LATE RISERS: Thursday’s same-store sales reporting ritual had more than a little in common with the month it covered — slow at the start with a pickup at the end. The Wet Seal Inc. and Cato Corp., who’d wind up with the weakest performances of the month (down 9.7 and 7 percent, respectively), filed early in the morning while the better numbers — Nordstrom Inc. and Gap Inc.’s stronger-than-expected respective increases of 8.6 and 5 percent — came as the last data trickled in, along with upside surprises from Kohl’s Corp., Stein Mart Inc. and off-price titans The TJX Cos. and Ross Stores Inc. RELATED STORY: Holiday's Aftermath, Squeeze on Profits >>
THE EXPECTATIONS GAME: Earlier estimates from Thomson Reuters called for a modest 2 percent median increase in reporting stores’ same-store sales, but that number was lowered to 1.7 percent Wednesday as more analysts filed their numbers and others lowered previously issued approximations. The final average for the month was 2.3 percent and, excluding drugstores, rose to 4.5 percent, 1.2 points better than anticipated. Promotional and based on a shrinking sample, to be sure, but far better than November’s 1.6 percent advance, which was hampered by Hurricane Sandy.
VALUE VICTORS: Tempting prices delivered the dollars to fashion merchants late in the month, but it was the stores that live and die by price every day that posted the best numbers overall. In addition to Nordstrom’s solid performance, the largest increases came from Costco Wholesale Corp. (8 percent excluding fuel sales), TJX and Ross (both up 6 percent) and Stein Mart Inc. (up 5.9 percent).
“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