Retail stocks gained 1.4 percent Wednesday as a solid report on private-sector employment gave investors additional confidence in the economic recovery.
The S&P Retail Index rose 6.99 points to 519.71 as the Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 0.6 percent, or 71.60 points, to close at 12,350.61. Both measures are within striking distance of their highs for the past year.
Among those gaining ground and posting new 52-week highs during the day were New York & Company Inc., which closed up 5.5 percent to $7.25; Jos. A. Bank Clothiers Inc., up 3.8 percent to $50.55; Ann Inc., 3.5 percent to $28.92; Express Inc., 2.5 percent to $19.21, and Ascena Retail Group Inc., 1.7 percent to $32.43.
The March ADP National Employment Report showed that the private sector added a seasonally adjusted 201,000 jobs over February.
“The average monthly increase in employment over the last four months — December through March — has been 211,000, consistent with a gradual, if uneven, decline in the unemployment rate,” the report said. “This is almost three times the average monthly gain of 74,000 over the preceding four months of August through November.”
In the past year, the retail index’s high point was reached on Feb. 16, when it peaked at 529.29 in intraday trading.
“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