London retail sales drop, Shopping bags in Japan, Sass & Bide at LFW, Fashion bankruptcies

Clothing and footwear sales in London drop back during July (Drapers) “Clothing and footwear sales in London fell back during July as the wet weather during the month drove sales of indoor items such as homewares and furniture.” Paper Bags as Fashion Statements (New York Times) “It’s little wonder that, in spite of the recession, Tokyo’s closets continue to be crammed to the hilt — less so with Prada and Marc

…Continue Reading

Nordstrom profit drops, Escada crumbles, AA ekes out profit, Harrod’s secret, Designers learn the ropes

Nordstrom 2Q Profit Drops 27% But Raises Full-Year View (WSJ) “Nordstrom Inc.’s fiscal second-quarter profit decreased 27 percent as the high-end clothing retailer reported lower same-store sales. But disciplined inventory and expense management helped the company report results in line with Wall Street’s expectations, and Nordstrom became slightly less downbeat about the same-store sales decline this year.”

…Continue Reading

Escada addresses insolvency, Micro trends, Claudia Schiffer at IHT, J.C. Penney revamps, VAT increase

Escada A/W 09 ad campaign, courtesy of Escada

Escada Board to Meet on Insolvency After Bondholders Snub Offer (Bloomberg) “Escada AG, the luxury clothing company whose dresses are worn by Demi Moore, is holding a board meeting today to discuss a plan to file for insolvency after bondholders rejected its financial rescue proposal.” Micro trends making major fashion statements this autumn (Telegraph) “Brace yourselves as ‘slow-burning trends’, such

…Continue Reading

Brioni adapts to crisis, Escada shares plummet, July clothing sales, Luxury in Singapore

A teacher explains the art of tailoring to a student at the Brioni tailoring school in Italy

Brioni, Suitmaker to Presidents, Adapts to Crisis (New York Times) “The fashion house Brioni is best known for dressing James Bond in black tie and creating hand-sewn custom suits that start out at $4,000 and run as high as $47,000. But this fall it is adding something a lot more humble to its lineup: a T-shirt.” Escada Plummets as Bankruptcy Looms on Last Day of Bond Exchange (Bloomberg) “Escada AG dropped 26

…Continue Reading

men.style Break-up, September ad pages plummet, Discounting to 2010, US copyright law, Escada raises funds

men.style.com

Conde Nast Says Goodbye to Men.Style.com, Hello to GQ.com, Details.com (Ad Age) “Conde Nast will shut down one of its web-only brands, Men.Style.com, when it gives two of its titles, GQ and Details, their own websites in October.” September Ad-Page Tallies Plunge (Ad Age) “Is September now the cruelest month? It may very well be for fashion and beauty titles this year. The final tallies for those crucial issues

…Continue Reading

Escada on bankruptcy brink, Luxury sales, Cartier courts talent, Korean Luxury, UK Retail sales rise

Escada ad in Berlin

Escada in talks with insolvency experts (Drapers) “German womenswear brand Escada may cease to trade as it teeters on the brink of insolvency, according to its chairman Bruno Saelzer.” Sales ring the alarm on what defines luxury (Gulf News) “Inventory-driven business models now rule much of the high street apparel on offer. But the heavily discounted sales across town come to an abrupt end when you stumble upon

…Continue Reading

A Younger Coach, Escada optimism, UK sales down, Aquascutum bows out of LFW, Museum fashion

Poppy line for Coach, Courtesy of Coach

Coach Is Now Traveling Coach (Reuters) “With this month’s release of the budget-conscious Poppy line, Coach, a luxury-retail marvel once ridiculed for being stodgy, is increasingly associated with an entirely different-and notoriously fickle-population: teens, coeds, and grads.” Escada Optimistic of Rescue as Katie Holmes Dressmaker Suffers (Bloomberg) “Escada AG Chief Executive Officer Bruno Saelzer said

…Continue Reading

Comme at 40, Luxury turbulence, Oliver Sweeney rescued, Escada bond swap, Pringle to London

An advertisement in a Tokyo railway station, courtesy of The New York Times

Positive Energy: Comme at 40 (New York Times) “Comme des Garçons is marking its 40th anniversary by bringing out a guerrilla-style, temporary brand called “Black” that epitomizes the style, the inventiveness and the originality of its founder.” Luxury market faces turbulence: Hermès (Reuters) “Hermès believes turbulence could hit the global luxury goods industry for the next two years and has put some

…Continue Reading

Escada divests brands, Ferre and Damiani unite, Miuccia on CNN, Evisu hires Scott Morrison

Apriori S/S 09 ad campaign, courtesy of Apriori

Escada sells off Apriori, Cavita and Laurèl (Drapers) “Escada has sold off its Apriori, Cavita and Laurèl womenswear brands which operate under its Primera subsidiary, to German investment firm Mutares.” Ferre and Damiani announce cooperation (Forbes) “The Gianfranco Ferre fashion house, which suffered the death of its founder and the bankruptcy of its holding company in the span of two years, said Tuesday it was

…Continue Reading

Escada shows promise, Asos sales double, China encourages exports, Retail stocks continue to rally

Escada S/S 09 ad campaign, courtesy of Escada

Escada seen up on report of unit sale (Reuters) Could there finally be a way out of the red for beleaguered Escada? Shares in the German luxury-fashion company rose, “8.3 percent in pre-bourse trade making them one of the few German pre-market gainers after a report in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung says the company is in advanced talks with one suitor to sell its Primera subsidiary, which offers mid- to

…Continue Reading

French Connection loss, Shoppers’ worries, Beauty over 50, Escada fights for life

French Connection Ad Campaign, Spring 09

French Connection swings to £5.5m loss (Drapers) French Connection posted a £5.5m loss compared with £3.1m profit last year. NPD Group Tracks Consumer Feelings About Economy (WWD) “Shoppers’ worries about the economy are high, and intention to spend is low, but according to The NPD Group, there may be light at the end of the tunnel.” (Subscription required) Luxury: Evolving Beauty Standard or Merely an Evolving Business

…Continue Reading

Fashion investing | Return of the strategic investor?

Apax Partners, the London-based private equity firm, has abandoned its bid to take a stake in Escada AG, the embattled German fashion company.  Citing deteriorating market conditions, Apax stated that "the recent evolution of the stock price and the weakness of the international financial market do not give a basis for pursuing the project." This is absolutely the right decision. Not only has Escada become somewhat of an industry basket-case in recent years, on Wednesday the company also revised its earnings projections for year ending October 31 downwards yet again. EBITDA margins are  expected to fall by about 25% compared to 2007. The company cited recessionary conditions in the USA and other key markets as the reason behind the revisions.…

…Continue Reading

Escada | In private equity’s crosshairs?

Not long after Valentino Fashion Group was acquired by Permira in 2007, Escada AG is the latest major European fashion company to find itself in the crosshairs of a private equity firm. The German newspaper Handelsblatt is reporting that Apax Partners is considering taking a stake in the the German fashion company -- and possibly looking to execute an outright takeover. Escada's stock lost more than one third of its value in 2007, and another third of value was obliterated in the first few months of 2008, making it a very ripe target for acquisition. But any Escada-turnaround effort backed by private equity will not be easy, even if the price is cheap. Last week, Escada reported that its sales…

…Continue Reading