???We hope that NewGen Men will support London??™s future men??™s wear stars and become a key part of the British Fashion Council??™s designer development and showcasing program,??? said Simon Ward, BFC joint chief executive officer.
The award mirrors long-standing female counterpart New Generation, whose past winners include Alexander McQueen, Sophia Kokosalaki, Giles Deacon, Gareth Pugh and Julien Macdonald, and builds on the success of Topman and Fashion East??™s MAN show during LFW, which strives to promote promising young British men??™s wear designers.
???[NewGen Men is] an exciting initiative that rightfully positions men??™s wear at the forefront of fashion, providing a deserved platform for the very best men??™s wear maturing talent,??? said Gordon Richardson, Topman??™s design director.
Massey launched her London-based label in 2006, while Long debuted his collection at LFW??™s MAN show in 2007.
In reporting stellar quarterly results, The Buckle Inc. and A?©ropostale Inc. pulled well ahead of the pack ??” and marginally above analysts??™ consensus expectations ??” at a time when, confronted by weak mall traffic and indifferent consumers, most youth-focused chains would be content to simply tread water.
If there are questions about the two specialty retailers among investors, they stem from their ability to sustain such strong performances.
A?©ropostale??™s shares rose 0.6 percent to $35.88 before its results were released and were up another 0.3 percent in after-hours trading. However, following its morning release, Buckle??™s shares dropped 3.9 percent to $26.84 despite a 12.2 percent increase in second-quarter net income, accompanied by a 13.6 percent gain in revenues and an 8.6 percent climb in comparable-store sales.
???There??™s always the question: how long can this go on???? said Marie Driscoll, an equity analyst at Standard & Poor??™s.
Despite the challenge of sustaining its recent successes, Driscoll said Buckle, which operates 401 stores in 41 states, has the potential to grow to 500 to 600 stores. ???There are a lot of other regions where they can go,??? she said.
For the quarter ended Aug. 1, Buckle posted net income of $25 million, or 54 cents a diluted share, 2 cents better than analysts expected, compared with profits of $22.3 million, or 48 cents, in the year-ago period. Revenue rose to $196.9 million from $169.8 million in the 2008 quarter, including a 39 percent jump in direct sales to $10.1 million.
Men??™s, down to 40 percent of sales from 46.5 percent a year ago, declined about 2 percent as Buckle faced the anniversary of last year??™s strong Ed Hardy launch. Women??™s sales rose 27.5 percent and now account for 60 percent of net sales, up from 53.5 percent a year ago.
The critical denim category accounted for 35.5 percent of sales, up from 35 percent in last year??™s quarter. Buckle, which lauds itself as a ???denim destination,??? increased its average denim price point in the men??™s division by 10.4 percent to $87.60 and 10.9 percent to $89.30 in the women??™s division.
The French Vogue piece follows an article in the fall 2009 issue of T magazine, in which Coddington confesses she slyly used filmmaker R.J. Cutler??™s crew for espionage purposes. ???They were following Anna in the art department, listening to her reaction to my pictures. So I would ask them, ???What did she say? Did she like them???™??? As for stealing Wintour??™s thunder, Coddington demurred: ???It wasn??™t intentional.??? ??” Miles Socha
The original ???Full Frontal Fashion??? television show was discontinued in January amid disputes at parent company Rainbow Media Holdings, a Cablevision subsidiary that also owns Sundance. But the show isn??™t coming back per se ??” ???We don??™t necessarily think that shooting runway shows is a very Sundance way to do it,??? said Sundance general manager Sarah Barnett delicately ??” but a mix of television programming and Web content, much of it original, will fall under its umbrella.
Barnett said that when it comes to fashion, Sundance is most interested in showing the creative process. ???For us, it??™s not about the trendy ??” it??™s just about this dramatic, entertaining and, above all, creative perspective,??? she said.
The four-part ???The Day Before??? series is the centerpiece of the TV effort. Director Lo??c Prigent, whose previous credits include ???Sign?© Chanel??? and a 2007 feature on Marc Jacobs and Louis Vuitton, follows four designers in the manic 36 hours preceding their shows. Shooting over the past year, Prigent captured Sonia Rykiel??™s 40th anniversary celebration and Jean Paul Gaultier??™s haute couture show in Paris, Karl Lagerfeld??™s fall 2009 Fendi show in Milan and Proenza Schouler??™s fall 2009 collection in New York.
In today’s WWD I’ve posted relevant denim stories, but one honorable mention that I had to include was Hello Kitty turning 35. Always the master of extraordinary vision is Linda Farrow who designed an adorable sunglass for Hello Kitty. I must have it!
