Innovate, innovate, innovate.That laser focus on innovation was a key element in helping American Eagle Outfitters Inc. achieve 11 consecutive quarters of comparable-store sales gains, according to Bob Madore, chief financial officer of the teen retailer.In a telephone interview Wednesday following the company’s third-quarter earnings report, Madore said, “When I walk the malls and spend time looking at us and our competitors, one of the big things for us is continuous product innovation and high-quality merchandise at a value.” He also said the American Eagle brand has the leading jeans position in the teen space in the malls, noting that key differentiators in the business are the brand’s different style options and fits in the jeans category.Jay L. Schottenstein, chairman and chief executive officer, said in the morning conference call to Wall Street analysts that the company “achieved record third-quarter sales and posted the best comparable sales so far this year.…We continue to see consistency in our top-line growth, which reflects the multiyear investments we’ve made in product leadership, innovation [and] quality in our brands.”Results for the quarter ended Oct. 28 just missed Wall Street’s consensus estimates. Net income fell 15.9 percent to $63.7 million, or 36 cents a diluted share, on a revenue gain of 2.1 percent to $960.4 million and comps gain of 3 percent on top of a 2 percent increase last year. Adjusted for restructuring charges, adjusted EPS was 37 cents. Wall Street was expecting adjusted EPS of 38 cents on revenues of $960.8 million.The company continues to remain strong in its AE jeans and bottoms business, and the goal for Aerie continues to be the $1 billion mark in annual volume over the next few years. Further, the company has been working on creating stronger customer engagement and experience at every touch point. It recently built its new AE Studio at Union Square, a concept designed to raise the bar on customer engagement.Chad Kessler, global brand president for American Eagle Outfitters, told WWD that the company is “very optimistic” going into the fourth quarter and has issued guidance for a positive midsingle-digit earnings growth over last year. He said the business “exceeded our expectation over the critical Thanksgiving time period.” The brand comped up 1 percent in the quarter.Kessler also said the company has been able to better manage the interplay — and consumer experience — between direct-to-consumer and brick-and-mortar, as well as digital, and have the experience be somewhat different between the different platforms. That differentiation is more involved than what’s found at competitors, particularly in the digital space that includes exclusive product, compared with many competitors who are focused primarily on extensive sizing options, Kessler said.The American Eagle brand president also said the investment in marketing campaigns, focused on product and value proposition, has also helped “us drive more than our share of traffic in the mall [into our stores].”Over at the company’s intimates concept brand Aerie, the business posted its 14th consecutive quarter of positive comps, which included a 19 percent comps growth in the third quarter. Jennifer Foyle, Aerie’s global brand president, said, while intimates remains strong, the addition of fleece tops and ath-leisure apparel provides a lifestyle collection that allows the customer to “dress in a casual sensibility from yoga to the coffee shop. That is how girls are dressing today.” She also reiterated the brand’s body-positive platform and how that’s resonating with a new generation of consumers.Shares of American Eagle rose 2.4 percent to close at $16.42 in New York Stock Exchange trading.
For its next men’s wear collection, @roberto_cavalli will show as a special guest at #PittiUomo, running from June 12-15. The brand, which has Florence in its roots, will relaunch its men’s wear collection, which will be presented separately from women’s wear for the first time since Paul Surridge was appointed creative director in May. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
“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.