f ever there was a time for interesting, distinctive and well-made clothing, itwould appear to be now. With the economy sputtering, it will take more thanbasics to get consumers to loosen their purse strings, and the price of agarment will have to be justified by its visible quality.
Falling oil pricesdid little to help retailers in August, as the majority reportedcomparable-store sales declines on Thursday for the month. Saks Fifth Avenue wasoff 5.9 percent, Nordstrom was down 7.9 percent, and Neiman Marcus reportedcomps slid 0.4 percent. And yet, at the start of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week,optimism abounds.
“I’m hoping to see clothes that have a strong point ofview,” said Ann Watson, vice president and fashion director of Henri Bendel.“I’m looking forward to seeing clothes that are distinctive and have thatspecial ‘wow’ factor.
“Trends that change seasonally are what we call ‘fasttrends’ and they really set the tone for the season. It is this element of theunexpected that keeps us on pins and needles waiting to see what the designershave tapped into this season.”
“Anything new and different is going to seemvery appealing,” concurred Julie Gilhart, senior vice president and fashiondirector of Barneys New York. “I think the bigger, already established brandsare going to have a tougher time unless they do things they haven’t done before.We need fresh approaches that are more conscious, innovative and fun. Thisspirit will drive business.”
Customers have changed their buying habits, saidJim Wetzel, co-owner of Jake, a women’s and men’s boutique with two locations inChicago and one in suburban Winnetka. “There is a different practicality thatour clients are adapting to with less fussy trends, bright colors and luxefabrications with which they are familiar such as tweed and rinsed denim, headded. Jennifer Loporchio, co-owner of Dighton-Rhode in Greenwich, Conn., saidthat even the wealthiest of women are exercising a degree of caution today,whereas 18 months ago they seemed less concerned with prices.
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