WASHINGTON —Men’s apparel prices continued to show inflationary pressure even as the prices for all goods and services moderated and remained unchanged in February.
Men’s apparel prices rose a seasonally adjusted 1.8 percent in February, following a 0.2 increase in January, according to the Labor Department’s Consumer Price Index released Friday.
Against a year ago, men’s apparel prices rose 0.1 percent. Boys’ apparel prices, on the other hand, mirrored the overall softening of prices last month, declining 1.9 percent in February. However, compared with a year ago, boys’ retail prices shot up 6.9 percent.
“Men’s fall and winter apparel items were not as heavily discounted,” said Malinda Harrell, an economist with the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Harrell said men’s retail prices usually decline by 13 percent due to discounting in February but this year, the average discount on fall and winter merchandise was 6 percent.
Within the men’s category, suits, sport coats and outerwear prices rose 1.8 percent in February and were 0.4 percent ahead of a year earlier, furnishings prices also rose 1.8 percent last month but were down 0.8 percent compared with a year ago. Shirts and sweaters prices increased 3.7 percent during February and were flat against a year ago, as pants and shorts prices fell 0.5 percent last month but were up 0.9 percent compared with a year ago.
Apparel prices on the whole, including the women’s and girls’ sector, fell 0.3 percent in February and were down 1 percent against a year earlier.
Harrell said the apparel index is more heavily weighted by women’s prices, which fell 1.8 percent in February.
In the overall economy, falling prices in many sectors, including energy and food sectors, combined to keep prices for all goods and services unchanged in February, after a 0.4 percent rise in January and December.
The so-called core prices, which exclude volatile energy and food prices, were also flat last month, after a 0.3 percent increase in January, which followed nine straight months of 0.2 increases.
Some economists warned that the moderation in retail prices, which are considered the truest barometer of inflation, is temporary.
“The pretty result for February top-line consumer prices will turn ugly in March, as gasoline prices rise into record-setting territory,” said Kenneth Beauchemin, a U.S. economist with Global Insight in an analysis. “And food prices are quite likely to continue their ascent. Acting in concert, these price hikes will deliver additional economic pain in the coming months.”
@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