With about 750 brands spread across 300,000 square feet of the Mandalay Bay Events Center, Project Las Vegas was downsized from its previous 550,000-square-foot home at the Sands Expo and Convention Center. The factors were the intentional migration of brands to the new Premium section of MAGIC, as well as the slow economy.
Although the trend-driven show was smaller, it still exerted significant gravitational pull on retailers, and traffic was heavy and steady on the show floor, vendors said. Against the backdrop of low expectations, many attendees said the season has proven stronger than anticipated.
“I thought it was going to be a lot worse,” said Jade Howe, founder and designer of Howe, which he owns in partnership with Seattle Pacific Industries. “We actually have more appointments this season than last, and we’ve been busy all day.”
Howe pointed to the appeal of his poly-viscose suits that retail for $250, and other key items such as cardigans and $155 Japanese denim jeans as reasons for the brand’s resiliency in the retail downturn.
“We’re not going to post the same numbers we did last year, but I’m happy with the season so far,” said Eric Kim, founder of Monarchy, a division of Hartmarx Corp., which is operating under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Kim was confident his brand would survive the bankruptcy proceedings and was pushing his new higher-end Monarchy Black label, which features cleaner styles and better fabrics.
At the opposite end, Kim was also hawking an affordably priced label, called Manchester, which was previously only sold to Buckle Inc., but has been picked up by Macy’s Inc., Dillard’s Inc. and Von Maur Inc. department stores. To aid independent specialty retailers, Monarchy was offering 15 percent wholesale discounts to selected partners, with the stipulation that they not lower retail prices.
Monarchy’s high-low price play was echoed by James Hammonds, men’s buyer at American Rag Cie who said the retailer was doing best with high-end luxury product and low-cost basics.
“We’re doing well with really exclusive stuff like Rick Owens Dark Shadow and then cheap, easy basics,” he noted. At Project, some of his favorite brands included two heritage labels: Woolrich John Rich Bros. and Farah Vintage, a label debuting from Perry Ellis U.K., featuring reissues of trouser styles from the Sixties and Seventies.
Harrods plans to remove the famous statue of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed from the bottom of the Egyptian escalators and hand it back to Mohamed Al-Fayed. “We are very proud to have played our role in celebrating the lives of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed at Harrods and to have welcomed people from around the world to visit the memorial for the past 20 years,” said Michael Ward, Harrods managing director. “With the announcement of the new official memorial statue to Diana, Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace, we feel that the time is right to return this memorial to Mr. Al Fayed and for the public to be invited to pay their respects at the palace.” More on the news, with reporting by @loreleimarfil, at WWD.com. #wwdnews
@prada is introducing a new project at its men’s fall 2018 show this Sunday: “Prada Invites.” The fashion house invited four celebrated creative minds – @ronanaerwanbouroullec, Konstantin Grcic, @herzogdemeuron and @rem.koolhaas – to each create a unique item with its iconic nylon material. The designs will be unveiled on the runway show, which will take place at the company’s warehouse in Viale Ortles 25. #wwdfashion #mfwm (📷: @martinocarrera)
@kering_official is spinning off its stake in puma in an effort to focus on its luxury brands, the brand operator announced yesterday. “We are proud to have supported the turnaround of Puma, which now has unrivaled capabilities to take full advantage of the specific dynamics of its global markets and is poised to achieve substantial growth,” said François-Henri Pinault, Kering’s chief executive officer and chairman. Artémis will become a “long-term strategic shareholder” of Puma with a 29 percent stake. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
The fashion world mourns for celebrated street style photographer, Nabile Quenum, who died at age 32 in Paris.
Quenum, creator of the fashion blog “J’ai Perdu Ma Veste,” was a fashion week fixture, and regularly shot for New York magazine’s The Cut, among other outlets, and brands such as Louis Vuitton, Moncler and Adidas. He was also actively involved in the #NoFreePhotos initiative, which kicked off in the fall. Read more about Quenum in @kbsmoke's story on WWD.com. #wwdnews
@verwanggang and @maisonladuree have teamed up on a dessert collab called Vera Wang Pour Ladurée. The collection, which launched this week, features a specialty macaroon, as well as a wedding cake inspired by one of the designer’s gowns. “I could not imagine a more delicate or sophisticated creation to grace any couple’s celebration,” said Wang. #wwdfashion