Happy reading my Denim Therapy friends!
–Nikki Cho Russo
HUT, HUT, HIKE: Wrangler couldn??™t have timed it better when it comes to Brett Favre. The news of the 39-year-old quarterback joining the Minnesota Vikings comes just as Wrangler is unveiling a new fall ad campaign for its Five Star Premium Denim label, featuring Favre.
???For Wrangler, whatever Brett??™s decision is on whether or not to retire doesn??™t matter to us either way,??? said Jenni Broyles, senior marketing communications manager for Wrangler??™s mass business. ???Brett makes a great spokesperson for Wrangler because he truly is a Wrangler guy and lives the Wrangler lifestyle. Our partnership is effective because it??™s based on this sincere connection to the Wrangler consumer and his career decisions are not changing that.???
The new campaign, which features the theme ???You Can Count on Wrangler: Comfort, Quality, Value,??? includes television, print, radio and online components. The first television ads break this week. Along with a campaign for the Wrangler Jeans Co. label, featuring NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr., Wrangler expects to make 3.4 billion media impressions this fall.
Vegas Preview: Capsule Time
London designers Fraser Moss and Jimmy Collins have been designing wearable yet distinctive clothes for 14 years under their label YMC, which stands for You Must Create. The label has gained a following for its minimalist spins on trends, and has been compared with Helmut Lang or APC, but with lower prices. Now it??™s even more affordable, offering a secondary range of basics called, aptly, YMC Basic, which retails for $40 to $120. It includes polos, shorts, pullovers and cardigans.
ACNE POP CLASSICS
Acne??™s secondary line is making its U.S. trade show debut at Capsule. The line has started to reflect the theme of the main collection, which this season is a story about a boy and a girl who find their parents??™ ???Harvest Moon??? record by Neil Young. But the Pop Classics prices are lower than Acne??™s, for the younger brother of the Acne consumer. (The sister, too, as the company is also launching its first full women??™s collection.)
Austin Sherbanenko designs Odyn Vovk, which means ???One Wolf??? in Ukrainian. His work reflects his youth and anything that sparks his curiosity. For spring, his third season, he was inspired by past events evoking dirt-ridden streets, industrial landscapes and sounds of music. Sherbanenko is planning a runway show for the upcoming New York Fashion Week. At Capsule, the company will be showcasing its OV line, which centers around basics at lower price points. Among the offerings will be knitwear, T-shirts, leggings and items constructed from hemp. Wholesale prices range from $45 to $115.
Vegas Preview: Reinventions and Returns at ENK
From WWD ISSUE 08/20/2009
Fred Perry (Photo by Courtesy Photo)
At Fred Perry, it??™s all about the racket sport as the core Authentics collection embraces tennis influences for spring.
???We really went back to our heritage and a clean, unfussy, pure and timeless aesthetic for this collection,??? said John Young, U.S. country manager for the British-based brand, which was founded in 1952. ???We have a lot of great whites, of course, but also tartan swimwear and woven shirts, which look great with shorts or white jeans.???
The brand??™s signature tipped polos come in 36 different colors, including bold pinks, bright blues and vivid yellow, available in both classic and slim fits. Polos, at $74 retail, comprise almost 25 percent of the brand??™s U.S. business, with track jackets, at $89.50, contributing another 15 percent.
The brand is sold in about 140 U.S. doors, leaving it a lot of room to grow, said Young, especially in comparison with a brand like Lacoste. ???We??™ve been a niche brand that??™s been under the radar, so we??™re actually seeing growth, even during these tough times,??? he added.
Also at ENK will be the brand??™s upscale Laurel label, which is priced about 20 percent higher than Authentics and sold in about 20 luxury retailers such as Bergdorf Goodman and Ron Robinson. The collection is made in Europe, versus China for the lower-priced line, and features dressy fabrics and sober color palettes such as chocolate, navy and mahogany.
Similarly, the company??™s six-season deal for the fashion-forward Fred Perry by Raf Simons line ??” think orange slim-fit shorts ??” is sold in about the same number of exclusive doors, including Neiman Marcus and Opening Ceremony.
Fred Perry, which is owned by Japan??™s Hit Union Co., opened its first U.S. store in New York??™s SoHo in February. The company is looking for a NoLIta location for its Laurel collection.
A.B.S. by Allen Schwartz (Photo by Courtesy Photo)
A.B.S. by Allen Schwartz
After nearly two years out of the marketplace, designer Allen Schwartz is returning to the men??™s wear arena for spring. At the ENK Vegas show, look for the A.B.S. by Allen Schwartz label??™s laid-back approach to West Coast style, with classic designs gussied up with contemporary fashion details.
