WASHINGTON — The volatility in cotton prices this year continued to put upward pressure on U.S.-made apparel prices in September.
Prices on domestically produced apparel rose 0.7 percent in September compared with August and were up 4.6 percent over September 2010, the U.S. Labor Department’s Producer Price Index showed Tuesday. Men’s apparel prices rose 2.7 percent in September compared with August and were up 8.7 percent against a year earlier. Prices on U.S.-made women’s apparel fell 0.4 percent last month but were still up 1.4 percent from a year earlier.
In men’s, prices on trousers were up 6.8 percent in September and 15.9 percent year-to-year, while prices on work shirts rose 6.4 percent last month and were up 10.1 percent from September 2010.
In women’s, wholesale prices for woven shirts and blouses fell 6.2 percent for the month and 4.6 percent for the year. Prices on knit shirts and blouses fell 0.3 percent last month, but were 7.3 percent higher than September 2010. Prices of tailored jackets and vests rose 1.3 percent in September and were 7 percent higher than a year earlier.
“There was a marked contrast between men’s and women’s prices, which suggests producers have found it easier to pass cost increases through on men’s and boys’ apparel rather than on women’s,” said Nigel Gault, chief U.S. economist at IHS Global Insight.
Cotton prices have dropped from historic highs of more than $2 a pound in March to around $1 a pound, but finished goods being sold now still reflect the high raw material surges.
The PPI for apparel is not considered a key price indicator, since a vast majority of goods are imported. The Consumer Price Index, released today, is a more important gauge, since it includes all goods sold at retail.
Further down the pipeline, prices on U.S.-made finished fabrics fell 1.2 percent last month but were 8.1 percent higher than a year earlier, while prices on yarns edged up 0.1 percent in September and were 22.9 percent above September 2010. Prices on U.S.-made gray fabrics rose 0.3 percent in September and were 16.9 percent above September 2010.
In the overall economy, wholesale prices rose 0.8 percent in September, driven largely by high gas costs. The core PPI index, excluding volatile food and energy costs, rose 0.2 percent last month.
“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