Go East, Young Brand: European Fashion Looks to Former Soviet Bloc for Growth
Rising demand in eastern Europe is the only thing keeping some mainstream brands afloat. And the market there is changing fast. The next eastern opportunities will be for premium brands like Nike and Hugo Boss, analysts say.
This year’s crop of annual reports from Europe’s largest fashion brands make it very clear: Growth in the continent’s largest and more mature markets — places like France and Germany — is slowing. But in the east, in countries that were formerly Soviet satellite states, it is speeding up. In fact, in many cases the pace of expansion in places like Slovakia, Slovenia, Lithuania and the Czech Republic has been the only thing keeping some of Europe’s biggest brands in the black.
“A lot of those [midmarket] companies would be doing even worse than they are right now if it weren’t for eastern Europe,” observed Achim Berg, leader of consultancy McKinsey’s global apparel, fashion and luxury group.
Rhoxanne Villaseñor is keeping her family's "rh" theme alive.
Like her brother, Rhuigi of Rhude Villaseñor has a background in design. She launched The Rhod, a jewelry brand named after her father, several years ago, around the same time that her brother launched his cult-favorite streetwear brand. The Rhod, Villaseñor said, was mainly costume jewelry made of brass with gold plating. She has since elevated to fine jewelry, working strictly with gold and diamonds for Rhox, her newest jewelry venture. "As I’m getting older, it was important for me to be true to myself," said Villaseñor. "The way we marketed and branded Rhox, it’s more studio-artistic. I’m using fruits to reflect body parts and shapes because I want people to visualize themselves without comparing [themselves to] another person. The images are vibrant, bright, and it’s a reflection of me and my spirit. I want to bring joy to people — I do it for a living." 🍋
Victoria’s Secret has been sold – and Les Wexner is stepping aside.
Parent company L Brands sold 55 percent of the intimates giant to Sycamore Partners for $525 million. The deal includes the Pink brand. Victoria’s Secret will become a private company, while L Brands’ remaining operation, Bath & Body Works, will become a standalone public firm.
Following the transaction, Wexner – who has come under fire over the last 18 months for Victoria’s Secret failure to adapt to changing market conditions, his relationship with Jeffrey Epstein and alleged sexual harassment at the company, will transition from chairman and chief executive officer to chairman emeritus of the company he founded.
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