???These are the essentials of a man??™s wardrobe, with close attention to detail,??? said Matthew Klein, director of sales and merchandising at the company, which is headquartered in Los Angeles but conducts sales out of New York. ???I think guys today aren??™t looking for trends or fads, but pieces that offer longevity.???
Bloomingdale??™s already has picked up the brand for spring in nine doors, and Klein ??” who is a former partner in the now-defunct Trafic trade show and was a co-founder of the Carp?© men??™s label ??” is looking to grow the brand in specialty store accounts. Denim jeans, twill shorts, jersey knit polos, chambray and oxford cloth shirts are among the key offerings for spring. Stenciled chest pockets, epaulets and contrast plackets on shirts are some of the defining design elements in the debut collection.
With the entire collection made in the U.S., wovens will retail from $145 to $165; polos, for $125; twill bottoms, for $198; shorts, for $185, and denim, for $205. There are about 35 pieces in two spring deliveries, with various colorways bringing the total number of styles available to about 50.
Schwartz sold men??™s under his Allen B. label for three years, before it was discontinued and became a women??™s-only brand exclusive to J.C. Penney.
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Odin Owners Continue to Expand Their Reach
From WWD ISSUE 08/20/2009
Eddy Chai and Paul Birardi of Odin (Photo: Melissa Hom)
The owners of Odin, the influential Manhattan men??™s boutiques, are spreading their wings with projects, including a third Odin location, Odin fragrances, a consulting business, and a contemporary label they are launching in collaboration with Duckie Brown.
Owners Edward Chai and Paul Birardi are also undergoing a downtown real estate shuffle that involves absorbing Den, their rotating single-brand concept, into the Odin flagship on Lafayette Street, while Oliver Spencer moves from the West Village into the old Den space on East 11th Street, and a third Odin launches in the old Oliver Spencer space. (Chai and Birardi are investors in Oliver Spencer as well.)
Den, which has featured a string of emerging brands such as Tim Hamilton and Engineered Garments, will have a clearly defined space and separate entrance on Lafayette. The next brand to be showcased there will be Nice Collective.
The third Odin, opening in early September, will have 600 square feet at Greenwich Street and West 11th Street, and extends the chain to five units, including Den and women??™s store Pas de Deux, which Chai and Birardi opened last year.
???It??™ll have the same feel as on Lafayette, while incorporating the neighborhood charm,??? said Chai.
The original Odin landed on East 11th in 2004, and grew fast from a neighborhood favorite to an international men??™s wear destination. Last year, a vendor survey found Odin to be the third most influential men??™s store in America after Barneys New York and Fred Segal.
???Eddy and Paul are incredibly talented, because they??™ve turned Odin into this very visible store in terms of fashion, and they obviously know what they??™re doing, because they continue to do well,??? said Daniel Silver of Duckie Brown.
As a result, Chai and Birardi have formed a consulting firm called Foundry NYC with beauty entrepreneurs Kelly Kovack, co-founder of Rescue, and Larry Paul, co-founder of Sharps. The firm will advise clients on design, merchandising, store concepts, branding, financial strategy and more.
The inaugural project for this group was the creation of Odin fragrances ??” three unisex scents, which will retail for $110 a bottle, starting in October.
But Chai and Birardi say Den, their rotating single-brand store, was the catalyst to becoming consultants.
???Really, when we were doing Den, what we offered designers ??” if they wanted it ??” was information on how sales were going, who was buying what, sales trends, missed opportunities,??? and designers were using the space as a lab for developing their own retail concepts, new categories and other projects, said Birardi. ???So Den was evolving to become what we??™re doing with Foundry.???
Chai and Birardi are also collaborating with Duckie Brown designers Daniel Silver and Steven Cox on a classic collection called Edward, which will launch exclusively in Odin stores at contemporary prices.
???We??™ve sold Duckie Brown for four seasons and we carry their Florsheim footwear now,??? said Birardi. ???It??™s really resonating with our customers. We all really get along. And Edward started from a conversation with them about what we felt was missing from the store.???
They dubbed it Edward because each of the four claimed a family member with that name and felt it sounded distinguished.
Cat Power: Hello Kitty Turns 35
From WWD ISSUE 08/20/2009
Linda Farrow Sunglasses (Photo by Courtesy Photos)
TOKYO ??” Japan??™s most fashionable feline is gearing up to mark her 35th birthday this fall with a long list of special products and festivities.
