Retail apparel prices flattened out in August after notable increases the previous two months, matching an equally undynamic month for overall consumer prices, the U.S. Labor Department reported Tuesday in its Consumer Price Index.
Prices on all apparel sold at retail edged up a seasonally adjusted 0.1 percent, after monthly increases of 0.6 percent in July and 0.9 percent in June. Overall apparel prices increased 1.8 percent on a year-to-year basis.
Women’s apparel prices at retail outpaced men’s, girl’s and boy’s in August, and was the only category with price hikes. Women’s apparel prices rose 1.6 percent for the month and 3.1 percent for the year, while men’s prices fell 0.2 percent from July and gained 1.1 percent from August 2012. Girl’s apparel prices were down 2.5 percent in the month and were up 1.9 percent for the year, while boy’s prices dipped 0.1 percent month-to-month and gained 0.3 percent year-to-year.
Within the women’s category, retail prices for suits and separates increased 2 percent in the month and were up 1.8 percent for the year, as dress prices rose 1.2 percent month-to-month and 2.2 percent year-to-year. The broad category that includes underwear, nightwear, sportswear and accessories saw prices rise 0.5 percent in August and increase 3.4 percent over the 12 months. Outerwear was the only women’s sector to see a monthly decline, with prices falling 2.1 percent in the month, although they were up 14.2 percent from a year earlier.
In men’s wear, prices for men’s furnishings rose 2.1 percent last month and were up 6.2 percent from August 2012. Prices for shirts and sweaters increased 1.1 percent for the month but were down 0.3 percent from a year earlier. The suits, sports coats and outerwear sector posted a price decline of 2.6 percent last month and was down 2.5 percent over the year, while prices for pants and shorts fell 1.7 percent in August and were flat over the 12 months.
The overall CPI inched up a seasonally adjusted 0.1 percent in August and was up 1.5 percent for the year. The core index, which excludes volatile food and energy prices, was also up 0.1 percent for the month and gained 1.8 percent for the year.
“The price of gasoline has been the bane of many monthly CPI reports in the last few years, but gasoline prices eased a token 0.1 percent in August to not matter much,” said IHS Global Insight U.S. economist Michael Montgomery. “Other energy prices bounced up and down as they normally do, but a natural gas price decline lead to a 0.3 percent softening in energy prices.”
Montgomery said the outlook for the balance of the year “remains almost as bland” as the meager year-to-year prices gains in the core and noncore CPI.
“There is no spike in energy on the horizon and food prices are set to begin to cool,” he added. “Core prices should continue to follow the familiar script of goods prices [being] soggy and service prices firming at close to a 2 percent annual clip. There is almost no story to the inflation picture as 2013 approaches the end of the third quarter.”
“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