PARIS — The decline in exports of Swiss watches slowed down for the second month in a row in August. Still, demand in most markets, except for China, remained subdued.
The Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry reported that exports of timepieces fell 22 percent in August to 842.6 million francs, or $815.9 million at average exchange rates for the period, which is below the level of exports logged in August 2006.
Since January 2009, watch exports have declined 25.9 percent, reflecting shrinking demand for expensive timepieces amid the economic crisis, which has caused the entire Swiss watch industry to decline.
Citi analyst Thomas Chauvet noted despite the improving export trends, retailers are still destocking their inventories. As a result, he’s forecasting a 20 percent decline in Swiss watch exports in 2009.
“However, the combination of improving economic indicators and a much softer basis of comparison from October onwards argue for a potential recovery in the fourth quarter of 2009 and the first quarter of 2010,” Chauvet wrote in a note to clients.
Traditionally a quieter month for exports, August saw 1.1 million watches exported from Switzerland, 590,000 fewer timepieces compared with August 2008, the federation said.
Exports to Hong Kong fell by 26 percent, while U.S. demand declined 37 percent. In contrast, demand jumped 20 percent in China.
The watch category least affected by the downturn was the 200-500 francs range at export value, or $195-$485 at current exchange rates,which declined 15 percent.
Exports of watches priced over 500 francs, or $485, did better in August compared with the preceding months, but were still 22.8 percent below August 2008 levels.
“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