Fourth-quarter profits for Swank Inc. tumbled more than 25 percent as the slowdown in consumer spending and anemic holiday shopping impacted sales of men’s accessories.
Net income for the maker of belts, leather goods and accessories fell 25.4 percent to $2.6 million, or 35 cents a diluted share, for the three months ended Dec. 31 from $3.5 million, or 81 cents a diluted share, in the 2007 quarter. Results for the most recent quarter were helped by $2 million of pretax income from an insurance settlement. Income from operations exclusive of the insurance benefit dropped 60.6 percent to $2.5 million.
Revenue for the company, which licenses brands such as Nautica, Tommy Hilfiger and Guess, sunk 19.2 percent to $34.8 million, compared with $43.1 million a year earlier. Higher merchandise markdowns and lower net sales contributed to a reduction in gross margin to 31.4 percent from 36.2 percent in the prior-year period.
“This past holiday season was one of the most difficult in recent memory,” said John Tulin, Swank’s chairman and chief executive officer. “While we are disappointed that earnings were lower than last year, we are pleased with our performance in light of the very challenging conditions.”
The recession similarly took a toll on Swank’s year-end results. Income for the 12-month period tumbled 57.8 percent to $2.1 million, or 35 cents per diluted share, from $4.9 million, or 81 cents per diluted share, for the same period last year. Revenues were off 11.4 percent to $114 million from $128.6 million.
While the consumer slowdown led to lower shipments for the year, the company said the drop was softened by solid performance within some of its private label programs. Shipments of its Tumi accessories collection also increased.
“These difficult times demand that we remain even more vigilant about managing costs, inventories and cash flow, which will be our primary focus this year,” Tulin continued. “However, at the same time, we must also be prepared to take advantage of new business and licensing opportunities.”
“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