In Brief: China Opens Doors to Retail … Gen Art Gems … Rating Saks …
CHINA OPENS DOORS TO RETAIL: After wavering on the issue for several months, China’s government finally set a date — Dec. 11 — to ease restrictions on foreign investors of the country’s retail sector, the China...
CHINA OPENS DOORS TO RETAIL: After wavering on the issue for several months, China’s government finally set a date — Dec. 11 — to ease restrictions on foreign investors of the country’s retail sector, the China Securities Journal reported. Easing these restrictions would bring China into full compliance with the open-market commitments it made to the WTO, the state-run newspaper said. The plans were made by Zhang Zhigang, a vice minister of commerce. China’s retail sector includes a limited number of foreign brands. During the past few years, retailers such as Wal-Mart have worked hard to penetrate and expand in the market. The easing of restrictions follows a petition against China made by the AFL-CIO to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative earlier this week. The filing alleges that China represses workers’ rights.
GEN ART GEMS: The West Coast chapter of Gen Art announced Wednesday its lineup for fashion week here at month’s end, as well as a new approach to its showcase. “The New Garde” on March 29 will present Madley, a three-year-old knitwear line designed by Central St. Martins grad Coryn Madley that sells to Fred Segal; the reconstructed vintage fur-trimmed men’s and women’s wear of Cosa Nostra, a two-year-old line that has been exclusive to Maxfield, and the year-old tailored minimalism of Society for Rational Dress, picked up so far by Naked. The event takes place 8-11:30 p.m., with live modeling 9-10:30 p.m. Also new is Gen Art’s official participation in Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at Smashbox Studios — although its three designers will show 2 miles away at Ten9Fifty Studios. In an effort not to go against another show, as has happened every season, the nonprofit organization signed on to become an associate member of the program.
RATING SAKS: Saks Inc.’s new debt issue was assigned ratings by both Moody’s Investors Services and Fitch Ratings on Wednesday. The proposed issue of $200 million of convertible senior notes due 2024 was assigned a rating of “Ba3” with a stable outlook by Moody’s, while Fitch gave it a “BB minus” with a negative outlook. The ratings followed Saks’ declaration earlier in the week of a $2 special dividend accruing to $284 million to be paid out of surplus cash. In the case of Fitch, the agency said the negative outlook reflects “the more aggressive financial posture by Saks’ management, as well as some uncertainty as to the strength of the current economic recovery.” Moody’s said its stable outlook is based on “the expectation that Saks will manage its debt levels so that the impact to its leverage ratio will be neutral, and that it will continue to maintain adequate liquidity to finance working capital and capital expenditures.” In conjunction with the new assignment, Moody’s also affirmed Saks’ existing debt ratings.NEIMAN’S GOES HIP: Neiman Marcus is staging a three-day fashion and beauty blitz starting today called The Hip Event. Designed to highlight the hottest spring styles for women and men at Neiman’s 35 stores, The Hip Event runs through Saturday and includes in-store designer appearances, live music, DJs and in-store events that vary by location.
@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