WASHINGTON — In the midst of continued inflationary trends driven largely by food cost and energy increases, men’s retail apparel prices increased 0.9 percent in April compared to the previous month and 0.8 percent versus a year ago, the Labor Department reported Wednesday in its Consumer Price Index.
Apparel costs overall crept up 0.5 percent compared to the previous month, but dropped 0.7 percent compared to April 2007. Women’s apparel prices were flat compared to March and dropped 4.3 percent compared to a year ago. Boys’ apparel prices decreased 0.2 percent on a monthly basis, and increased 3 percent versus April 2007.
Spikes in food costs drove retail prices up 0.2 percent overall after rising 0.2 percent in March. Prices were flat in February and up 0.3 percent in January. March consumer prices just missed consensus estimates of a 0.3 percent increase for the month.
Core prices, excluding the unpredictable food and energy sectors, crept up 0.1 percent compared to the previous month and 2.3 percent versus a year ago. Food prices continued to rise in April, but energy prices showed a lull in the increases of the last few months. Sources said the drop reported in April was temporary, however.
Men’s furnishing prices declined 0.4 percent in monthly and year-over-year comparisons. Prices for suits, sport coats and outerwear increased 1.1 percent compared to March and 3.8 percent versus April 2007. Men’s shirts and sweater prices climbed 1.7 percent in monthly comparison, but dropped 2.1 percent compared to the previous year.
The slight downtick in the core rate for April was a “pleasant surprise” and should help alleviate some of the concern about the outlook for inflation, said Kenneth Beauchemin, U.S. economist for Global Insight.
“Nevertheless, plenty of risk remains. The remarkable consistency of the ‘across the board’ increases in food prices, emanates from a number of sources, including the soaring energy prices of recent months. To what extent, and when, the energy price onslaught embeds itself into core consumer prices, is an open question,” Beauchemin said.
“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
“Stranger Things” is getting a new cast member for season 2. Meet @sadiesink_, the 15-year-old who will be joining the Netflix series for its new season. You may recognize her from “The Glass Castle” with Brie Larson and Woody Harrelson, but the Texas native’s next role goes in an entirely different direction. She describes her character, Max, as “a rough and tumble skater girl [who] becomes friends with the boys at school.” The second season debuts on October 27. (📷: @jgreenery) #wwdeye
Amid the Harvey Weinstein controversy, there’s another sector that’s being put under the spotlight for sexual abuse: the modeling industry. While rumors about abuse and sexual harassment of female and male models — and the photographers, agents and others who perpetrated it — have circulated within the fashion world for years, model @cameronrussell started posting stories from models on Instagram last week about abusive situations they’ve encountered — from sexual harassment and molestation to attempted rape. Over 75 have weighed in so far. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews
To celebrate its 16th anniversary, @dylanscandybar tapped designers and celebrities to create mosaics out of candy. The mosaics will be auctioned off to support the philanthropic cause of each participant’s choice. Pictured here is the mural created by @aliceandolivia's Stacey Bendet. For a first look at some of the other artwork being unveiled tonight, go to WWD.com. #wwdeye
The annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in Pacific Palisades this weekend drew Kate Hudson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Laura Dern and more. See pictures of the star-studded event on WWD.com. (📷: @chelsealaurenla) #wwdeye
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye
"Nowadays when life is not so happy with everything going on in the world, I think people come to me for a little bit of whimsy and color and fun." - Designer Rebecca De Ravenel on her cult-favorite jewelry line. (📸 : @vsteves) #wwd40
“Everyone is talking about how the retail industry is struggling, but I think it’s an incredible time because brands who are doing something different and innovative are setting themselves up for the future,” said @adamgoldston, who founded the luxury athletic brand @apl with his brother @ryangoldsten. The Goldston’s are part of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables. See the rest of the list on WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
@eyeswoon blogger Athena Calderone debuted her first-ever cookbook, “Cook Beautiful,” which is heavily centered on the presentation and visual expression of food. Pictured here are her miso glazed carrots from the book. Get the recipe on WWD.com. (📷: @johnny_miller_) #wwdeye