LEVI STRAUSS UPGRADED: Moody's Investors Service has upgraded its rating on Levi Strauss & Co.'s $1.85 billion unsecured notes. The ratings service said the upgrade was warranted given Levi's ability to stabilize sales and improve profitability. For the six months ended May 29, the San Francisco-based company reported earnings of $74.1 million on sales of $1.95 billion. Moody's also pointed to the introduction of the Levi Strauss Signature brand into international mass channel markets as a benefit to diversifying its distribution network. The ratings still remain in the speculative range, getting raised to "Caa2" from "Caa3." However, the rating on the company's outlook was raised to "positive" from "stable" based on the belief the company will be able to generate enough cash flow after fiscal 2005 to pay down debt. The company reported debt of $2.11 billion during the most recent quarter.
GOTTSCHALKS NET UP: Gottschalks Inc. said Tuesday that second-quarter net income rose 15.6 percent to $259,000 from $224,000 a year ago. On a per-share basis, profits were flat at 2 cents a share; analysts had been expecting 5 cents. Total revenues in the quarter were up 2.5 percent at $153 million, while same-store sales rose 3.1 percent. "We have made steady progress in our initiative to appeal to a broader customer base through our focus on several important fashion categories, such as better sportswear, accessories, shoes and junior apparel," said Jim Famalette, president and chief executive officer of the Fresno, Calif.-based retailer. In the six months, Gottschalks narrowed its loss to $1.7 million, or 13 cents, from a loss of $2 million, or 16 cents, a year ago. Revenues in the period totaled $298.6 million, an increase of 1.1 percent, and same-store sales were up 1.3 percent. In the full year, the company still expects to earn 59 cents to 65 cents a share, which compares with analysts' estimate for 60 cents. Shares of the company closed down 3 percent in Tuesday trading at $10.20.
“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