Sanrio, the parent company of the Hello Kitty brand, is planning to fete the cartoon cat??™s Nov. 1 birthday with a host of fashion-related products, from a one-of-a-kind gem-encrusted necklace to iPhone cases by Kimora Lee Simmons and limited edition Asics sneakers.
???We want to talk about the essence of Hello Kitty,??? explained Janet Hsu, the Los Angeles-based president of Sanrio global consumer products.
Les Bijoux de Sophie necklace (Photo by Courtesy Photo)
Hsu said Hello Kitty products rake in worldwide sales of more than $5 billion annually. ???A huge percentage of that is in the fashion category,??? she explained, adding the brand is seeing ???tremendous strength??? in fine jewelry. The company declined to break down sales by product category.
Over the years, Hello Kitty??™s image has graced almost every conceivable product, from scented erasers to Fender guitars. She has two theme parks in her native Japan and there is even a Hello Kitty-themed maternity hospital in Taiwan. At Sanrio headquarters in Tokyo, visitors sip Hello Kitty??™s own brand of green tea out of Hello Kitty cups as they sit in Hello Kitty chairs.
–Nikki Cho Russo
Tags: A.B.S. by Allen Schwartz, Acne Pop Classics, Fred Perry, Hello Kitty, Odin, Odyn Vovk, Wrangler, YMC
Kenny Chesney Apparel Line to Launch at MAGIC
From WWD ISSUE 08/19/2009
Country superstar Kenny Chesney is bringing a tour bus to the MAGIC show in Las Vegas ??” literally.
Chesney will showcase the official launch of his new line of men??™s and women??™s apparel in an Airstream bus that will be on display inside the Las Vegas Convention Center during the trade show at the end of the month.
The collection, Blue Chair Bay, is a denim- and knit-driven lifestyle line that will have a soft launch for holiday in a handful of specialty stores including Levy??™s in Nashville, Fast Buck Freddys in Key West, Fla., and Ocean Eddies in Gulf Coast, Ala. The full launch will be for spring.
Chesney, a four-time Entertainer of the Year of both the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music, also will headline an invitation-only concert at the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas during MAGIC.
According to Chesney, ???Just like I don??™t know fashion, I don??™t expect these people to really know who I am, what I do or what I??™d like to think my music represents. So, that??™s why I??™m going to play a very intimate show for a lot of them: bring them in organically to the songs, the stories and give them a sense of who I ??” and the people who live these songs right along with us ??” am.???
Blue Chair Bay is being manufactured by Latitude 17 Degrees South, a company that was formed to create the line for Chesney, according to Eric Dickson, sales manager for Blue Chair Bay Apparel. The collection will include woven shirts, khakis, shorts, T-shirts and jeans. Retail price points include T-shirts for $32 to $38, khakis for $68 to $72, shorts for $48 to $55 and woven shirts for $52 to $62.
Chesney??™s name and image will not be part of the marketing for the line, but the hangtag will read ???Blue Chair Bay: A Kenny Chesney-inspired brand.??? The name of the collection comes from the singer??™s 2005 album ??” ???Be as You Are: Songs From an Old Blue Chair,??? which featured all self-written songs.
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From WWD ISSUE 08/19/2009
SHOPPING USA: Fashion??™s Night Out is extending its reach to Los Angeles and landing within the ivy-covered walls of Ron Herman??™s boutique on Melrose Avenue. In collaboration with Vogue, which helped hatch the idea for the Sept. 10 global shopping event, Herman is corralling at least 30 designers and fashion brands ??” including Monrow, Martin Margiela, Oliver Peoples, Chan Luu, LnA and Beats by Dr. Dre ??” to make personal appearances, launch products and sponsor mini shows in an effort to entice consumers to shop. Other Southern California retailers participating in Fashion??™s Night Out Los Angeles are Neiman Marcus, Maxfield, Trovata, Ron Robinson and Rock & Republic. Even with his support of Fashion??™s Night Out, Herman believes shopping is a 365-day affair. He??™s taking the shop-in-shop concept to the next level with special sections devoted to J Brand, which launched its gallerylike section Saturday with a party attended by actress Christina Ricci, and Quiksilver, whose men??™s-only surf corner opens Aug. 29. ???Hey, it??™s OK to go out and shop,??? Herman said. ???I??™m not asking people to buy a new car. It??™s less than a college education. Just go out and make yourself feel good.???
