The Verdict | Gap’s 1969 Premium Jeans

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Introducing the Gap’s new 1969 Denim VANCOUVER, Canada — Those of you in North America over the past week can’t have missed the media bombardment from the Gap, the ailing San Francisco-based mass fashion retailer, as it announced the launch of its new 1969 premium denim range, with six new fits for women and seven new fits for men. Huge full-page ads featuring Anja Rubik appeared in the Thursday Styles section of the

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Browne down, Indian fashion, H&M currency hit, America’s favourite retailers, Fashion inclusiveness

Thom Browne, courtesy of NYMag

Is Thom Browne Going Downe? (Blackbook) With lavish spending on tailors and elaborate shows, Thom Browne’s business may be amongst the first high-profile independent designers to face financial difficulties as demand for his high-priced shrunken suits wanes. Breaking into the West is hard to do (IHT) Due to Indian designers “lack of Western-style business structure and of financial support” their effort to break

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Sustainability in vogue, Ted Baker’s profits drop, Haute not out, Inditex sales up, Stella on ecology

Ted Baker advertising campaign | Source: Ted Baker

Sustainability is back in fashion (IHT) As the industry redefines the meaning of luxury, “Sustainability” and “Responsibility” have become the new buzz words. Ted Baker profits fall (Drapers) Ted Baker saw pre-tax profit fall 19.5% to £17.8 million for the 53 weeks ended January 31. In Fashion, Some Like It Haute (WSJ) “Economic crisis doesn’t mean the end of luxury. But while many brands have

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Indian craftsmanship, Nike realigns, Tiffany’s losses, H&M & Zara top valuation, Inflation rises

Manish Arora at Wills Fashion Week, courtesy of the International Herald Tribune

Indian designers make their mark with craft (IHT) During Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week, designers are making a mark through artisanship. Nike realigns global footprint (Just Style) Sporting goods giant Nike last week unveiled plans to reorganise its namesake brand into six regions with reduced management in a bid to make its operations more efficient and trim costs. Tiffany’s Reports Sales Declines (Seeking Alpha)

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Make or break New York fashion week, Zara in India, Monique Lhuillier, Lauder cuts jobs

aniel Silver and Steven Cox of Duckie Brown; Lisa Mayock of Vena Cava; Andrew Buckler; Sophie Buhai, photo courtesy of the New York Times

The Make or Break Season (New York Times) “The age of the young designer, however, may be coming to an end.” Zara’s Inditex latest to join the stampede to open India stores (The Spectator) Zara, the Spanish fast fashion chain, will open in India. Monique Lhuillier’s New Lower-Priced Gowns (WSJ) Responding to the requests of retailers, Monique Lhuillier will now offer evening gowns that will retail around $2,500. Lauder

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Zara’s strong sales, Mulberry’s profit warning, Elle’s avatar, Low cost shopping

Zara owner Inditex posts strong sales (Drapers) Despite the volatile market conditions, Inditex has posted a net sales increase of 11 percent this year. Mulberry issues profit warning (Drapers) According to Mulberry, its profits for this year will fall short comapred to last year. Elle Magazine Gets Into The Avatar-Apparel Business (WSJ) Elle has recently "launched an apparel line for virtual world avatars." Consumers Shift to Lower-Priced Stores (WSJ) This holiday season, more Americans are shopping at lower-priced stores. Retailers hurt by prospect of leftover Christmas stock (FT) Many retailers have entered the Holiday selling season with a lot of merchandise in stock which could significantly hurt their profitability down the road. Photo courtesy of Zara.

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The Gap and Zara | A tale of two brands

So it's official. As of the first quarter of 2008, Inditex, the phenomenally successful Spanish fast-fashion conglomerate and parent company of Zara, has officially overtaken The Gap to become the world's biggest fashion retailer. In the meantime, the once venerable Gap is still tweaking its product around the edges, struggling to find a formula that works. Zara stores have been popping up on high streets and in malls around the world, registering  a whopping €6.3b in sales in 2007, making it larger than Louis Vuitton. Perhaps more surprisingly, the performance of Inditex's smaller brands like Bershka and Massimo Dutti has also been strong, registering revenues of €925m and €696m respectively, in 2007, making Bershka's business larger than that of Christian…

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