Marketers of mass-market apparel are evenly split on both their reports on spring business and their expectations for full-year retail sales.
According to a quarterly survey of soft goods suppliers by Capital Business Credit, 50 percent of respondents said their spring business was better than a year ago while 50 percent said results were flat or down. Among those experiencing an improved spring, the majority saw year-on-year growth of 3 to 10 percent.
Likewise, 50 percent expect retail sales this year to be up while 50 percent anticipate they will be flat or down. More specifically, 47 percent expect business to be slightly better than in 2012; 3 percent indicate it will be significantly better; 33 percent expect it to be about the same, and 17 percent expect it will be down.
Andrew Tananbaum, executive chairman of CBC, noted, “Consumers are spending less money on nonnecessities due to the new payroll tax. In order for retailers to get ahead in 2013, they will have to depend more heavily on discounting than they had in the past.”
The suppliers surveyed predominantly sell to mass merchandisers and discount stores.
Forty-eight percent of the importers surveyed said they were concerned about the new tax guidelines. Almost three-quarters — 72 percent — said they had received reorders for spring merchandise, while at the same time 58 percent of the sample indicated that their retail accounts were pressing for more concessions from them than they had a year ago.
“I think the new normal is that the consumer — right now and for the foreseeable future — isn’t very bullish on apparel, accessories and footwear,” Tananbaum said, “and won’t be until they feel more secure about their jobs and the economy.”
He said anxiety is particularly acute among customers who depend on mass channel retailers. “We can say that the branded business — the names we all know who sell to the department stores — are all doing fairly well and you can see that in their year-on-year figures. The department store business has been pretty steady.”
“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