WASHINGTON — U.S.-made apparel prices increased 0.3 percent in April and were 3 percent higher than a year earlier, the Labor Department’s Producer Price Index showed Friday.
“We are seeing some degree of cost pressure still processing through the supply chain but these cost pressures are expected to moderate in the coming months, primarily because input prices are lower,” said Jeet Dutta, senior economist at Moody’s Analytics. “The need to pass along rising input costs at different stages of manufacturing along the apparel supply chain, whether it is sourced domestically or imported, is [lessening].”
“There is a lot of weight on cotton prices and it is a bit surprising that apparel prices are still showing the strength that they are but I would project they will be moderating in the months ahead.”
While domestically produced textile input prices were in line with the overall decline in prices of finished goods, apparel prices bucked the trend. They did contribute to the increase in core prices, which exclude volatile energy and food prices. Wholesale prices on finished goods in the overall economy fell 0.2 percent in April on a seasonally adjusted basis. However, the core PPI index inched up 0.2 percent in April.
"The drop in the headline PPI in April was driven entirely by falling energy prices,” said Nigel Gault, chief U.S. economist at IHS Global Insight. “Outside energy, prices rose, but only modestly, with both food and core prices up 0.2 percent. And earlier in the supply chain, intermediate goods prices fell for the first time since December, while crude materials prices fell across the board — food, energy, and other materials were all down.”
Gault said the PPI news is “good for consumers since it signals that the bite from energy into their spending power will diminish, and good for producers, since it shows cost pressures easing."
"It will also bolster the Fed's confidence that the previous rise in gasoline prices created nothing worse than a temporary rise in inflation," he added.
Women’s and girls’ domestically made apparel prices rose 0.4 percent in April compared with March and were 1.1 percent higher than April 2011. In the category, prices on nightwear, excluding robes, rose 7.3 percent last month and were 4.2 percent above a year earlier. Prices on knit shirts and blouses increased 2 percent in April and were 0.4 percent higher year-over-year. Wholesale prices on robes rose 1.7 percent in April and were 1.8 percent above a year earlier, while prices on jeans and slacks increased 0.4 percent last month and were 1.1 percent higher than April 2011.
Men’s and boys’ apparel prices rose 0.7 percent in April compared with March and were 8.5 percent higher than a year earlier. Prices on domestically made lightweight non-tailored coats, jackets and vests increased 7.4 percent in the month, while prices on work clothes and washable service apparel rose 1.5 percent last month and were 5.1 percent above a year earlier. Wholesale prices on jeans and jean-cut slacks increased 0.3 percent last month and were 18.3 percent higher than a year earlier.
Further down the pipeline, yarn prices fell 0.4 percent in April and were 13 percent below a year earlier, largely reflecting the steep drop in raw cotton prices from last year. Prices on finished fabrics rose 0.1 percent in the month and were 3.5 percent higher than April 2011. Wholesale prices on greige broad woven fabrics fell 2.2 percent in the month and were 4 percent lower than prices a year earlier. Prices on greige knit fabrics fell 1.6 percent in April and were 1.3 percent lower year-over-year.
“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