINGTON — Wholesale prices of American-made women's and girls' apparel held steady in September, according to the Labor Department's Producer Price Index released Tuesday.
Across the economy, prices on all U.S. goods fell a seasonally adjusted 1.3 percent, led by steep declines in the energy sector, where prices fell 8.4 percent. The drop in overall prices was the largest since April 2003.
Excluding the food and energy areas, which can vary widely, so-called "core" prices increased 0.6 percent, three times the 0.2 percent economists were expecting. The unexpectedly sharp increase in core prices contributed to a down day on Wall Street, where the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.3 percent, to 11,950.02.
"It's muddled because, while this is a benign report, it's less benign than was expected because of this 0.6 percent top-line measure," said Mark McMullen, senior economist at Moody's Economy.com. "I think the markets took that to heart, while the overall story is the same."
Where there was some price inflation, it was in intermediate goods, such as textiles, and not finished products, he said.
Against a year earlier, wholesale prices on women's and girls' apparel fell 0.2 percent in September, and there was a drop of 4 percent in underwear and nightwear. Prices of woven shirts and blouses, on the other hand, rose 2.1 percent and jeans and slacks were up 0.9 percent.
However, since domestically produced apparel accounts for a small fraction of clothing sold at retail, no wide trend can be disseminated from the data. The Consumer Price Index, a broader measure of inflation that tracks prices of all goods sold at retail, including imports, is due out today.
In the textiles area, yarn prices grew 2.1 percent, greige fabrics were up 4.8 percent and knit prices advanced 0.6 percent.
"Notwithstanding the jump in the core index, the September report is unequivocally good news on the inflation front," Global Insight U.S. Economist Brian Bethune said in a report.
In August, the Federal Reserve Board halted a steady two-year campaign of hiking interest rates to combat higher prices, a drive that bumped up the benchmark federal funds rate 17 times, to 5.25 percent."The bottom line is that the Federal Reserve…will be encouraged by the rather compelling trend decline in core producer prices," said Bethune.
“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