MILAN — Italian eyewear company Safilo Group on Tuesday reported a near 37 percent drop in first-quarter earnings, after the spiraling dollar bit into sales.However, the company, which has licenses with Giorgio Armani, Dior, Gucci and Valentino, among others, confirmed its objectives for 2008.Net profits for the three months through March 31 fell to 13.2 million euros, or $19.8 million at average exchange — results that Safilo said were "substantially in line with expectations for the first part of the year.""We knew that the first quarter was going to be the most challenging of the year due to the difficult economic climate," Safilo chairman Vittorio Tabacchi said.Sales slipped 4.5 percent to 326 million euros, or $488.3 million — although, at constant exchange, they grew by 0.9 percent. In North America, revenues increased 2.4 percent.Safilo has forecast sales growth of between 4 and 5 percent this year, assuming an average euro-dollar exchange rate of 1.47. The company expects net profits to hover around 4.5 to 5 percent of sales, thanks in part to an improvement in the tax rate.Last month, Goldman Sachs downgraded Safilo to "neutral" from "buy" after the eyewear company lost Gucci Group's Stella McCartney license to rival Luxottica and on a more cautious view of margins and a weaker dollar assumption.The McCartney contract contributed less than 1.5 million euros, or $2.1 million at average exchange, to Safilo's total revenues in 2007. However, Goldman believes the loss "may increase market perception of the group later losing the Gucci contract," which expires in 2010 and represents around 20 percent of turnover.In real terms, Safilo's U.S. sales in the quarter increased 14.9 percent, boosted by the "good performance" of prescription frame collections in independent channels and "the strong progress" of the retail channel, following the February acquisition of the Sunglass Island store chain in Mexico. Safilo also reported "double-digit" growth at constant exchange at the Solstice chain.Currency fluctuations affected revenues in Asia as they dipped 3 percent, compared with a 4.5 percent gain at constant exchange. Safilo reported "good results in Chinese and Korean markets," but "persisting difficulty" in Japan.After growing 28.5 percent in the same period last year, sales in Europe fell 3.2 percent.By channel, retail sales increased 56.9 percent, following the acquisition of Sunglass Island in Mexico and Just Spectacles in Australia. Together, the chains added 77 stores to Safilo's directly operated network, which, at the end of March totaled 268 units. Safilo also operates the Loop Vision chain in Spain and Solstice in the U.S.Wholesale revenues decreased 7.5 percent, following a slowdown in sunglass sales, the company said.Safilo's stock closed down 2.5 percent to 1.81 euros, or $2.80, in Milan on Tuesday.
“I design by visualization. I see things, and most of the time they’re not practical to actually make, and what I’ve found here, it’s like anything’s possible. This is the first time that I’ve made a sole unit in two months. That process usually would take six, so here’s a difference,” said @virgilabloh of the first sneaker sample he created for @louisvuitton, pictured here. Abloh spoke to WWD about his debut collection for Louis Vuitton, creating @kendalljenner’s #metgala outfit and redefining the heritage brand. Read the full story on WWD.com. #wwdfashion (📷: @alfredo_piola)
The world’s largest producer of denim @iskodenim is sharing the strategy behind its product development process. Read our full interview with ISKO’s product development manager Baris Ozden on the company’s extensive research practices, upcoming denim trends and the latest material innovations on WWD.com. #iskodenim
“I genuinely fell in love with water, I fell in love with Fiji, I fell in love with the whole life that we lived for those few months,” says @mrsamclaflin of filming for his new movie “Adrift” with @shailenewoodley. The 31-year-old actor spoke with WWD about his upcoming projects, meeting Jamie Dornan and working with co-star Woodley. #wwdeye (📷: @jamstoker)
3 years ago, fans of the late singer Aaliyah started calling for a collaboration with @maccosmetics. With the strength of social media — including mock ups of products — 25,000 people signed a Change.org petition for a limited-edition collection, and MAC couldn’t ignore the buzz. Tomorrow, MAC will unveil MAC x Aaliyah, a tribute to the singer who passed away nearly 17 years ago. Head to our stories to preview the new collection, which was worked on by Aaliyah’s family and inspired directly by her makeup bag. #wwdbeauty
Artistic director @clarewaightkeller will be dedicating @givenchyofficial’s fall 2018 couture show in Paris on July 1 to house founder Hubert de Givenchy, who passed away in March at age 91. Givenchy said the collection would be “an homage to his iconic creations, technique, and personal lexicon” and a “celebration of his timeless elegance and grace.” Head to WWD.com to read more. #wwdfashion (📷: Delphine Achard)
La Double J made a name for itself with its vintage-inspired prints, but for resort, designer JJ Martin has ventured into new territory: enter rich jewel toned solids and decadent embellishment, in the form of appliqués, crystals and sequins. #wwdfashion #resort19 #ladoublej
This Just In: J. Crew Group has named Johanna Uurasjarvi as its chief design officer.
Uurasjarvi succeeds Somsack Sikhounmuong, who left the company last September. Tap the link in bio for the full report. #wwdnews
“She came into my hotel room and she was like, ‘I have Chanel and Christian Dior.’ She was like, ‘Chanel likes you.’ And I was like, ‘I’m going to start crying,’” breakout star Maddie Hasson tells WWD of her styling sessions Molly Dickson. “I really like classic, elegant things. I love the way Anna Wintour dresses.” Read more about Hasson’s role in @impulseseries on wwd.com. (📸: @jgreenery ) #wwdeye
@virgilabloh revealed he's working with Australian stylist and
Vogue Australia fashion director @christinecentenera for his debut @louisvuitton men's collection, which will be presented in Paris on June 21. Centenera met Abloh while both working with Kanye West, where she consulted on his all his runway collections since his debut spring 2012 women's wear show. Read the full story on WWD.com. #wwdfashion #wwdnews (📷: @asussmanphoto)