LAS VEGAS — Men’s streetwear vendors emphasized cleaner styles, basics programs and denim, which continues to be a strong seller.
Those trends were apparent at Company 81, the collegiate-oriented brand owned by Oved Apparel, which was also showing its Modern Culture and Mecca lines at MAGIC.
“The economy has impacted us in a lot of ways — it’s definitely not business as usual,” said Rob Perry, vice president of Company 81, which sells to major stores such as Macy’s, Dillard’s, Bon-Ton, Belk and Stage Stores. “It’s a challenge to even ship orders to some accounts, as factors have become much more cautious about approving credit.”
To boost business, the young men’s brand is emphasizing key items that can be sold at attractively low prices, including denim, T-shirts and fleece. “Denim is our most important category for fall,” Perry said. “We have a replenishment program with two fits and 10 washes, with jeans wholesaling for $13.75 and out the door at $24.99 to $29.99. We’ve had to adjust our business model to fit with the times. Everyone has to understand that department stores are going to be more promotional.”
The company has worked with its factories in Asia to manage costs and minimize the impact on its own margins, he said.
Denim was also the most important category at Artful Dodger, and the brand increased its jeans assortment for fall. “It’s been the most stable category for us,” said Fred Mazza, president of the brand, which is produced under license by Signature Apparel and sold to accounts including Macy’s, Dillard’s, Karmaloop.com and Downtown Locker Room.
In sportswear, Artful Dodger emphasized cleaner designs. “Some regions are still looking for embellished, such as certain sections of the Southeast and Midwest, but overall the trend is cleaned up — things that can be worn for more than one season and appeal to a larger customer base,” Mazza said.
Even the more fashion-forward streetwear brands in the S.LA.T.E. section were emphasizing cleaner, less flamboyant designs. “We’re trying to appeal to the contemporary market as well as the streetwear market,” said Emeka Obi, head of marketing at Brooklyn-based 10 Deep. “It expands our customer base and maybe some of the European buyers will trickle over.”
Dickies was one brand upbeat about the year. “Our brand has an inherent value and heritage that consumers are seeking in this economy,” said Tad Uchtman, senior vice president of marketing and merchandising at the Fort Worth-based company. “Specifically, we’re seeing a lot of interest in our slim-fit, low-rise pant, and our spring shorts bookings are up more than 200 percent over last year.”
At Stüssy, the watchwords are inventory management and customer service. “We’ve always had a cautious approach to our business in terms of not overordering and managing inventory closely,” said Scott Terpstra, chief operating officer and sales director at the Irvine, Calif.-based brand.
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast