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.
@tradesy is turning the concept of a showroom upside down with its new space in Santa Monica. Here, the company plans to hold events, art exhibits and a showcase rare fashion pieces like this Louis Vuitton boxing set. Get all the details on Tradesy’s first showroom on WWD.com. #wwdnews
Spotted last night at the @erdem x @hm launch event: Kate Bosworth, Rashida Jones, Kirsten Dunst and Selma Blair. The party, which took place in LA, also marked the opening of their pop-up shop. “I was interested in creating a collection that wasn’t in any way disposable. It was about pieces you’d create and keep forever, things that have a permanence to it,” designer Erdem Moralioglu said. #wwdeye (📷: Katie Jones)
Renee Zellweger in yellow in 2001 and again in 2017. Chosen as one of the 12 @pantone Leading Spring Colors (and dubbed “Meadowlark”), it only makes sense that the bright hue stands the test of time and is making a resurgence this season, seen already on stars like @blakelively and @gigihadid. (📷: Donato Sardello & @rexfeatures) #wwdfashion #tbt
Dior’s 70th anniversary celebration continues with a new exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. “Christian Dior,” which is scheduled to run through March 18, takes a look at the founders tenure from 1947 to 1057 and feature 40 designs. Pictured here is an evening gown from the Ailée, fall 1948-49 haute couture collection. #wwdfashion (📷: Brian Boyle)
As one of the most recognizable models in the world, Christy Turlington Burns has an insider’s view of the fashion industry and the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around it. “I can say that harassment and mistreatment have always been widely known and tolerated in the industry. The industry is surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experiences at some point in our careers,” Turlington told WWD, along with her suggestions for how the modeling world should protect younger women and men. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: Tony Palmieri) #wwdnews
@asics America has tapped a new brand ambassador: famed DJ/record producer @steveaoki. This initiative is intended to set the tone for the new brand identity and philosophy and will include partnerships with influencers and in-store and off-line activations that will continue into next year. This is Asics’ most significant marketing effort in two decades, and is expected to attract younger consumers to the brand. #wwdfashion
24-year-old Jean Prounis is redefining the rules of jewelry. Formerly a studio assistant to Jemima Kirke and a design apprentice at Ghuran, she focuses on handcrafted subtleties and ancient goldsmithing techniques. “There was a really sterile feel in the environment and I wanted to have jewelry with character that shapes how you wear it everyday,” Prounis said. Each piece is hand made in New York, either by Prounis or three other jewelers in the district. #wwdfashion
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews