Aiming High: Fast Retailing Eyes Sales of $54 Billion

Tadashi Yanai, chairman of Fast Retailing Co. Ltd., said that the Japanese apparel company aims to grow its annual sales by more than seven times to 5 trillion yen, or $53.7 billion, by the year 2020. Meanwhile, specialty retailers and fashion brands in Japan are still forging ahead with their retail expansion. Over a two-week period, a flurry of new stores are opening here including Opening Ceremony, Ron Herman, Tom Ford, Rick Owens, Tila March, Brooks Brothers Black Fleece, Kitson and a new retail concept from Issey Miyake. In Tokyo, a long list of bold-faced names converged when Opening Ceremony co-founders Humberto Leon and Carol Lim threw a megabash for their sprawling new flagship. (Click to see all the party photos.) And about 20,000 people, most of them young women in their 20s and 30s, were expected to pack into an Olympic stadium near Harajuku for the ninth edition of the popular consumer fashion show Tokyo Girls Collection.

Global Players Hint Worst Might Be Over

Is the recession’s tide finally ebbing? It seems to depend on the sector. Luxury firms like Hermès and Tiffany continue to feel the squeeze; the world’s largest beauty company, L’Oréal, is coming under increasing pricing pressure from consumers reluctant to buy more expensive shampoo, and the second-largest discount retailer, Carrefour, is still working on a massive restructuring to prepare for an eventual upturn. But while executives remain extraordinarily cautious, there is a growing sense at those firms, as well as companies ranging from J. Crew to Guess, that things may have bottomed out across the board.

Beauty Brands Tap Into Social Networks

Beauty marketing is rapidly becoming a two-way conversation as the social media revolution takes hold. Cyber pioneer Procter & Gamble acknowledges steering more of its marketing dollars online, as is the competition, from the Estée Lauder Cos. to Elizabeth Arden. Meanwhile, a federal jury handed a $32.4 million victory to LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton when it found that two service providers which hosted Web sites selling fake goods shared responsibility with the actual counterfeiters.

Relevance Seen Key Trend for Spring Runways

An exciting trend could emerge from the upcoming spring runway shows — relevance. That is exactly what stores are eagerly expecting with the onset of the collections, even if they’re buying a lot less inventory. And brands are striving to deliver it, along with lower prices. This week, Richard Chai is moving ahead with a complete contemporary collection called Richard Chai – Love, and Rebecca Moses is set to launch Rebecca Moses Heart Soul Style, which will wholesale between $22 and $120.

Retailers Focus on Bright Side at MAGIC

Retailers at MAGIC in Las Vegas were a bit more hopeful about the future after early signs of a good back-to-school season and a bubbling of demand in some categories. Value continues to be the buzzword as reluctant consumers seek sharp pricing before parting with their dollars. As a result, promotions are still a necessary evil, but the markdowns are planned and not panic-driven like they were at the end of last year. (Click to see all the images.)

WWD List: Urban Affairs

Mercer, a global human resources consulting firm based in New York, has ranked cities worldwide for quality of life. It analyzed living conditions in 215 cities according to 39 factors grouped in 10 categories. Some of the categories were: political, social, economic and natural environments; public services and transportation, schools and education, health and sanitation and recreation. European cities dominated, and the U.S. didn’t crack the top 10. (Click to see the full WWD List.)

Threeasfour and Yoko Ono Put Their Minds Together

Threeasfour’s Gabi, Adi and Ange have designed as a trio for several years, but for their spring collection, they have found themselves a fourth partner: Yoko Ono. Ono not only served as a muse to the designer collective — whose collection, “Iconoclastic,” is billed as an homage to the artist, musician and performer — she collaborated with the trio, who worked with her to translate some of her rarely seen dot drawings into prints for pieces.

Ruben Toledo Reimagines the Classics

Ruben Toledo has long brought couture fashions to life with his whimsical, surrealist illustration. Now the Cuban-born artist is tackling the written word. His assignment? Create covers for a trio of classic novels — Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice,” Emily Brontë’s “Wuthering Heights,” and Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “The Scarlet Letter” — to be published in special edition paperbacks from Penguin. The results are now in bookstores. (Click to see all the images.)

They Are Wearing: U.S. Open Style

While the casual vibe was alive and well at the kickoff of the 129th U.S. Open, fashion’s influence — in luxury handbags, au courant hats and oversize shades — was apparent at Arthur Ashe Stadium. “Athletes are brand representatives and more like models than ever before,” said Julien Farel, third-time official pre- and post-game stylist for the Open. “They push sporty toward chic, and the spectators follow suit.” (Click to see all the looks.)

WWD Back in Time: Reagan’s 1980 ‘Prelude to Victory’ Party

“I wanted you to see how well I’ve recovered from my heart attack,” said Ronald Reagan jokingly at his first at-home party since kicking off his campaign to unseat Jimmy Carter as president. WWD was there in September 1980 alongside aristocrats like Ronald Lauder, son of Joseph and Estée Lauder, David Rockefeller and Joe Coors, president of the brewing company. (Click to see all the images.)

Click to see the previous WWD Week in Review (8/28/09).

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