Retail stocks gained ground today as Wall Street briefly touched a five-year high and proved to be strong enough to support a rumor that accessories giant Coach Inc. could put itself on the market.
A Coach spokeswoman batted away the talk, noting, “We do not comment on speculation or rumors, particularly unsubstantiated ones.” But the report, attributed to DealReporter, was enough to push shares of Coach up as much as 5.4 percent before the stock closed up 2.8 percent at $47.82. More than 14 million shares traded hands, well above the 5.5 million daily average for the past three months.
Coach has an enterprise value of $12.3 billion, which would make any takeover an extremely big deal for the fashion industry, although low interest rates have helped make it relatively easy for big investors to borrow large sums of money cheaply, a fact that no doubt helped buttress the rumor.
The S&P 500 Retailing Industry Group gained 1.6 percent, or 10.86 points, to 703.33, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 1.3 percent, or 175.24 points, to 14,075.37.
The other fashion gainers included Sears Holdings Corp.,up 4.5 percent to $47.47; Tumi Holdings Inc., 3.7 percent to $23.06; Aéropostale Inc., 3.6 percent to $13.23; Lululemon Athletica Inc., 2.7 percent to $67.72, and Nordstrom Inc., 2.6 percent to $53.90.
The Dow briefly traded as at 14,104.86 — a level not seen since 2007.
The market took a hit earlier this week when inconclusive elections in Italy sparked fears that the region’s debt crisis would flare up again. Federal Reserve chairman Ben S. Bernanke, however, helped calm nerves in Congressional testimony, standing by policies that pump money into the economy to help the recovery.
In Europe, stocks bounced back from Tuesday’s steep sell off sparked by the Italian elections. The CAC 40 in Paris led markets higher, gaining 1.9 percent to 3,691.48, and Milan’s FTSE MIB advanced 1.6 percent to 15,801.26. Frankfurt’s DAX gained 1 percent to 7,675.83, while London’s FTSE 100 0.9 percent to 6,325.88.
The euro traded at $1.31 against the dollar, while the pound was worth $1.52.
Retail and luxury stocks were mostly up, with the day’s biggest gainers including Marks & Spencer, up 2.1 percent to 3.70 pounds; Tod’s, 1.7 percent to 109 euros, and PPR, which was up 1.4 percent to 169.30 euros.
Among those losing ground were Mulberry, which dropped 1.8 percent to 13.28 pounds, and Yoox, 1.4 percent to 13.89 euros.
“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