In Brief: M&S Poaches Asda Exec … Gap Stock Downgrade … Kudos for Coach
M&S POACHES ASDA EXEC: Marks & Spencer plc has wooed yet another executive away from competitor Asda, which has knocked M&S out of first place as the U.K.’s biggest clothing retailer by volume. An M&S spokeswoman confirmed...
M&S POACHES ASDA EXEC: Marks & Spencer plc has wooed yet another executive away from competitor Asda, which has knocked M&S out of first place as the U.K.’s biggest clothing retailer by volume. An M&S spokeswoman confirmed Wednesday that Helen Low will join the company as head of design for children’s clothing. Low was until recently design general manager for the George clothing line at Asda, the U.K. subsidiary of Wal-Mart Stores. She will join M&S in October and will report to Anthony Thompson, the former Gap executive who is head of the retailer’s children’s wear department. Also in October, Kate Bostock will join M&S as director of women’s wear. Bostock, recruited by M&S earlier this year, was formerly product director of George. According to FashionTrak, Asda increased its share of the clothing and footwear market to 9.4 percent in the 12 weeks to July. M&S’ market share remained at 9.1 percent. M&S, however, is still the market leader by value, while Asda ranks fourth.
GAP STOCK DOWNGRADE: Merrill Lynch analyst Mark Friedman downgraded Gap Inc.’s stock rating to “neutral” from “buy,” amid concerns that cooling sales trends for early fall could potentially frost financials for the San Francisco-based retailer. Friedman cited the downgrade on Gap’s uninspired product offerings, lack of visibility for fall and a lackluster product assortment. The analyst cut his 2004 and 2005 earnings per share estimates by 3 cents and 2 cents to $1.29 and $1.60, respectively. Gap shares closed Wednesday down 2 percent from the prior close, to $19.52. The 52-week high is $25.72, and the low is $16.99.
KUDOS FOR COACH: Coach Japan will receive the People’s Choice Award at the 22nd annual Mainichi Fashion Awards in Tokyo. Coach is being honored for its significant contribution to fashion culture and its impact on Japanese society during a ceremony on Sept. 14. The accessories company’s Japanese division was established three years ago and now occupies that country’s number two position in market share, behind Louis Vuitton. As a result of the brand’s popularity, as well as the success of its flagships in the Ginza, Shibuya and Marunouchi sections of Tokyo, Coach Japan has revved up its plans for stores in Osaka, Sapporo and Sendai to be opened by the end of the year.
EXCLUSIVE: @tomford is opening its first-ever beauty store. The boutique, which opens November 20 in London’s Covent Gardens, was designed with the over-the-top glam Ford is known for. Read the full story on WWD.com, link in bio. #wwdbeauty #wwdnews (📷: Simon Wagner) #TomFordBeauty
New York-based DJ @harleyvnewton threw a party to celebrate the holiday collection of her dress and pajama line @hvn at the Ladurée Beverly Hills. It Girls @katebosworth, @rashidajones and more joined in on the fun, which included cocktails, croque monsieur sandwiches and a photo booth. #wwdfashion (📷: Owen Kolasinski/BFA.com)
For the holidays, @Burberry partnered with 20-year-old artist @blondeymccoy on a series of three outdoor murals in downtown Manhattan. The murals are McCoy’s interpretation of a Christmas eve party, the idea of charity and the spirit of family. His third mural, pictured here, is the most personal. The image depicts McCoy’s grandparents and father in London’s Trafalgar Square in the Seventies. “My work often features lots of sentimental objects.” #wwdeye
For spring 2018, designers applied bold colors and cartoonish motifs on everything from sneakers and belts to key chains. See all the top men’s accessories trends on WWD.com. #wwdtrends (📷: George Chinsee; Prop Styling by @rnasti; Market Editor: @luiscampuzano)
The @dior-sponsored @guggenheim international gala pre-party has a history of drawing cool-girl musical acts to serenade the crowd –– and last night was no exception. @haimtheband performed songs both new and old, and lured a star-studded audience with the likes of Rebecca Hall, Kate Mara, Mamoudou Athie and more. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)
In a partnership between the @metopera and the @englishnationalopera, “Marnie” was born. The opera, with costumes sponsored by @mrporterlive, is an adaptation of the 1961 thriller by Winston Graham. Arianne Phillips, who created the costumes, is no rookie: She’s styled Madonna for her tours and created costumes for a myriad of films in the past. Read WWD’s interview with Phillips, where she talks about her inspiration for the opera’s costumes on WWD.com #wwdfashion
@barneysnyc took a different approach to their holiday windows this year. Instead of Christmas decor, Barneys tapped @thehaasbrothers to tell a story of positivity, gratitude and inclusivity via heartwarming silliness and humor. “It’s about kids and it’s about coming together and being family and loving each other,” said Simon Haas. #wwdfashion (📷: @joshuascottphoto)
Beauty influencer @kandeejohnson makes her foray into hair care with a collaboration with @ogx_beauty — making it the first time that OGX has teamed up for a product creation. The collab includes shampoos and conditioners in three scents. At 39 and a mom, Johnson is a different profile than the emerging social media stars, but is considered one of the pioneers of the digital beauty influencer world. Read WWD’s interview with her on wwd.com, including the strangest beauty product she’s ever tried #wwdbeauty