India and the Middle East are emerging markets yet India is “close to the inflexion point to where China was 15 years ago,” said Sanjay Kapoor, managing director of Genesis Luxury Fashion Pvt. Ltd., which owns Indian fashion labels, operates stores and partners with foreign brands entering the country.
And the Middle East is “quite volatile,” observed Said G. Daher, chief executive officer of Azadea Group, which is based in Lebanon and manages over 35 brands in the region. “We live in a market where we are not sure what’s going to happen in the next week, especially after the Arab Spring, which is actually boosting the retail market.”
At the Global Sourcing Forum’s roundtable discussion, Kapoor said India retailing is undergoing “a second revolution.…The first time, when lots of brands came, rents were terribly high and productivity was terribly low. People were selling as much as they were paying rent. They tried to control businesses from Milan, Paris, Singapore or Hong Kong. But we are now seeing some real growth rates. In the last three, four years, same-store sales are going up 30 percent,” with urban areas growing more rapidly than rural areas.
The Middle East “enjoys great demographics,” noted Daher. “More than 50 percent of our population is actually below the age of 30. We are also blessed with countries that are extremely wealthy. We control the majority of production of oil. And the revenues from the oil are being invested into the region.”
Much of the female population doesn’t work. Instead, women shop often. “The Dubai Mall is magnificent. It’s actually a leisure center, not just a place to shop,” though sales per square foot are probably three times as much as major malls in America, Kapoor noted.
Also on the panel were Stanley Silverstein, executive vice president of international strategy and business development for Warnaco Inc., and Mortimer Singer, president of Marvin Traub Associates, who moderated.
Underscoring the potential of global growth, Silverstein said eight years ago Warnaco generated 20 percent of its revenues abroad. However, the business model changed and now 60 percent of revenues are generated overseas, and the company expects it to reach 70 percent in the next several years.
For Warnaco, China is red hot. The company does $170 million in revenues in China and sees the business growing to $400 million to $450 million in a “handful” of years. Brazil is also strong, accounting for $140 million in revenues which are seen doubling over the next several years.
India is a different story. Brands need to adopt “a longer-term horizon” for growth, Kapoor said. “Many brands may not be very well known. To create brand awareness you need to spend money. The brand building exercise is slightly longer. We do expect to break even in three to five years,” with brand partnerships. “I don’t think we are signing any contracts below ten years. Eight to ten years is really the bare minimum.”
“There’s a good deal of first-mover advantage in each of these markets. If I had a power brand I wouldn’t wait. I would figure out a way to put my flag down,” said Silverstein.
As one of the most recognizable models in the world, Christy Turlington Burns has an insider’s view of the fashion industry and the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around it. “I can say that harassment and mistreatment have always been widely known and tolerated in the industry. The industry is surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experiences at some point in our careers,” Turlington told WWD, along with her suggestions for how the modeling world should protect younger women and men. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: Tony Palmieri) #wwdnews
@asics America has tapped a new brand ambassador: famed DJ/record producer @steveaoki. This initiative is intended to set the tone for the new brand identity and philosophy and will include partnerships with influencers and in-store and off-line activations that will continue into next year. This is Asics’ most significant marketing effort in two decades, and is expected to attract younger consumers to the brand. #wwdfashion
24-year-old Jean Prounis is redefining the rules of jewelry. Formerly a studio assistant to Jemima Kirke and a design apprentice at Ghuran, she focuses on handcrafted subtleties and ancient goldsmithing techniques. “There was a really sterile feel in the environment and I wanted to have jewelry with character that shapes how you wear it everyday,” Prounis said. Each piece is hand made in New York, either by Prounis or three other jewelers in the district. #wwdfashion
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews
“Stranger Things” is getting a new cast member for season 2. Meet @sadiesink_, the 15-year-old who will be joining the Netflix series for its new season. You may recognize her from “The Glass Castle” with Brie Larson and Woody Harrelson, but the Texas native’s next role goes in an entirely different direction. She describes her character, Max, as “a rough and tumble skater girl [who] becomes friends with the boys at school.” The second season debuts on October 27. (📷: @jgreenery) #wwdeye
Amid the Harvey Weinstein controversy, there’s another sector that’s being put under the spotlight for sexual abuse: the modeling industry. While rumors about abuse and sexual harassment of female and male models — and the photographers, agents and others who perpetrated it — have circulated within the fashion world for years, model @cameronrussell started posting stories from models on Instagram last week about abusive situations they’ve encountered — from sexual harassment and molestation to attempted rape. Over 75 have weighed in so far. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews
To celebrate its 16th anniversary, @dylanscandybar tapped designers and celebrities to create mosaics out of candy. The mosaics will be auctioned off to support the philanthropic cause of each participant’s choice. Pictured here is the mural created by @aliceandolivia's Stacey Bendet. For a first look at some of the other artwork being unveiled tonight, go to WWD.com. #wwdeye
The annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in Pacific Palisades this weekend drew Kate Hudson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Laura Dern and more. See pictures of the star-studded event on WWD.com. (📷: @chelsealaurenla) #wwdeye
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye