WHAT’S IN STORE?: It hasn’t been an easy first half for Austin Reed, the classic British men’s and women’s wear retailer. The company saw first-half profits soar 79.9 percent to $5.7 million, or 3.4 million pounds, from...
WHAT’S IN STORE?: It hasn’t been an easy first half for Austin Reed, the classic British men’s and women’s wear retailer. The company saw first-half profits soar 79.9 percent to $5.7 million, or 3.4 million pounds, from $3.2 million, or 1.9 million pounds due exclusively to exceptional items. Stripping out a $4.3 million, or 2.6 million pound, gain from the sale of a property, profits plummeted 58 percent to $1.3 million, or 791,000 pounds. Sales in the 28 weeks to Aug. 9 fell 6.5 percent to $94.2 million, or 56.4 million pounds, from $101 million, or 60.3 million pounds. The company blamed the sales decline on a variety of factors, including SARS, the war in Iraq and London’s traffic congestion charge. “The first half was a period of transition as we completed the redevelopment of Regent Street and implemented a major reorganization and cost reduction program,” said Roger Jennings, the company’s chief executive.
Austin Reed is hoping its newly refurbished Regent Street flagship, which opened last month, will boost sales in the second half. The store has already generated a 17 percent surge in sales compared with last year, although Austin Reed added that overall group sales fell 6 per cent in the first eight weeks of the second half. — Ellen Burney
BAD CREDIT: The U.K. Office of Fair Trading has revealed it is looking into allegations that Harrods has been sending unsolicited credit cards to its store cardholders. Last Wednesday, the OFT ruled that Marks & Spencer plc had contravened credit laws by automatically replacing customers’ store cards with a new credit card called “&more.” It appears Harrods has been replacing customers’ store cards with new Harrods gold Mastercards. Under British law, individuals must make a written request for credit cards. The OFT has rejected Marks & Spencer’s argument that it was merely upgrading 2.6 million of its existing store cardholders, and ruled that the retailer did not have the right to change one type of card into another. — E.B.
EXCLUSIVE: @tomford is opening its first-ever beauty store. The boutique, which opens November 20 in London’s Covent Gardens, was designed with the over-the-top glam Ford is known for. Read the full story on WWD.com, link in bio. #wwdbeauty #wwdnews (📷: Simon Wagner) #TomFordBeauty
New York-based DJ @harleyvnewton threw a party to celebrate the holiday collection of her dress and pajama line @hvn at the Ladurée Beverly Hills. It Girls @katebosworth, @rashidajones and more joined in on the fun, which included cocktails, croque monsieur sandwiches and a photo booth. #wwdfashion (📷: Owen Kolasinski/BFA.com)
For the holidays, @Burberry partnered with 20-year-old artist @blondeymccoy on a series of three outdoor murals in downtown Manhattan. The murals are McCoy’s interpretation of a Christmas eve party, the idea of charity and the spirit of family. His third mural, pictured here, is the most personal. The image depicts McCoy’s grandparents and father in London’s Trafalgar Square in the Seventies. “My work often features lots of sentimental objects.” #wwdeye
For spring 2018, designers applied bold colors and cartoonish motifs on everything from sneakers and belts to key chains. See all the top men’s accessories trends on WWD.com. #wwdtrends (📷: George Chinsee; Prop Styling by @rnasti; Market Editor: @luiscampuzano)
The @dior-sponsored @guggenheim international gala pre-party has a history of drawing cool-girl musical acts to serenade the crowd –– and last night was no exception. @haimtheband performed songs both new and old, and lured a star-studded audience with the likes of Rebecca Hall, Kate Mara, Mamoudou Athie and more. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)
In a partnership between the @metopera and the @englishnationalopera, “Marnie” was born. The opera, with costumes sponsored by @mrporterlive, is an adaptation of the 1961 thriller by Winston Graham. Arianne Phillips, who created the costumes, is no rookie: She’s styled Madonna for her tours and created costumes for a myriad of films in the past. Read WWD’s interview with Phillips, where she talks about her inspiration for the opera’s costumes on WWD.com #wwdfashion
@barneysnyc took a different approach to their holiday windows this year. Instead of Christmas decor, Barneys tapped @thehaasbrothers to tell a story of positivity, gratitude and inclusivity via heartwarming silliness and humor. “It’s about kids and it’s about coming together and being family and loving each other,” said Simon Haas. #wwdfashion (📷: @joshuascottphoto)
Beauty influencer @kandeejohnson makes her foray into hair care with a collaboration with @ogx_beauty — making it the first time that OGX has teamed up for a product creation. The collab includes shampoos and conditioners in three scents. At 39 and a mom, Johnson is a different profile than the emerging social media stars, but is considered one of the pioneers of the digital beauty influencer world. Read WWD’s interview with her on wwd.com, including the strangest beauty product she’s ever tried #wwdbeauty