NEW YORK — While most jeans vendors reported a rise in first-half sales, they agreed that a big question concerning second-half business will be retail inventories.
As is common during down economic times, many retailers last year cut their stock levels dramatically, leaving them with less inventory than they wanted coming into the spring season. They’ve now rebuilt inventories for back-to-school selling and the question becomes whether b-t-s sales will meet their expectations.
"We were extremely concerned and conservative with our plans for the year," said John Kourakos, president of sportswear at the Warnaco Group, which produces the Calvin Klein brand. "There was a minimal inventory level at wholesale and retail, and there has been a nice spike in this area at retail. We’re chasing business.
"At first, I thought there was concern that it was just purely pipeline filling. But for our business, it was some pipe filling, but more filling of retail response to good sell-throughs."
Jeans vendors have worked at cutting down their stock levels. At the end of May, Levi Strauss & Co.’s inventories stood at $673.5 million of goods, down 13.6 percent from a year ago. At the end of March, VF Corp.’s were at $832.7 million, down 27 percent from a year earlier.
Phil Marineau, Levi’s president and chief executive officer, said store comfort levels with current inventory vary widely.
"It’s highly differentiated by retailers," he said. "In general, relative to our retailers and our business, I think they feel very comfortable with where they’re at. As we go into back-to-school and holiday, we remain committed to the type of inventory levels we need to accomplish our objectives."
VF’s chairman and ceo, Mackey McDonald, said a key strategy for the rest of the year will be keeping stock levels lean.
"That’s what you have to do in this environment," he said. "Cut your costs and lower your inventories and really get yourself prepared."
Taking the final spot on the mens’ portion of New York Fashion Week calendar next month will be none other than @tomford. Though he’s shown his men’s wear in New York in the past, this will mark the first time the designer has shown his men’s collection alone during New York Fashion Week: Men’s. His runway show will debut on February 6 at the Park Avenue Armory. #wwdfashion
London-based couture house @ralphandrusso has certainly been in the spotlight, having its dresses worn by @beyonce, Angelina Jolie, Meghan Markle in her engagement photos and more. For couture, Tamara Ralph focused on ornamentation — think: feathers with chain mail, jet embroidery and clusters of pearls and crystals. See the rest of the collection on WWD.com #wwdfashion #couture (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo)
Minnie Mouse celebrated her 90th birthday by getting her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. For her celebratory luncheon, @coach’s creative director @stuartvevers dressed her in a custom made prairie dress, complete with Vever’s take on the polka dot – black sequined versions – under a cropped motorcycle jacket. The designer also put his own mark on Minnie’s classic red shoes, infusing the color with sparkles and adding some Coach crystals. “We chose colors that were very Minnie and also represented quintessential Coach elements,” said Vevers. #wwdfashion #nationalpolkadotday (📷: George Chinsee)
@nickjonas is unveiling his first-ever apparel collection through a partnership with John Varvatos. The limited-edition capsule, which makes its debut in spring, also marks the first time the designer has collaborated with anyone on a line. “The process in working with Nick is amazing. It’s inspiring to be around someone who is not only connected with the trade that they do, but also with what’s happening in the environment around him, and how that connects to what we do with style,” said Varvatos. (RG: @johnvarvatos) #wwdfashion
@margotrobbie steps out onto the red carpet wearing @miumiu. The actress is nominated for “Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role” in “I, Tonya” at the #SagAwards. (📷: Stewart Cook) #wwdfashion
For @massimogiorgetti of @msgm, the Nineties are his favorite decade. “They had a huge impact on my personal growth. What I like of the Nineties is that they are not so precise in terms of style as other decades…there was actually a bit of everything,” he said. As seen on MSGM’s Spring 2018 show: tie-dye and a bit of grunge, two styles that are synonymous with the decade #wwdfashion #wwddecades (📷: @kukukuba)