PARIS — Exports of Swiss watches climbed 12.6 percent in January, driven by swift growth in Asia, the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry said Tuesday.Sales of Swiss watches totaled 1.62 billion Swiss francs, or $1.74 billion, with an increase in sales of watches priced at more than 200 Swiss francs.“The year starts on a high note,” said the federation, citing strong gains in markets such as Hong Kong, where exports grew at their fastest level in five years, up 21.3 percent, and China, where exports rose 44.3 percent.“January is a relatively small month and the later timing of the Chinese New Year clearly boosted these figures, hence we should not extrapolate double-digit growth for coming months,” Rogerio Fujimori, analyst at RBC Capital Markets, cautioned in a research note to clients.China has overtaken the U.S. market to become the industry’s second-largest market after Hong Kong, the federation said. Exports to the U.S., meanwhile, continued their two-year decline, down 1.9 percent in January.Exports to Japan were up 12.9 percent, confirming a strong performance in recent months. In Europe, business was uneven, with declines in Germany, down 4.1 percent, and Italy, down 4.7 percent. Meanwhile, exports to France and the U.K. were up 19 percent and 4.6 percent, respectively.Foreign sales of Swiss watches are considered a bellwether for the luxury goods industry and thus closely eyed by analysts. While the sector’s recovery has been uneven in recent months, a 2.7 percent rise in 2017 as a whole came as a welcome relief after the declines of the two previous years.January’s growth was fueled by exports of timepieces priced between 500 Swiss francs and 3,000 Swiss francs, which rose 20.8 percent. The fast growth of the segment bodes well for Swatch Group, as its brands Omega and Longines are the two leading players in that category, said Fujimori.Compagnie Financière Richemont SA, meanwhile, likely stands to gain from the 10.2 percent growth clocked by watches worth more than 3,000 Swiss francs, the analyst said, noting the company’s cautious sell-in approach in recent quarters.Watches priced under 200 Swiss francs, a category that has been competing with connected watches, continued their decline, down 3.5 percent.
In honor the @CFDA’s announcement of @iamnaomicampbell receiving the Fashion Icon Award at the 2018 #CFDAAwards, which will take place on June 4, here’s a #tbt of the supermodel on @michaelkors’ runway in 1991. #wwdfashion #wwdarchive (📷: George Chinsee)
“I was making the guacamole when my scout saw me,” says model @stuckinteenage on being discovered just six months ago while working at @chipotlemexicangrill. Since then Williams has signed with @dnamodels, walked in her first show at @calvinklein and landed on the cover of @vogueitalia – a high point of any model’s career. To read @lisajlockwood’s full interview with the model on her experiences thus far, head to WWD.com – link in bio. (📷: George Chinsee)
“I love the idea of dialogue, period. It’s where I’ve always gotten my inspiration from: hearing other women speak, their journeys and their paths,” said @hereisgina, who delivered the keynote speech during @sxsw for @createcultivate in partnership with @fossil. For her two panels, Rodriguez chose female empowering, female-led and female entrepreneurs to focus on. Head to WWD.com to read more about her thoughts on Time’s Up, growing up in a family of women and why we “need a girls’ club.” #wwdeye #sxsw (📷: @jgreenery)
Leading luxury brand are shaking things up to keep up with streetwear. Case in point: the arrival of @mrkimjones as artistic director of @diorhomme. Jones, who succeeds @Kris_Van_Assche, is seen as one of the handful of designers who can actually straddle the luxury and streetwear worlds — which could lead to even more changes at established brands. What could this mean for the rest of the menswear landscape? Head to WWD.com to find out what experts predict #wwdfashion (📷: @franckmura)
“It’s like buying groceries. You’re going to buy the best mango, the best mozzarella, the best things. You have to, or others are going to take it all,” said @gabrielahearst on why she uses only the finest fabrics. Last week, Hearst received her first @cfda nomination for Womenswear Designer of the Year, and earlier this month she opened a permanent showroom in Paris. To read @jessiredale’s interview with the designer and find out why this is shaping up to be a big year for her, head to WWD.com. #wwdfashion (📷: @francoisgoize)
“It’s an interesting thing, playing a younger version of your mother. It’s an interesting concept. I adore my mom and love her in every capacity, but it was just something that had never crossed my mind,” says @anniemstarke on playing a young Joan Castleman in “The Wife.” The same role will be played by her mother Glenn Close. Read more about her growing up in the film industry as the daughter of producer John H. Starke and Close and what she has planned for the future #wwdeye (📷: @nataliamantini)
@asics is launching a new streetwear sneaker inspired by its latest ambassador, @steveaoki. The Hyper-Kenzen x Aoki, which will launch at @footlocker stores exclusively tomorrow, is a slip-on style that incorporates the brand’s proprietary Gel technology through beads integrated into the midsole for comfort and endurance. Read the full story on WWD.com.