First-rate service, customized designs and sharper prices are among the tactics ready-to-wear labels are putting into play in response to the economic downturn.
Stores such as Saks Fifth Avenue are requesting that designers offer a wider range of prices and more specialized styles, and designers are willing to oblige. Vera Wang, Lela Rose, J.Mendel, Maria Cornejo and others have repeatedly emphasized that now, more than ever, is the time to collaborate with retailers to determine exactly what they need, what is selling and what can be built upon.
In an effort to be more strategic, some designers, such as Cynthia Rowley and Unis’ Eunice Lee, have been quick to dive into social media. Others, like Oscar de la Renta, continue to build their international presence. A multiregional distribution partnership with the Dubai-based Retail Arabia International is de la Renta’s latest pursuit.
Fresh off the positive buzz generated by its guest designers, Lutz & Patmos has tapped Natalia Vodianova, who demonstrated her own creativity with a dress that can be worn in two drastically different ways.
A little ingenuity goes a long way in these sobering times. And many executives aren’t banking on an elastic rebound by the economy.
Haresh Tharani, chief executive officer of Tharanco Group, which houses labels such as Poleci and Doo.Ri, among others, is not counting on consumers to soon abandon their tightened spending patterns.
“This is the way things will be for the near future,” Tharani said. “Consumers only buy now when they absolutely need something. Shopping used to be a matter of passion. Now it’s a combination of passion and need. We are planning our production so that it is more buy now, wear now.”
Tharani expects the third quarter will be “a little difficult” because of consumer buying patterns, but fourth-quarter sales should be “pretty decent” with sales 3 to 5 percent higher than the same period last year. Overall, his company’s annual sales should be flat compared with 2008, but Tharani is still on the lookout for acquisitions in the luxury and accessories sectors.
Speaking about the men’s shows in Milan, Tom Murry, ceo of Calvin Klein Inc., was quoted as saying, “Our basic operating assumption is that the economy will remain this way for the next five years, and any upturn will be a surprise gift.”
Executives are making adjustments. J.Mendel president Susan Sokol said the label’s distribution has jumped to 60 stores from 19 by offering a broader-priced collection that includes more daywear, a new resort line, showing the collection during Paris Fashion Week, championing the brand with Bergdorf Goodman and collaborating with Subversive Jewelry’s Justin Giunta, among other things. In addition, a J.Mendel boutique is to launch this month at Harrods, and the resort collection is being sold in Milan during the next two weeks.
“Gilles [Mendel] very much wants to make women feel beautiful in his clothes,” Sokol said ofthe label’s designer. “In these difficult times, that philosophy is even more valued than before.”
@chanel and @pharrell dropped what’s being dubbed as the world’s most exclusive sneakers yesterday. The Adidas Originals NMD Hu, which Williams designed in collaboration with Chanel and @adidasoriginals, has a waiting list of over 120K people who pre-registered online at chanelatcolette.fr –– and only 500 pairs are on sale. The singer predicted the resale value of the shoes could reach $40K. Read the full interview on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdfashion
@imanshumpert is diving deeper into his creative endeavors and relaunching his clothing line, Post 90s, and is helping to raise money for the hurricane victims in St. Maarten with a jersey he’s designed with his brother. The Cleveland Cavaliers player talked to WWD about kneeling during the national anthem, working with fashion brands and how he wants to be more than an @nba player. Read the interview on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)
Not only does #TheProfit return to CNBC tonight, but @marcuslemonis has launched @shopmarcus, a new shopping and lifestyle retail experience in Aspen and Chicago, with more locations to come. The retail stores offer in-store stylists and a variety of contemporary womenswear selections.
“It’s life, I’m going to face it,” @mingxi11 sighed. “I fell, but you know, I think the most important thing is that I get back up. I had the love, the help from my sister — the girl next to me Gizele [Oliveira] — she’s so nice. When I went backstage everybody was trying to comfort me like ‘Oh Ming, it’s OK.’ I’m really, really touched. I think it’s them who gave me the courage to go back on stage for the finale,” Xi told WWD of her fall at the @victoriassecret fashion show. (📷: David Fisher) #wwdfashion #vsfashionshow #victoriassecret
@louisvuitton tapped @therealpeterlindbergh for its latest city-centric photo book, which is part of a series called Fashion Eye. The primarily black and white book captures the spirit of Berlin in 57 images shot between 1989 and 2019. “Berlin is an inspiration for me, more than a city. I mean @millajovovich is simply Berlin!” said Lindbergh. #wwdfashion
“You know, I think audiences expect a certain performance so I have to deliver to them what they’re expecting to a certain degree. But I’m also a different actor and a different person, I have my own spin on the character,” says @noahegalvin of his takeover of the leading role in “Dear Evan Hansen” following the departure of @bensplatt, who originated the role. Read WWD’s interview with the 23-year-old actor on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
For pre-fall 2018, @etro created richly-colored wonderland, using tapestries, textiles and wallpapers from the Eastern world at large. The line featured floral and graphic prints and jacquard motifs, like this two-piece look featured here. #wwdfashion (📷: Giovanna Pavesi)
@kith is moving into children’s. The men’s and women’s streetwear brand has launched Kidset, a Kith kids line located in New York at 64 Bleecker Street. The line includes mini versions of staple Kith pieces like the Astor bomber jacket and the Kith box logo sweatshirts, along with a wall that can display up to 120 pairs of shoes from @adidas, @newbalance, @timberland and more. #wwdfashion
“I just wanted to create this fully rounded character, but I do think what excited me most was just the opportunity to give a group of people representation that I feel needs it. I like to do characters in projects that stand for something and Karolina definitely does, so that was really exciting to me,” @ginnygardner says of her new role in @hulu’s “The Runaways.” Gardner plays Karolina Dean, a queer superhero, which is a rarity for @marvel. Read more about Gardner’s character on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @dandoperalski)