Today’s Fashion Headlines. December 12, 2011

December 12, 2011 • Fashion, Fashion Blog

Glamour going for a changes, Neiman Marcus joins the Project Runway family and specialty stores are in trouble

Glamour Getting a Makeover

Condé Nast’s reliable cash cow Glamour has had a rough year. Ad pages dropped 7 percent in 2011, and the magazine’s newsstand sales are down 17 percent through the end of October. According to WWD, editor in chief Cindi Leive apparently isn’t interested in waiting around to see if things magically self correct in 2012.

Leive is planning a major overhaul of the magazine, which will include a redesign. The new-look Glamour will launch in March and will include new columns and contributors. There are indications the magazine is aiming for a hipper attitude: Its content is expected to have an increased emphasis on pop culture, and it has hired the former art director of Nylon to help with the redesign.

“The format of many women’s magazines — Glamour included! — hasn’t changed much for a decade, but young women are consuming media in totally different ways now,” Leive said via e-mail. “Our team is creating a new Glamour and for this new generation of readers — we’ll share it with them this spring.”

Neiman Marcus Sponsoring “Project Runway All-Stars”

Neiman Marcus aims to broaden its appeal by sponsoring the “Project Runway All Stars” fashion competition premiering Jan. 5 on the Lifetime cable channel. “We believed this would be a great way to expose a new audience to our industry leadership, our fashion director Ken Downing, and the depth and breadth of our accessories assortment,” said Ginger Reeder, vice president and spokeswoman. The chain, which already carries lines by three “Project Runway” alumni — Christian Siriano, Kara Janx and Andy South — will sell the winning designer’s collection in five stores and on its e-commerce site. The retailer also supplied “hundreds” of shoes, accessories and jewelry for contestants to pull from the show’s “wall” for styling their ensembles.

Specialty Chains Slashing Stores

Fifteen percent might be retail’s magic number. Overstored and out-of-date, specialty apparel retailers that have let their concepts languish are expected to cut between 10 and 25 percent, or an average of 15 percent, of their store space in the next two years. “It’s a trend that’s been happening since the recession. We’re overstored,” said Needham & Co. analyst Christine Chen. “With the popularity of Internet shopping, retailers are coming to the conclusion that you don’t need as many stores.”

While rightsizing and renovating may be a net positive for retail, analysts said it spells trouble for the mall. Calling mass store closures a “death spiral,” Chen said she worries particularly about B and C malls, which will be impacted by the contraction. “Brands have their heyday and then it changes,” the analyst said, pointing to some of the shakeout in specialty retail. “I think the mall has been changing. Instead of purely shopping, there are now multiple uses, more restaurants, entertainment and even medical services.”

“I think it’s a really big challenge to make a brand relevant that hasn’t been relevant in the better part of a decade. I’m not convinced that the consumer under 30 thinks of the Gap as a cool place to shop,” said Morgan Stanley analyst Kimberly Greenberger, who pointed out that, excluding e-commerce data, the company’s same-store sales have been negative in nine of the last 10 years. “The idea that there’s a turnaround coming at the Gap is a bit hopeful — I don’t know how to say it anymore politely,” she added.

– Taneisha Jordan

Source & Photo: WWD

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