The apparel industry has been one of the most successful at cutting costs in the past decade, and also at passing on the benefits. U.S. apparel prices are slightly lower than a decade ago, compared with inflation of more than 100 percent, noted Bill...
The apparel industry has been one of the most successful at cutting costs in the past decade, and also at passing on the benefits. U.S. apparel prices are slightly lower than a decade ago, compared with inflation of more than 100 percent, noted Bill Ghitis, president of apparel for DuPont Textiles & Interiors, during a special presentation.
"We should be consumer heroes, but we’re not," Ghitis said. "Despite our decade-long fire sale, most of the trend lines point down. Why? Because clothes are simply boring."
Ghitis theorized that because of the industry’s focus on low-cost sourcing, fueled by a progressive rollback of global tariffs that will culminate with their elimination in 2005, creativity has ultimately been sacrificed, while consumers have looked for innovation in other product categories such as technology, entertainment and health care. While Ghitis anticipates the industry focus will remain centered on cost — and not value — at least through that period, he questioned whether companies are really prepared for the future, once there are no more cost frontiers to cross.
"It could be that innovation will be our new driver. We need to think in terms of radically different apparel products, service and concepts, conceiving and promoting them on a scale that will change attitudes toward clothes. Think package holidays, car radios, mountain bikes, fitness centers and cell phones."
While DuPont has been investing heavily in innovation and has promised 25 new fabric inventions within five years through its DTI division and also spends about $2 million a year on customer research, Ghitis had several thoughts on how other companies should look toward innovation.
"The consumer industries that have been most successful in the past 20 years — technology, entertainment, travel, health care — have brought new products to market on a regular basis. They’ve redefined consumer expectations of newness. We must recognize this and rethink our approach to apparel creativity. This has to be more than just about fashion and changing the way clothes look every few months."
Some ideas that have already been discussed are clothes that change color and size, ones that have medical benefits, offer entertainment or even keep a family safe. There are barriers to their development on a mass scale, he noted, which is exactly what companies should be looking at to begin developing their feasibility through sourcing and production so that new products will be ultimately available to a range of consumers."Are we looking at a problem?" he asked. "Not if we can figure out how to get from mass to mass customization. The idea isn’t new. The automobile industry has read the same tea leaves and has made huge investments to move in this direction. Clever combinations of fashion and high-tech functionality, such as digital sizing, could bring new meaning to the concept of ‘My clothes.’"
Supermodel @helenachristensen teamed up with longtime friend and designer @camillastaerk on a joint @paredeyewear collaboration. The lineup features three styles and 11 offerings, all of which embody a vintage feel. Get all the details on how they celebrated the collab on WWD.com. #wwdaccessories #wwdeye (📷: @slovekinpics)
“It’s a hard industry to keep motivated, as well, so finding different subjects and people is what makes it worth it – when you’re like, oh, I’ve met great people, I feel like I’ve done something good, and I feel proud of having done this,” said French actress Stacy Martin on being grateful for the variety of roles she’s take on. Read @ktauer’s full interview with Martin on her her latest film “Godard Mon Amour.” #wwdeye (📷: @danieldorsa)
After showing in front of the Eiffel Tower for his last two women’s ready-to-wear collection, it looks like @anthonyvaccarello may be heading to the Big Apple. Sources say the designer will stage his next @ysl show in NYC on June 6. Get all the details on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
EXCLUSIVE: Two and half months after John Targon, cofounder and codesigner of Baja East, was hired as creative director of the contemporary division at Marc Jacobs, he has left the company, WWD has learned. Marc Jacobs International, which is owned by LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, confirmed Targon’s departure in a statement: “John Targon is a talented designer and we appreciate the work he has done here. Ultimately working together did not make sense for the brand and we wish him the best.” Read the story by @jessiredale, link in bio. #wwdnews
@theluxurycollection is officially launching a collection, tapping Sofia Sanchez de Betak for the capsule. Over 30 styles will be featured in the Chufy x The Luxury Collection, debuting next month at Bergdorf Goodman, The Webster, FiveStory and more. De Betak, known as “@chufy,” drew inspiration for the collection from her trips to Japan in the past year #wwdfashion
@lhd, founder and CEO of @thewebster, has teamed up with @lebonmarcherivegauche for the European launch of her ready-to-wear line, LHD. The launch will come with an exclusive pop-up opening today that’s set to run through May 20. Located on the second floor, it carries her debut Miami-themed resort collection, launched in November as see-now-buy-now. #wwdfashion