Today’s Fashion Headlines. December 19, 2011

December 19, 2011 • Fashion, Fashion Blog

Retailers Prices Highest Since 1987

Retailers took a gamble on their pricing power in November, pushing retail apparel prices up a seasonally adjusted 0.6 percent even as the crucial holiday shopping season began. The picture was even more stark in year-over-year comparisons, with apparel prices rising 4.8 percent from November 2010, the U.S. Labor Department’s Consumer Price Index showed. It was the largest November-to-November increase in apparel prices since 1987, when they rose 6.3 percent, according to Sarah Hutchinson, an economist with the Labor Department.

In women’s, prices on suits and separates rose 1 percent last month and were 3.5 percent higher than in November 2010. Prices on outerwear increased 0.5 percent for the month and 5.1 percent for the year, while prices on nightwear, sportswear and accessories were up 0.4 percent last month and 6.4 percent compared to a year earlier.

Vera Wang Dives into Black

On Thursday, Vera Wang and The Men’s Warehouse confirmed a report in WWD that Wang will take the plunge into the men’s formalwear industry through a licensing deal with the specialty store chain. The Black by Vera Wang collection, which will have an opening price point of $219.99 for a complete rental outfit, will hit all Men’s Wearhouse stores in the U.S. as well as the company’s Moores Clothing for Men units in Canada in late spring 2012.

Doug Ewert, chief executive officer of The Men’s Wearhouse Inc., has high hopes for the performance of Black by Vera Wang, projecting that the collection could eventually grow to represent 25 percent of the company’s tuxedo rental sales. “Eighty-five percent of the rental market is weddings and the bride is the decision maker,” he said. “The first thing that a girl does when she gets engaged is start shopping for a dress. And we will get in front of her very early in the process.” Men’s Wearhouse is the official tuxedo partner for David’s Bridal, a leading bridal retailer, that last year introduced a more moderately priced line of gowns under the White by Vera Wang label.

“David’s has a big and growing Vera Wang business and this deal gives the relationship more synergy and Men’s Wearhouse more credibility in the mind of the bride,” Ewert said.

Net-a-Porter Captured Karl has begun to spread Karl Lagerfeld fever in anticipation of the launch of the designer’s Karl line next month. The e-tailer has launched a microsite that features footage of a TV anchor breaking news that the debut Karl collection has been “captured” by Net-a-porter — only to be released on Jan. 25. “The world waits with bated breath on further news,” says the anchorman. In addition to the breaking news on Net-a-porter TV, Net-a-porter has issued a “Find Karl” app, offering players the chance to win $1,550, a preview of the collection, and a page dedicated to Karl look-alikes. Aspiring Lagerfeld clones can download another app that enables them to send in their pictures and Lagerfeld will choose his favorite on Jan. 25.

Earlier this month, the designer leaked the first image of his new Karl collection, which will debut exclusively on the site, and then on in February. “We set about creating a multiplatform campaign that celebrated the iconic figure of Karl Lagerfeld in a way that was intended to be fun and entertaining,” said Net-a-porter managing director Alison Loehnis. “Given that this brand is being launched exclusively online, we wanted to develop engaging interactive content that will harness the brand DNA and build momentum leading up the release of the collection.”

– Taneisha Jordan

Source & Photo: WWD

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