–Nikki Cho Russo
Tags: Blue Chair Bay, Kenny Chesney
Levi’s Brain Dead Jeans…Comme des Garcons and Converse, Again
From WWD ISSUE 08/17/2009
The Levi??™s Vintage display at the SoHo J. Crew store. Photo By Steve Eichner
GET THEM WHILE THEY LAST: Dying for a pair of Levi??™s Brain Dead jeans? Well, J. Crew men??™s stores in lower Manhattan recently snapped up the last of Levi??™s Vintage Clothing stock and are selling the jeans (and one style of sack coat) exclusively at its new shop at 484 Broadway as well as the Liquor Store unit on West Broadway. The selection ??” which is limited edition and re-created using the original techniques from 1873 ??” include the Dead Stock from 1967, the Brain Dead from 1947 and the Barren Land from 1937. They retail from $195 to $395. The Sack Coat is from the Twenties and sells for $298. Frank Muytjens, J. Crew??™s vice president of men??™s design, said the iconic pieces ???replicate the fabric and wash??? of the originals and are even ???woven on the original looms.??? As of Thursday, there were between 40 and 110 pieces of each style, Muytjens said, ???and when they??™re gone, they??™re gone.???
A Comme des Gar?§ons-Converse collaboration. Photo by Courtesy Photo
COMME DOES CONVERSE, AGAIN: After the successful launch of its shoe collaboration in Japan, Comme des Gar?§ons and Converse are dashing into a wider market ??” this time with four styles (two high-top, two oxford). The shoes will be sold at the end of August in Comme des Gar?§ons stores in New York, Paris, London, Hong Kong and Seoul, including select retailers that sell Comme des Gar?§ons Play, and in October, distribution will grow with a second launch in the same Comme des Gar?§ons stores as well as top Converse retailers in the U.S., Canada and China (the collaboration will be known as Comme des Gar?§ons Play for Converse). According to a spokesperson, ???Converse has a long history of being on the feet of those who have chosen to disrupt the status quo???; the collaboration was born out of Rei Kawakubo??™s affection for a particular Chuck Taylor All Star model from the Converse archives that was originally produced in the Fifties for the U.S. Army. Using details from that model, Converse and Kawakubo came up with the four prototypes, which will retail for $100 each. Comme des Gar?§ons isn??™t the only high-fashion brand with which Converse is aligning itself: The company plans collaborations with Missoni and (N)umber (N)ine later this fall.
Legging, Vintage Styles Drive Kingpins Show
From WWD ISSUE 08/18/2009
Kingpins featured 20 exhibitors. Photo by Stefanie Keenan
LOS ANGELES ??” Legging jeans and vintage styles topped the list of fall trends for premium denim designers who scouted the Kingpins textile show for the newest stretch materials and durable fabrics.
The West Coast edition of Kingpins, which ran here Aug. 11 and 12, featured fall offerings from 20 exhibitors, ranging from mills and laundries to trim suppliers and factories in Turkey and China. Among the attendees were GoldSign founder and denim industry icon Adriano Goldschmied, Seven For All Mankind creative director Tim Kaeding, Vintage Laundry??™s Alex Caugant, Agave chief executive officer and designer Jeff Shafer, Genetic Denim creative director Ali Fatourechi, Oligo Tissew founder Christopher Enuke, and designers from Levi??™s, Tommy Bahama and BCBG Max Azria Group.
While price remained a priority, attendees and exhibitors said business has been improving over the past six months. Underscoring the vibrancy of the denim market, Kingpins will host its first show in Hong Kong on Oct. 7 and 8.
???There??™s definitely a renewed energy and excitement in the marketplace,??? said Agave??™s Shafer.
However, attendees acknowledged the challenge of appealing to consumers who have grown accustomed to receiving incentives to buy, whether it??™s the U.S. government??™s Cash for Clunkers auto program or discounts at stores.
???The consumer is quite spoiled right now,??? Shafer said. ???Price is a major issue.???
Vendors appeared willing to do as much as they can to help designers stay on budget.
Turkish manufacturer Denim Village said although its prices sit between its competitors in Italy and China, it can produce vintage-inspired looks with 3-D whiskers, pigment spots and cotton and leather patches. China??™s Zhonghe Marketing Co. Ltd. sought to attract customers as a one-stop shop, which can spin cotton and blends mixed with Tencel or wool, dye the material and sew the garments. Japan??™s Amhot International Inc. said it can produce its yarn-dyed cotton and other fabrics in China, where costs would be half as much as in Japan.
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–Nikki Cho Russo
Tags: Comme des GarÃ§ons, Converse, Kingpins, Legging Jeans, Levi's