WASHINGTON — The fashion industry, jittery about the faltering economy, cut payrolls across the manufacturing and retail sectors last month as the overall employment picture worsened and fears of a recession deepened.Posting the biggest employment drop in more than four years, employers slashed a seasonally adjusted 17,000 jobs in January, a worse-than-expected showing, according to the Labor Department. The jobless rate slid to 4.9 percent last month from 5 percent, which some economists said was statistically negligible or simply a correction after the sharp jump in December to 5 percent from 4.7 percent."The incoming data continues to show the economy slowing sharply," said Nigel Gault, a U.S. economist at Global Insight. "Whether it is just stalled or heading into recession isn't yet clear."Gault said he expects "more bad news" in the labor market through the middle of the year until consumers begin to feel the anticipated impact of the Federal Reserve's aggressive interest rate cuts and tax rebates being negotiated in Congress.Economists generally agree that the U.S. has not yet felt the full effects of the housing slump, subprime mortgage crisis, tight credit and higher energy costs that have all combined to dampen consumer spending and depress retail sales.On the retail front, apparel and accessories stores reduced their payrolls by 9,200 last month to 1.54 million, after cutting back by 7,900 in December following a disappointing holiday season. Department stores eliminated 3,500 jobs from payrolls in January for a total of 1.56 million, after gaining some ground in December by adding 4,800 jobs.Domestic producers deepened their slump as foreign competition continued to erode the U.S. manufacturing base. Apparel producers trimmed employment by 2,500 to 202,200, textile mills cut payrolls by 900 to 162,000 and textile product mills eliminated 1,200 jobs for a total of 154,500."The clothing stores really took a beating," said Sophia Korpeckyj, an economist at Moody's Economy.com. "The housing market really affected consumer confidence and people don't want to spend. They don't know whether they are going to keep their jobs. Even if they keep their jobs, they may be working fewer hours and because of this uncertainty, people are more hesitant to open their wallets."Richard Yamarone, chief economist at Argus Research Corp., warned against reading too much into the retail employment numbers because the January report is based on a revision by the government."We get incredible revisions in everything from spending to employment [reports] and we have to really take all of these data with a grain of salt right now," he said.The revisions notwithstanding, Yamarone said there were some "pretty hefty" job cuts in the apparel retailing sector. But he said merchants typically shrink payrolls back after the holiday season."Record gift card issuances lead to record redemptions and you need people to facilitate those transactions," Yamarone said. "Unfortunately, I think some retailers, particularly apparel specialty stores and department stores, just couldn't warrant holding on to their staffs after the redemptions."
“I design by visualization. I see things, and most of the time they’re not practical to actually make, and what I’ve found here, it’s like anything’s possible. This is the first time that I’ve made a sole unit in two months. That process usually would take six, so here’s a difference,” said @virgilabloh of the first sneaker sample he created for @louisvuitton, pictured here. Abloh spoke to WWD about his debut collection for Louis Vuitton, creating @kendalljenner’s #metgala outfit and redefining the heritage brand. Read the full story on WWD.com. #wwdfashion (📷: @alfredo_piola)
The world’s largest producer of denim @iskodenim is sharing the strategy behind its product development process. Read our full interview with ISKO’s product development manager Baris Ozden on the company’s extensive research practices, upcoming denim trends and the latest material innovations on WWD.com. #iskodenim
“I genuinely fell in love with water, I fell in love with Fiji, I fell in love with the whole life that we lived for those few months,” says @mrsamclaflin of filming for his new movie “Adrift” with @shailenewoodley. The 31-year-old actor spoke with WWD about his upcoming projects, meeting Jamie Dornan and working with co-star Woodley. #wwdeye (📷: @jamstoker)
3 years ago, fans of the late singer Aaliyah started calling for a collaboration with @maccosmetics. With the strength of social media — including mock ups of products — 25,000 people signed a Change.org petition for a limited-edition collection, and MAC couldn’t ignore the buzz. Tomorrow, MAC will unveil MAC x Aaliyah, a tribute to the singer who passed away nearly 17 years ago. Head to our stories to preview the new collection, which was worked on by Aaliyah’s family and inspired directly by her makeup bag. #wwdbeauty
Artistic director @clarewaightkeller will be dedicating @givenchyofficial’s fall 2018 couture show in Paris on July 1 to house founder Hubert de Givenchy, who passed away in March at age 91. Givenchy said the collection would be “an homage to his iconic creations, technique, and personal lexicon” and a “celebration of his timeless elegance and grace.” Head to WWD.com to read more. #wwdfashion (📷: Delphine Achard)
La Double J made a name for itself with its vintage-inspired prints, but for resort, designer JJ Martin has ventured into new territory: enter rich jewel toned solids and decadent embellishment, in the form of appliqués, crystals and sequins. #wwdfashion #resort19 #ladoublej
This Just In: J. Crew Group has named Johanna Uurasjarvi as its chief design officer.
Uurasjarvi succeeds Somsack Sikhounmuong, who left the company last September. Tap the link in bio for the full report. #wwdnews
“She came into my hotel room and she was like, ‘I have Chanel and Christian Dior.’ She was like, ‘Chanel likes you.’ And I was like, ‘I’m going to start crying,’” breakout star Maddie Hasson tells WWD of her styling sessions Molly Dickson. “I really like classic, elegant things. I love the way Anna Wintour dresses.” Read more about Hasson’s role in @impulseseries on wwd.com. (📸: @jgreenery ) #wwdeye
@virgilabloh revealed he's working with Australian stylist and
Vogue Australia fashion director @christinecentenera for his debut @louisvuitton men's collection, which will be presented in Paris on June 21. Centenera met Abloh while both working with Kanye West, where she consulted on his all his runway collections since his debut spring 2012 women's wear show. Read the full story on WWD.com. #wwdfashion #wwdnews (📷: @asussmanphoto)