Today’s Fashion Headlines: Friday, May 16, 2014

May 16, 2014 • Fashion Blog, Fashion News


Nars Adds More Stand Alone Stores

Nars is expanding with a pair of freestanding shops set to open this month. The first, opening today at 971 Madison Avenue in Manhattan, is intended as a second New York flagship, while the second will open May 25 at in Las Vegas at the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace. They mark the fifth and sixth freestanding Nars stores.

The 700-square-foot Madison Avenue store and the 1,200-square-foot Las Vegas shop were both designed by François Nars. Each design features stark white walls, a glossy white display table, elevated mirrored podiums and a Jungle Red lacquer cash wrap. Given its larger space, the Las Vegas location includes six permanent makeup stations and an expansive VIP area (where two of the makeup stations are located). An 11-by-16-foot LED screen will feature short films created by the Nars team. A technique-focused sales area will include iPads for customer use in learning makeup application tips and techniques.

Armani Exchange Transitioning to Fast Fashion

On Thursday, Giorgio Armani unveiled ambitious plans to turn his A|X Armani Exchange brand into “the first global Italian fast-fashion brand targeting a young customer whose DNA is strongly Armani.” The designer unveiled the strategy as he revealed he has acquired the remaining 50 percent of A|X that he did not already own and while reporting that the Giorgio Armani Group had an 18.2 percent increase in operating profits last year.

While Armani did not provide any details about his new strategy,or what he paid for the remaining share, his statement implies he is eager to take on the likes of H&M, Zara, Uniqlo, Mango and even Topshop. The global fast-fashion chains have been aggressively expanding worldwide over the last five years and believe there is significant growth ahead.

Good News And Retail Concerns Over India Election

The clear victory by Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party in India’s elections offers good news that the country will now be open for business, industry analysts said, although international retailers could face even more restrictions on foreign investment.

The BJP won the first majority by a single party in India in 30 years after pro-business party leader and prime ministerial candidate Modi vowed to focus on economic growth and government deregulation. Modi’s victory ends decades of rules by more the more socialist-leaning Congress Party. Today the stock market index, Sensex, rose to its highest point ever, at 25,000. While business executives are celebrating the change in regime, retailers are reacting with trepidation. International retailers and fashion brands have invested in India in recent years, but not as they have in other emerging countries like China and Brazil, consistently citing issues such as cumbersome government regulations and lack of proper infrastructure as roadblocks. The BJP has been clearly against foreign direct investment in retail and over the last two years there has been a growing concern that a BJP-led government would overturn the provision allowing global retailers into the Indian market.

– Selicia A. Walker

Source: WWD

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