WWDThursDay Women’s Wear Daily • The Retailers’ Daily Newspaper • February 25, 2010 • $3.00
Surface Tension NEW YORK — Sleek. That’s how Francisco Costa described his collection for Calvin Klein, and he added a futuristic tone with distinctive textures. Case in point, this embroidered silk jersey dress. For more on the trend, see pages 6 and 7.
A Return to ‘Offense’: Saks Inc. Eyes Growth As Loss Narrows in Qtr. By David Moin SakS INc., aFTeR ShaRply NaRRoWINg its fourth-quarter loss through expense cuts, better margins and less price promoting, is “carefully moving from defense to offense.” That’s the mood and strategic shift at Saks Fifth avenue, according to the luxury chain’s chairman and chief executive officer, Stephen I. Sadove. “I was pleased with the quarter. We are making progress. We are less promotional,” Sadove told WWD. on Wednesday, the $2.6 billion Saks reported losses of $4.6 million, or 3 cents a share, in the quarter ended Jan. 30. adjusted for charges, the company posted earnings per share of 6 cents. The results were a far cry from the year-ago quarter, when Saks lost
photo by robert mitra
See Saks, Page 16
WWD, thursDay, february 25, 2010 11 WWD.COM
including a sartorial combo of a tie, tie clip, tie pin, collar clip and pocket square — all carefully matched for style. each set, packaged in a wooden box, retails for $225 to $250. “Our generation wasn’t taught to wear these accessories and we want to bring them to younger guys,” said greg sato, who founded the line with partner annie imamura. For hat enthusiasts, stetson debuted its new albertus swanepoel collection. the designer was inspired by the company’s archives and drew upon its heritage to create a collection of “funky, unisex looks,” said u.s. sales director grant bloodworth. the silhouettes were primarily classic but swanepoel tweaked them by adding colorful linings or other details, with prices at around $100 wholesale. nike sportswear focused on its most technical pieces at the show, including items from the aCg pendleton collaboration as well as sophisticated bonded lasercut jackets featuring gore-tex fabrics. isaora, which has roots in snowboarding, expanded the fusion of fashion and function for fall. Founder and designer Marc Daniels kept the colorways dark but didn’t deviate from the brand’s snowboarding background. For example, leather jackets featured panels of schoeller’s Gentry pCM (phase Change Material) that helps regulate body temperature. wool-blend plaid jackets with a down lining could be worn on or off the mountain. Frank rivera, owner of Concepts, a specialty store in Cambridge, Mass., liked the “refined and cleaner” looks he found at Capsule, saying the brands there would appeal to both the youth market as well as older customers. with the recession slowing business, he is moving the store toward more “lifestyle” merchandise. “the shelf life for brands is short so we’re carrying more classics that can stand the test of time,” he explained. south Korean label beyond Closet was a favorite of lower prices, in considerJackie nguyen, men’s ation of the challenging buyer at seattle’s retail climate. shirts were Zebraclub, who priced to retail for $125 inpraised its sophististead of the previous $155, cated outerwear. she while washed chinos were Acne Pop Collection also noted a trend $105, down from $125. towards more nonprice was also a selling point at acne pop Classics, a range from denim bottom options this season. “there sweden’s acne brand. launched last were more twills, chinos, khakis and coryear, pop Classics’ fall collection fea- duroys, in very earthy, muted tones, as tured a “south american romantic cow- well as navys and blacks,” she noted. elegant wool trousers with a touch of boy” theme, such as inca prints on sweaters, velvet chaps attached to jeans and bagginess were on view at Dana lee, a cropped blazers. shirts in the collection new label codesigned by lee and Corey retail for $169, waxed denim for $199, gomberg, the former designer of the men’s label bureau. the collection also sweatshirts for $149 and knits for $189. “this line is a great way to reach included riffs on a chief petty officer middle markets like Chicago. it creates (CpO) shirt and military-style n1 jacket, exposure for the brand and introduces it lined in alpaca. striped merino wool tank to more consumers,” said Justin warren, tops and union suit added another nautinorth american sales manager at want cal element to the lineup. “horizontal stripes are a nice break from all the plaid agency, which sells the brand here. For the modern-day dandy, gentry everywhere,” noted gomberg. exhibited neckwear kits, with each set — D.L., J.E.P. and B.T.
DeniM anD COnteMpOrarY brands predominated at enK vegas, which was staged in adjoining ballrooms of the bellagio hotel. vendors and retailers said sales have been picking up steam in recent months, but remain cautious about the remainder of the year. at hudson Jeans, sales are up 20 to 25 percent in the first quarter, said president and chief executive officer peter Kim, following a flat 2009. the brand has benefited from an injection of funding from investors Fireman Capital partners and webster Capital last year, which has allowed it to beef up management and infrastructure and invest in its first high-gloss advertising campaign, featuring georgia May Jagger, daughter of Mick Jagger and Jerry hall. hudson is one of the few major denim brands that has stuck to its core business without branching out into tops, licensed products or its own retail stores. “we’re focusing on our brand message right now, Victorinox and waiting for everything else when it makes sense,” said Kim. For fall, the men’s denim lineup included a wide range of both clean and vintage wash options, either with hudson’s signature flap pocket or a traditional five pocket — with the latter selling better. adding some diversity were lightweight corduroys in polycotton blends with appealing highs and lows in the fabric, retailing for $230. engineered cords and chinos with a single pleat, which retail for about $100, were selling well at Farah, a brand operated by perry ellis europe in the u.K., but which was originally founded in 1920 in texas before fizzling out in the u.s. market. “we’re repatriating the brand back to its home market,” said Mark McCann, european sales manager for the brand. the collection features a contemporary look with retro touches, which, apart from its core bottoms business, encompasses Fair isle sweaters, flannel shirts and duffle coats. victorinox had a case of wanderlust this season, and its modern traveler is equipped with weather-ready layers that balance function and contemporary casual style. the brand produced a range of outerwear including a fourin-one parka, knit blazer, glossy hooded anorak and insulated blouson — many in the season’s signature color, purple. there was also a strong ski influence in the color-blocked knits, snow-proof jackets and chalet-approved fleece pullovers and cardigan sweaters. after cutting prices last season up to 20 percent, victorinox said pricing remained steady this season. across the hall, sport shirt resource Culturata continued to ride the demand for slimmer fits and updated styling.
