NEW YORK -- While more or less upbeat about business next year, most ready-to-wear executives said the impact of the new Republican Congress on the overall business climate was still unknown.
Some said as interest rates rose, consumers would spend more on apparel and less on big-ticket items. Others said the quality and look of their products had more to do with sales than rising interest rates.
But, as Tom Murry, president of Tahari Ltd., put it, "Consumers' perceptions of the economy is more significant than the actual economy.
"There's a lot of talk about things like a cut in capital gains, and whether it actually happens remains to be seen," he said. "But if the consumer perceives she has more discretionary income -- whether she does or not -- she'll spend more.
"Interest rates will have a big impact," he added. "[Adjustable rate mortgages] and auto loans are all going up, and that will put a squeeze on discretionary income."
Conversely, R. Fulton Macdonald, president of International Business Development, a consulting firm, said the new Congress should have a positive impact.
"Republicans are committed to reducing taxes, and that will put more money in the hands of consumers," he said.
The overall economy is coming on strong, said Howard Bloom, president of Chetta B, but he was confused as to why the Federal Reserve Bank was rushing to raise interest rates and curb the growth of the economy. "I'm not scared of a little inflation, especially when you consider the alternative, which is less spending and more unemployment," Bloom said. "You really have to wonder why they're putting the breaks on the economy just as it's chugging along."
Jules Wachter, president of PSI/Bicci, said the Republican Congress would be good for the economy, and was expected "to give big business a break."
"That," he added, "will allow us to expand our business, too."
@kering_official is spinning off its stake in puma in an effort to focus on its luxury brands, the brand operator announced yesterday. “We are proud to have supported the turnaround of Puma, which now has unrivaled capabilities to take full advantage of the specific dynamics of its global markets and is poised to achieve substantial growth,” said François-Henri Pinault, Kering’s chief executive officer and chairman. Artémis will become a “long-term strategic shareholder” of Puma with a 29 percent stake. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
The fashion world mourns for celebrated street style photographer, Nabile Quenum, who died at age 32 in Paris.
Quenum, creator of the fashion blog “J’ai Perdu Ma Veste,” was a fashion week fixture, and regularly shot for New York magazine’s The Cut, among other outlets, and brands such as Louis Vuitton, Moncler and Adidas. He was also actively involved in the #NoFreePhotos initiative, which kicked off in the fall. Read more about Quenum in @kbsmoke's story on WWD.com. #wwdnews
@verwanggang and @maisonladuree have teamed up on a dessert collab called Vera Wang Pour Ladurée. The collection, which launched this week, features a specialty macaroon, as well as a wedding cake inspired by one of the designer’s gowns. “I could not imagine a more delicate or sophisticated creation to grace any couple’s celebration,” said Wang. #wwdfashion
“I’m Russian and I love to use all these little tricks that I got from my grandma or my mom. We didn’t have a lot of money for creams or anything like that so we would use a garden as a beauty treatment regime. We’d put cucumber in the fridge and do a cucumber mask,” says model @irinashayk on one of her beauty hacks. WWD asked celebs what their go-to self-care rituals are. See what Naomie Harris, Freida Pinto and more said on WWD.com. #wwdeye #wwdbeauty (📷: @zefashioninsider)
Exclusive: @viktorandrolf are teaming up with @Zalando on a collection made from leftover clothing. The lineup, which lands at the retailer February 1, includes 17 pieces adorned with sliced up and repurposed overstock from the retailer’s private label collection. Pictured here is a look from the collection –– see more on WWD.com. #wwdfashion #wwdnews
@duewestnyc is the newest bar joining the collection of intimate neighborhood-focused spaces in the West Village. The cocktail menu, which includes bitters and syrups made in-house, offers a “Build Your Own Old-Fashioned” – like the one pictured here – where guests can choose from a list of spirits and unexpected sugars and bitters. #wwdeye
Spotted at last night’s National Board of Review gala in NYC: Angelina Jolie. Jolie – along with Meryl Streep, @lupitanyongo and more – continued the all-black dress code from Sunday’s Golden Globes. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)