Skatewear Sector Shows Rapid Growth
From WWD ISSUE 09/02/2009
Comune (Photo by Courtesy Photo)
Skateboarders are used to pushing the limits with acrobatic stunts; now they can be adventurous in their fashion choices.
From Nike and Sport Chalet to DC Shoes and Vans, men??™s skate brands are extending their retail reach and launching new clothing lines.
Nike Inc., the world??™s largest athletic apparel and footwear company, unveiled a 3,400-square-foot shop in Laguna Beach, Calif., in July to highlight its four action sports brands: Nike 6.0, Nike SB, Hurley and Converse. In an airy loft with exposed brick walls and rusted steel beams, shoppers customize boardshorts, try on sneakers while sitting on blanket-cushioned wood boxes, and also snap up art books, collectible toys and jeans, among other merchandise. It??™s an art-in-action concept the Beaverton, Ore.-based company may expand to other cities, a spokesman said.
Brooklyn Projects took advantage of falling rents and rising interest in skating to open its third shop in Pasadena, Calif., last month. Converse, the Nike-owned shoe brand best known for its canvas high-tops, plans to offer T-shirts and baseball caps for skater boys next fall. And DC Shoes is capitalizing on the popularity of Rob Dyrdek, one of the pro skaters it sponsors, with a holiday collaboration of water-print Ts, baby-blue striped sneakers and leather jackets, all retailing from $28 to $490.
Skate shops seem to be more resilient than their surf counterparts during the recession. A study commissioned by Surf Industry Manufacturers Association, an Aliso Viejo, Calif.-based trade group, said skate-focused stores tallied sales of $2.85 billion last year, which was the same as in 2006, the last time the report was issued. Surf-focused shops, however, posted a 6.8 percent decrease in sales to $2.47 billion in the same period. In those two years, 156 surf doors shuttered, resulting in 7.4 percent fewer stores.
The skate sector has ???been one of the highlights in this very slow economy,??? said Paul Smedley, senior merchant of apparel at La Canada, Calif.-based Sport Chalet.
Sport Chalet reported a double-digit increase in sales at its skate-centric shop-in-shop, Project Fifty Nine, which is in five of its 18 stores across the West. Double-digit growth is also giving a boost to Vans as it solidifies its strength in skatewear.
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GLAMOUR??™S PICK: Glamour magazine never reveals its Women of the Year award winners before its annual event in November, but insiders told WWD one of this year??™s winners may be a surprise to some given her recent legal imbroglios: Rihanna, who has recently made headlines as much for her tempestuous relationship with Chris Brown, who was found guilty of assaulting her, as for her singing. The event, which will be held Nov. 9 at Carnegie Hall, celebrates inspiring, high-achieving women. Last year??™s winners included Nicole Kidman, Tyra Banks, Maureen Chiquet, Hillary Clinton and Condoleezza Rice.
Meanwhile, the magazine also is plotting its Fashion Gives Back initiative and has tappedJason Wu, Alejandro Ingelmo, Pamela Love, Brian Reyes, Bensoni and Abigail Lorick of Lorick to design a limited edition shopping tote, proceeds from which will benefit dress For Success. Wu??™s bag features gradient lines that darken to black, while Bensoni??™s depicts oversize lipstick kiss marks in bright colors. Each bag incorporates the designer??™s signature. The bags sell for $35 and will be sold exclusively at Bloomingdale??™s and bloomingdales.com starting this week. The bags, along with 900 copies of Glamour??™s October issue ??” which hits stands Sept 8. ??”will be featured in the windows of Bloomingdale??™s 59th Street flagship in New York.
The October issue has a feature on Fashion Gives Back with profiles of the participating designers alongside a celebrities such as Jessica Szohr, America Fererra and Lily Collins. Past Fashion Gives Back Designers include Marchesa, Doo.Ri and Rachel Roy.
??” Amy Wicks and Sophia Chabbott
WALLPAPER??™S GUEST STARS: Wallpaper has marked the third year of its guest edited series by asking Karl Lagerfeld and Philippe Starck to each create covers and editorial for the magazine??™s October issue. And both newbie editors have eschewed the idea of a regular, two-dimensional magazine cover. While Lagerfeld has shot his current muse, Baptiste Giabiconi, clad in a Dior Homme suit for his cover, he??™s added a layer of paper to the magazine, which those inclined can peel off to reveal Giabiconi naked. Lagerfeld has also shot a 27-page editorial for the title featuring Giabiconi in locales such as the Queen??™s Theater in Versailles.
Starck, meanwhile, has designed a cover made of three layers of translucent paper, featuring an amoeba, a monkey wearing shoes and a question mark, to depict what he sees as the different stages of evolution. His editorial also takes a cerebral approach, featuring interviews with scientists, physicists, cosmologists and artists. Starck said he??™s approached his editorship with ???a mission to make intelligence sexy.??? Both Starck and Lagerfeld??™s editorial will appear in all editions of the magazine, not just those with their respective covers.
???Like their illustrious predecessors, Lagerfeld and Starck have made full use of their prime piece of Wallpaper real estate,??? said Tony Chambers, editor-in-chief of Wallpaper. ???Their covers have pushed the boundaries of magazine design and production.???
Past guest editors of Wallpaper have included Louise Bourgeois, Zaha Hadid, Hedi Slimane, Jeff Koons, Rei Kawakubo and Dieter Rams.
??” Nina Jones
–Nikki Cho Russo
Tags: Fashion Gives Back, Glamour Magazine, Nike, Wallpaper, WWD