Stores’ Cost-Cutting May Transform Retail

Retailers are reining in their spending — with most broadline players slashing millions from their budgets as they try to counter withering sales. Experts say that if consumer spending doesn’t bounce back, retailers will have to start making more drastic and ultimately transformational changes that could reshape the industry. Illustrating that pressure, Stefano Gabbana and Domenico Dolce announced they would cut prices by 10 to 20 percent while maintaining creativity and quality. Meanwhile, Eddie Bauer Holdings Inc. and eight affiliates filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, while Abercrombie & Fitch Co. opted to shutter its 29-store Ruehl concept after a five-year run and a one-month strategic review.

2009 CFDA Fashion Awards Announced

The stakes were high, but some designers were calm and collected last week at the 2009 CFDA Fashion Awards, held for the first time at the refurbished Alice Tully Hall. “I went to work, had a couple of meetings, ate Thai food,” Swarovski Award for Womenswear winner Alexander Wang said casually about his day-of routine. Other winners included Kate and Laura Mulleavy for Rodarte, who picked up the Womenswear Designer of the Year nod; Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez for Proenza Schouler, who took home the Accessory Designer of the Year award; Swarovski Award for Menswear recipient Tim Hamilton, and Swarovski Award for Accessory Design winner Justin Giunta for Subversive Jewelry. (See photos from the event, as well the High Line party, and the exclusive WWD video: The Red Carpet Scene.)

Stores Look to Cruise for Smoother Sailing

Reflecting the still-choppy economic waters, the resort-cruise season is less about holidays and escapism and more about fashion and business realities. Yet executives at European houses remain upbeat about the season, characterizing cruise as a consistent and large part of the total spring-summer business — upward of 70 to 75 percent — and a vital way to animate their own store networks. (Click to see more 2010 resort and cruise collections.)

Greg Wasson’s Ambitious Beauty Strategy: Mass Uprising

Walgreens’ recently appointed chief executive officer Greg Wasson unveils his bold vision to reinvigorate the mass giant, with an ambitious beauty strategy that could reinvent the entire category. Also in WWD Beauty Biz, a look at the evolution of men’s grooming, a story punctuated by an announcement earlier in the week by Procter & Gamble Co. that it had purchased Zirh Holdings for an estimated $40 million.

A $1 Billion Opportunity: Salons Falter on Product Sales

Poor selling skills, long-standing customer relationships and product confusion may be costing the salon industry $1 billion a year in retail sales, according to the industry’s largest and most comprehensive survey to date. Its results are important — now more than ever — as salons continue to struggle amid stretched visits, fewer spa services and value-seeking consumers.

Songbirds: Star Singers Offer a Medley of Perfumes

Some of the music world’s most well-known stars are singing a different tune: that of fragrance creator. Scents from Queen Latifah, Usher and Faith Hill will launch this fall with the aim of cutting through an increasingly more populated and competitive field at retail.

Rebecca Moses Signs Deal With Li + Fung

Rebecca Moses is returning to fashion under her own name with a new partner and a new retail tier. Moses, known as a queen of cashmere and other luxurious fabrics, and LF USA, a subsidiary of Hong Kong-based Li & Fung Ltd., have entered a licensing agreement to create and distribute an apparel collection under the Rebecca Moses Heart Soul Style brand. “There is a whole new customer landscape,” Moses said. “It’s a big step for me to put my name on a brand and bring it back to the consumer in a new way. Fashion is a reflection of the times, and our times have changed.” (Click to see more sketches.)

Q&A: Marc Gobé on Social Media and Branding

Marc Gobé, who formed Emotional Branding consultancy 18 months ago, believes commercial branding — like bus wraps, banners and billboards — is becoming too visually dominant in urban settings, “a sign of our cultural excess,” he says. “From a commercial aspect, brands really thought they could dominate and own our lives. I am against anything that can make brands look bad, vis-à-vis consumers.”

‘Cheri’ Amour: Michelle Pfeiffer Discusses Her Latest Role

Even in the new film “Cheri,” Michelle Pfeiffer still looks more movie star glam than the over-the-hill French prostitute she plays. But that doesn’t mean the actress is immune to everyday insecurities. “When I read the script, I said to myself, ‘OK, well, you’re turning 50 this year and you’re really heading into the eye of the storm with this one,’” Pfeiffer says. (Click to see images from the film.) Following the Cinema Society and Noilly Prat-hosted screening, Pfeiffer and co-star Rupert Friend, along with cast mate Kathy Bates, director Stephen Frears and screenwriter Christopher Hampton, reconvened at the Hudson Hotel afterparty.

WWD Back in Time: When WWD Got ‘Hitched’

Though he is perhaps best remembered in silhouetted profile, Alfred Hitchcock revealed a number of different sides to WWD in a June 1972 interview and photo shoot, which took place in the filmmaker’s St. Regis Hotel suite. In town to promote his latest flick at the time, “Frenzy,” a hefty — practically egg-shaped — Hitchcock opined on a range of topics, from moviemaking and murderers to divorce and sex. (Click to see all the images.)

Click to read last week’s WWD Week in Review (6/12/09).

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