The Men’s Wearhouse Inc. has quietly launched a trade-up offensive as it’s fended off its Jos. A. Bank Clothiers Inc.’s takeover effort and then initiated its own attempt to buy its archrival.
Speaking on the company’s third-quarter conference call Thursday morning, Douglas Ewert, president and chief executive officer of Men’s Wearhouse, detailed how its July acquisition of the Joseph Abboud name, trademark and New Bedford, Mass., factory for $97.5 million has enabled it to begin offering custom-made Abboud suits, replete with U.S. pedigree, for $595 and $695. Abboud is MW’s chief creative director.
“Men’s Wearhouse has really only sold about 100,000 [suits] a year at price points above $400 out the door,” he told analysts on the call. “So we see it as a significant opportunity to gain share in that space as we not only trade up existing Men’s Wearhouse customers but attract new customers to shop with us.”
He said that, in just the last three weeks, the company has delivered suits from the New Bedford factory to about 250 of its 658 MW stores and placed custom clothing in 100 of them.
“The early read is very encouraging,” he said. “Throughout the coming spring season, we’ll expand the availability of these products into all our Men’s Wearhouse and [Canadian] Moores stores market by market and introduce complementary Joseph Abboud style, quality and value in other categories including sportswear, furnishings, shoes and tuxedo rental.”
He practically gushed, however, in discussing merchandising and marketing initiatives that contributed to a 2.6 percent increase in comparable-store sales during the third quarter.
“Slim-fit products now represent 43 percent of overall retail sales and 47 percent of suit sales,” he said. “Our tuxedo comps continue to be positive. Our premium Vera Wang tuxedos have grown to represent approximately 30 percent of our rental business.”
MW is in the process of making its in-store inventories available to visitors to its Web site, he pointed out, adding that “in the next few months” the company will be able to deliver products to consumers in more than 100 countries outside the U.S. and Canada.
In yet another fashion show shuffle, @elleryland is moving its show in sync with the Paris couture calendar — though the brand is still keeping one foot on the city’s ready-to-wear schedule. Their runway show in January will coincide with the launch of a new strategy: designing two main collections each year instead of four, which will then be released in four drops. “As we all know, the system needs to change. We need to show sooner to give time back to artisans and designers to do what they do best — create,” said founder Kym Ellery. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)
@maxmara’s classic 101801 coat was the cornerstone of its pre-fall 2018 collection. The design team expanded the traditional double-breasted, kimono-sleeved style into a trapeze coat, lean belted styles and a peacoat and presented them in monochromatic looks – like the camel one pictured here. #wwdfashion #prefall18 (📷: George Chinsee)
The @cfda has shifted the dates of #NYFW, with Men’s showing on February 5 through February 7, and Women’s will directly follow, running from February 8 through 14. The preliminary schedule will be released on the CFDA’s web site in the next few days, but Mark Beckham, VP of marketing for the CFDA, revealed that @rafsimons will be back to close the men’s-specific part of the week with a show on February 7 #wwdfashion (📷: Kelly Taub)
@ferragamo is introducing a new space dedicated to the development of women’s and men’s leather good samples. The laboratory, which is created eco-friendly materials and designed to reduce the environmental impact of the manufacturing processes, will allow the company to expand its accessories offering through traditional artisanal approaches. #wwdfashion (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
How does a “regular, degular, schmegular” girl from the Bronx, N.Y., become a Grammy-nominated artist with a certified platinum record in less than a year? Call it the @iamcardib come up. The 25-year-old has become a musical sensation, and the fashion world is taking note. “If I could describe her style I would say drama. She’s really into the dramatics,” says Cardi B’s stylist @kollincarter. See how Carter styles her bold and out there looks with the link in bio. #wwdfashion
“There is no formula. There is no guideline. I can watch Ted Talks all day, but there is no one who can advise me on exactly what it is I should be doing,” said @ronniefieg, CEO of @kith, in an interview with WWD’s @ariahughes at the brand’s new SoHo office in Manhattan. Head to WWD.com to see how Fieg went from hanging out in shoe stockrooms at 13 to building his own business. #wwdfashion (📷: @weston.wells)
@fearofgod and @maxfieldla have teamed up on a pop-up installation. The store, located in the gallery space across from Maxfield’s Melrose Ave location, is the site of the brand’s House of God pop-up in which Fear of God founder @jerrylorenzo has created a church-inspired installation. A dozen vintage church pews sit in front of an LED screen playing 90s gospel singers in an effort to re-create an environment akin to a Southern Baptist Church, Lorenzo explained. Read more about the pop-up on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: Jennifer Johnson)
Known for his sleek, sophisticated American glamour, Norman Norell is the subject of an upcoming exhibition at @fitnyc. “Norell: Dean of American Fashion,” which runs from February 9 through April 14, will feature approximately 100 ensembles and accessories. His best work is exemplified by the designer’s glittering “mermaid” gowns frosted with thousands of hand-sewn sequins – like the one pictured. (📷: William Helburn) #wwdfashion
For pre-fall 2018, @balmain didn’t let go of the glitz. A crystal embroidered baseball jacket priced at around $40,000 hangs in the “couture” section of the brand’s first men’s pre-collection. Sporting the words “Balmain Army” across the back, the item took around two months to make. “When it was completed, it was like Christmas, it was like, ‘It’s done, it’s exactly what I wanted,’” said Balmain’s creative director @olivier_rousteing during a tour of the collection in a Paris showroom on Monday. #wwdfashion