North American brand owners, including those in the world of fashion, saw continued erosion of their royalties in 2010, although at a far less rapid pace than in 2009.
According to the annual Licensing Industry Survey being released today by the international Licensing Industry Merchandisers’ Association, total royalties paid to licensors in 2010 were $5.07 billion, down 1.9 percent from the $5.17 billion paid in 2009, but a dramatic improvement over the 8.7 percent contraction of the prior year. Fashion brands took in $690 million last year, down 2.1 percent from 2009, when $705 million was collected. The 2009 decline was 9 percent.
Entertainment, television and movie brands, as usual, were by a wide margin the largest source of licensing revenues tracked by LIMA, and the category declined 1 percent last year to $2.38 billion. Trademarks and brands were the second biggest category, and they declined 3.9 percent to $845 million. Fashion brands were third, followed by sports, which were down 2.2 percent to $645 million.
“The licensing business is a subset of the overall consumer products marketplace and generally tracks pretty close to consumer spending,” said Marty Brochstein, LIMA’s senior vice president. “The business was affected by the same trends, including a general retail conservatism. Stores generally aren’t looking to go out on a limb for anything too new, and no one’s pushing the edge on fashion very much these days.”
The only category of the 10 tracked by LIMA that produced an increase was music, where royalties rose 4.5 percent to $115 million, a development that Brochstein attributed in part to changes in the music business model in recent years. With CDs no longer the revenue generator they once were in the era of MP3 downloads, “the revenue stream you can generate with merchandise when touring has become much more important. It’s one that hadn’t been tapped all that much in the past,” he said.
Brochstein said the pickup in business many stores saw in last year’s fourth quarter wasn’t reflected in the data, since royalties are generally collected months after retail sales are made. “We probably got back to about flat,” rather than the 1.9 percent decline reported. “Even so, we had the smallest decline in three years, to put a weirdly positive spin on it.”
“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