Capsule was bigger than ever this season — hosting 175 brands in a 75,000-square-foot ballroom at the venetian — attracting designer names like hugo boss, spurr, Carlos Campos and billy reid, along with trendy premium labels such as unis, Orthodox Clothing, nicholas K and april 77. but with project moving from the venetian to the Mandalay bay Convention Center, foot traffic at Capsule was somewhat lighter. “i think we had less curious onlookers than last season, due to the project move. but Capsule is a destination show for serious buyers of our brands,” said edina sultanik, a partner in Capsule, adding the show has no plans to move location next season. “we had all the major department stores and top-tier boutiques come through. they know they can’t find our brands anywhere else in las vegas.” hugo boss brought its hugo and boss Orange labels to Capsule for the first time, in an effort to reach more independent specialty stores. boss Orange tapped a new designer, eyan allen, last year and the fall collection featured a vintage new York theme — along with
ALL photoS by bryAn hArrAwAy
aDvanstar COMMuniCatiOns, Owners OF MagiC, project and pool, launched a boutique show this season called workroom that featured about 30 brands, split evenly between men’s and women’s. vendors at the show, which was located in a prime spot at the entrance to project at the Mandalay bay Convention Center, included directional labels such as lacoste red, surface to air and Kova & t. the no-frills setup featured uniform racks for vendors and a hip, utilitarian aesthetic in its furnishings. “the goal is to offer an intimate environment that also benefits from the traffic to project,” said sharifa Cudjoe, a sales director
“Our fits are updated but not too aggressive,” said director nadine price. “retailers like that. we’ve found strength as a contemporary vendor for more traditional stores.” among retailer favorites, according to price: the continued preference for tonal checks, subtle plaids on poplin rather than flannel and solid mélange shirts. “there’s a lot more open to buy this season,” she added. “especially for dark and denim-friendly looks.” Denim maker agave unveiled its first licensed product, a knitwear collection from vancouver’s JMax global Distributors. the line included supima cotton zippered cardigans and overprinted pullovers with raw edge seams. wally naymon of Kilgore trout in Cleveland said the men’s market today is “all about great sportswear. suits have become a made-to-measure business and we’re reacting to the new reality. now we have to figure out how to capture the gross profit dollars we need to have a profitable business.” For naymon, this boils down to providing his customers with compelling fashion at every level. he was shopping tailor vintage, a sportswear collection that has “reinvented preppie,” according to its president, richard rosenthal. the men’s collection, targeted to 35- to 55-year-olds, featured comfortable twills, patchwork and washed tartan bottoms, including reversible styles with corduroy on one side and tartan on the other. shorts retail for under $98 and pants for around $148. accessories maker bodhi showcased an assortment of washed linen bags that ranged from duffels and dopp kits to backpacks and ipad cases, including styles in a rich, purple italian leather. bodhi also launched dress and casual belts featuring screwhead eyelets or other metal embellishments. Dress belts, some of which were reversible, were priced to retail at $98, while the casual options were $148 to $198. eyewear brand randolph engineering rings up 70 percent of its sales to the military — its aviator sunglasses are standard issue to navy and army helicopter pilots — but was aiming to expand distribution in fashion accounts at enK. Designer Michael bastian has used the company’s technically advanced sunglasses in his runway shows — and the designs are priced at $99 to $159 retail. t-shirt brand paste delivered clever designs, such as a humorous style with the screen-printed words “angel wings, guns, skull, rhinestones,” lampooning the motifs ubiquitous in the premium marketplace. “buyers have been broadening their price ranges and filling in items, which has helped brands like ours,” said Jason laurits of his $35 ts, which have been picked up by nordstrom and bloomingdale’s.
— D.L., J.E.P. and B.T.
at project who was involved in overseeing workroom. “it looks like they are going after the Capsule crowd,” noted James hammonds, men’s buyer at american rag, referring to the crosstown trade show in the venetian hotel that attracted progressive and designer brands. philip sitbon of denim brand sitbon laundry showcased intensely washed and repaired selvedge jeans with silver-plated hardware, retailing for $200 to $450. grown & sewn featured similarly appealing wash techniques, but on a range of chinos, while hyden Yoo offered up stylish mixed-media outerwear in wool and nylon or fleece and nylon, in silhouettes with an architectural bent.
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ENK Vegas Showcases Denim, Contemporary Brands Randolph Engineering, ENK Photo by Bryan Haraway
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