LOFT Loft was all about the mix for holiday, whether it was a sporty shearling jacket worn with a printed dress or a blazer with a ruffled blouse and faux-fur necklet. Knitwear was also prominently featured — in chunky sweaters and cardigans, as well as details on outerwear.
CLUB MONACO Club Monaco worked a masculine-feminine counterpoint for holiday by mixing romantic pieces such as lace tap shorts with classic men’s wear styles like tailored coats and chunky knits. In accessories, gloves in black leather or shearling, long and short, were the key items.
GAP “We’re making holiday all about you,” said Patrick Robinson, executive vice president of design. “All anybody wants as a gift today is electronics. So we’re offering clothes for you to fall in love with yourself. If you love it, then you’ll buy it for somebody else.” That translated into superlightweight puffer jackets, skinny jeans and sweaters in a variety of hues designed to be worn in layers.
TALBOTS Strong outerwear and feminine details were the message at Talbots. The collection featured coats for every occasion, from tailored day looks to satin evening styles, as well as faux fur and puffer looks.
Ever since I was a kid I was into fashion. So it’s no surprise that I work in the industry. My job requires a lot of travel, and I think I’m in a plane more than some pilots and flight attendants. When I’m flying, I sometimes feel like I live in my own little bubble. That becomes very clear when I’m sitting next to someone who is working on a presentation with a lot of numbers and graphs and I’m sorting through pictures of jackets and skirts. The looks I get from seatmates are priceless. It’s worse, though, when I rush to my seat and then pull the things I need to review out of my carry-on. Those things can be a dress and a pair of stockings. I think some of my seatmates want to move away from me, but the plane is usually full. I almost always make a point to talk to my seatmates and explain what I do for a living. Once people get over their initial reactions, both women and men will start to ask for fashion advice. I always give the same answer: Don’t be afraid of trying something new. I find that, for the most part, people appreciate fashion on some level even though it’s not like I’m curing cancer or saving the planet. But people have a skewed view of the industry. They think it’s all about the glamour, the jet-setting and the fabulous parties. Who am I to burst their bubbles and let them in on the reality that it’s a lot of hard work in a very tough, very competitive business? Sure it can be a lot of fun, but the last really fabulous party that I could let loose at was back in college with my fraternity. If I make a spectacle of myself on the plane, it’s usually worse when I have to get my luggage. I often have to travel with multiple pieces of checked gear, sometimes up to 10 suitcases. If I go overseas, it can be up to 20 cases. As I load the stuff on a cart or three and then try and make my way through the airport, people actually do point and stare. That’s because I’m usually out of breath and probably look like I’m about to pass out as I’m pushing the carts. Sometimes I’ll put on a scarf and big sunglasses and try and fool them into thinking I’m someone famous rather than a guy who is just doing his job. I know I’m not fooling anyone, but it makes me feel better. read more
Internet fashion retailer Yoox SpA is confident it will continue to grow in North America even if the U.S. consumer mood darkens, said the Italian company's chief executive and chairman Monday. Any adverse economic event would only have "a marginal impact" on the growth of the e-commerce sector, which is on the rise, said Federico Marchetti, adding that "we are just at the beginning of the [e-commerce] story, not in the middle and not at the end." Yoox, which listed on the Milan stock exchange in December, has become a bellwether for investors tracking the luxury industry's transition to the Internet. Many luxury brands once snubbed the Internet, convinced that online shopping was a poor substitute for the pampering customers receive at brick-and-mortar boutiques. In the wake of the financial crisis, however, the relative low cost of Internet retailing has lured designers like Giorgio Armani and Roberto Cavalli, who have tapped Yoox to design and operate their websites. The U.S. is currently Yoox's second-largest market by revenue after Italy but has the potential to be its main revenue driver by the end of 2011, Mr. Marchetti said. He added that "we expect the U.S. market to rise at double-digit growth in the coming quarters and in the following years." Yoox's U.S. revenue more than doubled to €9.5 million ($12 million) in the first quarter and accounted for 19% of total revenue thanks to "a strong recovery" from the global recession and improved local organization, Yoox said in May. Yoox Corp., the U.S. subsidiary of Yoox SpA, appointed Mark Lee, former CEO of the Gucci brand, to its board this month. Mr. Marchetti said his appointment will provide "a lot of support" for the company's further development in the U.S. market. For the first quarter of 2010, Yoox reported an increase in net profit to €2 million from €400,000, while revenue rose to €50.3 million, up 43% from €35.1 million a year earlier. The company had an average of 8.8 million visitors on its websites each month. Mr. Marchetti also said he has no concerns about the second-quarter results, due Aug. 5, and is confident of meeting analysts' expectations for the full year. He confirmed that Yoox is investing "time and resources" to enter the Chinese market within the first six months of 2011, adding that details on the project will be disclosed toward the end of this year. Yoox's concept is to buy up last season's items from upscale fashion houses and sell them at discount prices on its website, but the company also operates 20 online monobrand stores for top designers including Giorgio Armani, Valentino and Roberto Cavalli. read more
Sales at Hermès International jumped 27 percent in the second quarter to 567 million euros, or $723.5 million, versus 446.6 million euros, or $608.3 million, in the year-ago period. During the first half of the year, sales totaled 1.07 billion euros, or $1.43 billion, up 22.8 percent from 874.9 million euros, or $1.17 billion, during the same period last year. Dollar figures are converted from euros at average exchange rates for the periods to which they refer. “The growth rate registered in the first six months cannot recur in the second half owing to a less favorable comparison basis,” Hermès said in a statement. “However, owing to an excellent second quarter beyond expectations, sales growth target for the year ranges between 10 percent to 12 percent at constant exchange rates.” In the three months ended June 30, the French luxury firm posted a solid performance in its own stores — up 27.7 percent — with all key divisions showing strong increases. Sales of leather goods were up 31.5 percent, while ready-to-wear and fashion accessories posted a 25.7 percent rise. Sales of silk and textiles, including the company’s iconic silk scarves, rose 24.3 percent. Wholesale revenues were up 19.8 percent in the second quarter, with most of the increase due to watches, which saw sales rise 35.9 percent as consumers regained their appetite for luxury timepieces. Perfume sales were up 16.9 percent, helped by the launch of Voyage d’Hermès, though the increase was down from the 38.1 percent jump registered in the first quarter. In regional terms, non-Japan Asia registered the strongest performance in the quarter, up 57.1 percent, with the Americas up 35.5 percent and Europe – excluding France – up 26.3 percent. In Japan, sales were up 10 percent. read more
For the second time in 2010, Swiss watch exports registered a monthly increase of more than 30 percent. In June, foreign sales of Swiss watches increased 35 percent year-on-year to 1.45 billion Swiss francs, or $1.28 billion, driven largely by bimetallic watches and gold timepieces, the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry said. Dollar figures are converted at average exchange rates for the period to which they refer. “All price segments registered an increase in June, with rates of growth rising in proportion to the value of watches,” the federation stated. Sales in Hong Kong, the largest market for Swiss timepieces, rose 58.6 percent, while China’s business grew 69 percent. For the first half of 2010, foreign sales of Swiss watches grew 19.7 percent to 7.3 billion Swiss francs, or $6.75 billion, almost the same level as in 2007. read more