NEW YORK — With competition for consumer spending intensifying, apparel retailers and vendors can eke out growth by more effectively targeting the special-sizes market, Judith Russell, president of the consultancy Markethink Inc., said on...
NEW YORK — With competition for consumer spending intensifying, apparel retailers and vendors can eke out growth by more effectively targeting the special-sizes market, Judith Russell, president of the consultancy Markethink Inc., said on Tuesday.
Russell addressed a seminar at the Fashion Institute of Technology entitled, “All Sizes, for All Styles, for All Women, the Opportunity in Special Sizes.”
Retailers to some degree are resistant to the plus-size business, often placing assortments in out-of-the-way areas of the store. Russell said this is partly because of a lack of understanding of the large-size business, though misses’ manufacturers are picking up some of the slack with larger cuts and more pieces in the 16 to 18 size range.
Large-size sportswear — apparel labeled as plus sized and women’s, sizes 16 and up in misses’ and XXL and above — is an $8.3 billion market, Russell said, citing figures from STS Market Research. The overall women’s sportswear market last year pulled in sales of $38 billion.
It is a segment of the market that has been embattled, however, weathering a 10 percent sales drop from 2002 to 2003, while sportswear overall slid 1.5 percent.
The large-size market, which she described as “unbelievably undeserved,” offers opportunities for vendors and retailers to take share through the use of better branding campaigns and sharper fashions.
Brands such as Talbots, Ralph Lauren and Dana Buchman have been successful with brand extensions through reproportioned and restyled collections, she said. Others, such as Lane Bryant and Torrid, have focused strictly on large sizes.
Finally, Russell pointed to firms that have approached the consumer more subtly, like Chico’s, where the traditional misses’ sizes 14-16 are referred to as a size 3.
The American Apparel & Footwear Association and the National Retail Federation were among the seminar’s sponsors.
“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