NEW YORK — Kate Spade’s direct-to-consumer comparable sales for November and December were ahead of its sister brands at Liz Claiborne Inc.
Comps for Kate Spade were up 39 percent in December and 81 percent in November, compared with Lucky Brand, which rose 21 percent in December and 16 percent in November. The third global lifestyle brand in the Liz portfolio is Juicy Couture, which posted negative comps in both months. Juicy comps were down 5 percent in December and fell 7 percent in November. The company said December results are “preliminary.”
William L. McComb, chief executive officer at Liz Claiborne, said: “Comps at Juicy were generally in line with our expectation, and we look forward to the new team’s product, which is shipping this month. We anticipate reporting a year-end inventory position that is below plan, particularly at Juicy Couture.”
The company also said it expects 2011 pro-forma adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, deprecation and amortization, excluding foreign currency transaction gains or losses, to be in-line with guidance, at the low end of the range of $80 to $90 million. That’s due largely to “negative comps and lower than planned gross margins at Juicy,” according to the ceo.
It also revised its forecasted 2012 adjusted EBITDA, excluding foreign currency transaction gains or losses, to the range of $125 million to $140 million from the previous guidance of $130 million to $150 million. McComb said the updated range reflects a “more cautious view of how much cost reduction we can achieve in 2012 versus 2013 as well as a more conservative outlook for the wholesale channel at both Juicy Couture and Lucky Brand.”
The firm’s net debt position at yearend of 2011 is expected to be between $265 million to $270 million, below its previously expected range of between $270 million to $290 million.
“In December, we completed two transactions that further strengthened our capital structure — the purchase of 100 million euro of our 5 percent euro notes as well as the exchange of $21 million of our 6 percent convertible notes into 6.2 million shares of stock. Importantly, we have sufficient cash to settle the remaining outstanding balance of 121.5 million euro of the 5 percent euro notes, which are due in July 2013,” McComb said.
Liz Claiborne said its chief financial officer, Andrew Warren, is leaving the company on March 16, by mutual agreement, to “pursue an opportunity in the media industry.”
It was later disclosed by Discovery Communications that the firm named Warren to the position of senior executive vice president and cfo, a post he is to take on March 26.
As reported, Liz Claiborne is planning on changing its name to Fifth & Pacific Cos. Inc., and will trade under its new stock symbol “FNP” on the New York Stock Exchange.
“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