MILAN ??” The British Fashion Council (BFC) on Thursday launched NewGen Men, a new sponsorship program by Topman, which aims to support emerging men??™s wear talent, and named the award??™s inaugural recipients.
Designers Carolyn Massey and James Long will receive funding and be given the opportunity to show their spring 2010 men??™s wear collections at Somerset House on Sept. 23 during London Fashion Week, a day after the close of the women??™s runway season in the British capital.
Massey and Long, both 28 and former Royal College of Art graduates, were selected by a panel of key opinion-makers from media and retail including representatives from Esquire, Fantastic Man, Harvey Nichols, Selfridges and Topman.
???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.
???There??™s always the question: how long can this go on???? said Marie Driscoll, an equity analyst at Standard & Poor??™s.
Investors appear worried that Buckle may be unable to sustain its remarkable comp performance ??” highlighted by a 20.6 percent gain last year. The Kearney, Neb.-based firm??™s comps have been slipping since May, when the company reported a 13.4 percent jump, followed by a 9.4 rise in June and a 2.8 percent increase in July. In the third quarter, it??™s up against a 23.7 percent comp increase, a number achieved despite the near meltdown in the credit markets that stopped consumer spending in its tracks in mid-September.
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
WELL RED: Vogue??™s creative director, Grace Coddington, continues to win far more than 15 minutes of fame for her scene-stealing turn in ???The September Issue,??? the documentary film about the magazine that premiered earlier this week. The September issue of French Vogue, arriving on newsstands Monday, devotes four pages to the flame-haired editor, including one devoted to tear sheets from her modeling days. The accompanying two-page article delves into her sometimes-prickly relationship with editor in chief Anna Wintour and contains this zinger: ???Anna and I, we??™ve known each other a long time.??¦We have a real mutual respect for each other, even though sometimes I feel like killing her.??? It??™s a sentiment Coddington also expresses in the documentary.
COMEBACK ??” SORT OF: Sundance is reviving the ???Full Frontal Fashion??? brand to encompass a blitz of fashion programming pegged to New York Fashion Week.
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.
PARIS POP:It appears last year??™s Gap + Colette New York pop-up shop was more than a one-off for the American retail giant. WWD hears Gap will reprise its mass-meets-Parisian-concept shop again, this time with Merci, the French concept shop opened earlier this year by former Bonpoint owners Marie-France and Bernard Cohen. Merci, which sells a curated selection of home wares, fragrances and children??™s and women??™s wear, is known as much for its fashion as its charitable angle: All proceeds are donated ??” after taxes, rent and employees are paid, however. Gap is said to be importing Merci??™s philanthropic style for a monthlong stint at the Fifth Avenue and 54th Street store beginning Sept. 10.
THE BIG 4-0:Browns, the London retailer that launched many a designer??™s career, is gearing up for a big 40th anniversary celebration in the spring. The store, founded by Joan and Sydney Burstein and now run by their children, Simon Burstein and Caroline Collis, has asked designers including Donna Karan, Calvin Klein and Giorgio Armani to take part in an exhibition that charts the past four decades in fashion ??” and Browns??™ impact on the London retail scene. The store, which brought labels such as Missoni, Donna Karan and Comme des Gar?§ons to the U.K. and talent-spotted fashion students including John Galliano and Hussein Chalayan, also boasts a star-studded list of former employees, including Manolo Blahnik, Paul Smith, Richard James, Tamara Mellon and Sir Philip Green.
EXCHANGE PROGRAM: Two shopping streets ??” one in London, the other in New York ??” will take part in a Freaky Friday-style experiment starting later this month. A group of retailers based on London??™s Newburgh Street, off Carnaby Street, and others in New York??™s Lower East Side will get a taste of the retail scene in each other??™s cities as part of a temporary location swap. From Thursday through Sept. 13, 15 London labels, including Twenty8Twelve, Fred Perry and jeweler The Great Frog, will set up in a space on Orchard Street in the Lower East Side. Meanwhile, from Oct. 1 through Nov. 1, 15 Lower East Side-based boutiques including Earnest Sewn, Wendy Mink Jewelry and By Robert James will take up residence in pop-up spaces on Newburgh Street, London and in nearby Lowndes Court. The stores will remain open in their respective cities during the swap. ???The Newburgh Quarter and Lower East Side swap is a great story about the strength of the independents in both of these areas, most of whom will never have retailed outside of their own country before,??? said Simon Quayle, director of Shaftesbury Plc, which owns and manages the stores in the Carnaby Street area, and whose company conceived the idea. ???We are always on the lookout for exciting and innovative retail concepts from overseas, and hopefully this swap could lead to some of the New York brands looking for a permanent shop in our area.???