WASHINGTON — Falling retail apparel prices continued to break records in July, with a seasonally adjusted decline of 1 percent — the largest one-month drop in July since 1948, the Labor Department’s Consumer Price Index revealed...
WASHINGTON — Falling retail apparel prices continued to break records in July, with a seasonally adjusted decline of 1 percent — the largest one-month drop in July since 1948, the Labor Department’s Consumer Price Index revealed Friday.
The increasing influx of imports and influence of discounters mixed with summer sales and lackluster consumer demand to hammer prices in July, according to economists, who consider the CPI the main U.S. inflation gauge.
On a year-over-year basis, all apparel prices plunged 3.2 percent, reflecting the continual erosion of prices. Women’s retail prices fell a seasonally adjusted 0.8 percent in July and fell sharply by 3.8 percent against July 2001. Prices for girls’ were down 1.9 percent in July and down 3 percent against the year ago.
The year-over-year decline in women’s prices marked the 15th consecutive annual decline in the category, a Labor analyst said.
"This is now an impact of price cutting by retailers and also a lack of demand," said Rajeev Dhawan, director of economic forecasting at Georgia State University.
Ira Kalish, chief economist at Retail Forward, said he expects weak demand to continue over the next several months, driven in part by the decline in the equity market.
"That has been a major contribution to the weakness in demand, especially at department and specialty stores," he said.
Kalish said imports have also contributed to deflationary retail prices, but he expects that to reverse next year if the dollar continues to weaken.
"For now, we are still working off of a strong dollar, import prices are low and demand is low," he said.
But he said there is usually a one-year lag between movement in currency values and movement in import prices, which could increase next year if the dollar continues to weaken. Kalish doesn’t expect prices of apparel imports from China, Latin America or Eastern Europe to increase, but he does expect import prices from Southeast Asia and most developed countries to begin to rise.
In the overall economy, the sharp drop in apparel prices countered rising food, energy and medical care costs in the consumer price rate, which rose just 0.1 percent in July on the heels of the same increase in June.In the individual apparel price categories tracked by Labor, all sectors posted declines once again. Prices for suits and separates fell 6.7 percent in July and 4.8 percent against July 2001, while prices for dresses fell 0.7 percent last month but plunged 11.3 percent against a year ago.
Outerwear prices fell 1.3 percent in July versus June and fell further by 8.2 percent against July 2001. Prices for underwear, nightwear, sportswear and accessories fell 3.4 percent in July and plummeted 7.1 percent against a year ago.
“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