Denim Première Vision announces move back to Paris

Denim Première Vision announces move back to Paris

Denim Première Vision is moving back to Paris starting from its upcoming edition taking place on November 2nd and 3rd, 2016. The show will take place at the Paris Event Centre at 20 Avenue De La Porte de La Villette. The show was held in Paris up until 2014, before moving to Barcelona, where it took place for 5 editions. Moving the show back to Paris comes together with the aim to meet the expectations of the global denim market. With the change of venue, the organisation also changed its dates to taking place 15 days ahead of the scheduled dates.

&ldquo Each season for the last 10 years, the show has reinvented itself to better meet the needs of a demanding and versatile industry, and the expectations of brands and of consumers in the constant quest for what’s exclusive and inspiring.

Tommy Hilfiger announces its Fall/Winter 2016 Hilfiger Denim campaign

Tommy Hilfiger announces its Fall/Winter 2016 Hilfiger Denim campaign

Tommy Hilfiger’s new Fall/Winter 2016 Hilfiger Denim global advertising campaign called ’24/7 Hailey Baldwin & Lucky Blue Smith’ follows the two models and influencers on a 24-hour adventure through Los Angeles, California. From cruising down Sunset Boulevard to a pit-stop at the iconic Pink’s Hot Dogs, the campaign’s concept opens the door to a unique perspective on the brand, the influencers and the city of L.A. to consumers everywhere. Celebrating a millennial-minded spirit, the campaign engages consumers and interacts with them through a new digital approach.

The concept kicked off in April 2016, when Hailey, Lucky and Bryant Eslava, Hilfiger Denim’s social campaign photographer, invited their social media followers to send creative Snapchats to @TommyHilfiger for an opportunity to attend the campaign photo shoot. 

Woolrich Europe announces opening of new store in CourmayeurWoolrich Europe announces opening of new store in Courmayeur

Woolrich Europe announces opening of new store in Courmayeur

Woolrich Europe continues with its retail expansion policy by implementing the development plan in the area of mountain resorts: following on from Cortina d’Ampezzo, a new store will open in the centre of Courmayeur with more to follow in other European mountain areas.

The business plan leading up to 2020 foresees strong expansion, through the opening of retail points in Italy, Europe, the USA, Canada and Japan, with the objective of arriving at more than 75 Woolrich Stores globally. 

The Woolrich Store of Courmayeur is light, airy and yet at the same time sophisticated in appearance, recalling the outdoor origins of Woolrich. The aesthetic and philosophical choice of Woolrich John Rich & Bros when designing its stores is to create a new way of perceiving the store, seeking to tell a story that brings together within the one place the objects and products of the store and offering new value to the store. The store furnishings see a fusion between the historical roots of the brand and contemporary style. 

Diesel takes Japan for 30th anniversary celebrations

Diesel takes Japan for 30th anniversary celebrations

To celebrate their 30th anniversary, Diesel will debut their fall collection with a fashion show in Japan which will be available in stores and online on the very same day. The event will be followed with an exclusive after-party. Furthermore, creative director Nicola Formichetti will be curating an exhibit that day to showcase Diesel archive looks from back in 1978 to today.

Finally, Diesel will launch two denim capsule collections which will be available from September 6th whilst also launching three separate collections which will be distributed exclusively in Japan in collaboration with Japanese brand N. Hollywood, designer Yuko Koike and Porter-Yoshida & Co.

LVMH sells Donna Karan to G-III Apparel Group

LVMH sells Donna Karan to G-III Apparel Group

LVMH has sold Donna Karan to American manufacturer and license holder G-III Apparel Group for $650m. The sale of Donna Karan (as well as its DKNY label) makes it the second time LVMH has sold a fashion brand, after the sale of Christian Lacroix in 2005. Founder, Donna Karan stood down last year to concentrate on her new lifestyle business Urban Zen.

Cordura Brand Releases 2017 Outdoor Trends

Cordura Brand Releases 2017 Outdoor Trends

CORDURA brand is presenting its latest innovative fabrics and products centered on the following trends:

Authentic Heritage; The latest fabrics epitomize the heritage that CORDURA brand brings. Traditional materials used in traditional products. The latest outdoor fabrics are geared towards the “essentials”.

Simplicity In Style: The latest bags, packs and apparel featured in this category are designed to embrace this spirit with clean simple minimalistic lines and all around durable style. 

Going the Distance: multi-functional fabrics are showcased in the latest CORDURA brand collections and combine the best of both worlds – strong with soft, fashion and function, durability with definition. “Durable Plus+,” gives a long lasting, enhanced comfort and performance.

ISKO announces I-SKOOL winners

ISKO announces I-SKOOL winners

ISKO I-SKOOL, involving more than 50,000 students from all over the world this year alone, has challenged young students coming from the most important universities worldwide in two contests, one dedicated to designers and one to marketing professionals. Students were asked to create denim outfits in one of three style moods: 

  • Renovated denim icons: starting from an in-depth study of the evolution of denim and a thorough analysis of indigo history, contestants created their own denim icon, a symbol of fashion that never goes out of style. Here the winner was: Anna Biotti (IUAV), awarded by REPLAY 
     
  • Athleisure: the contest challenged students to create outfits in the mood of the latest fashion trend, a mix between elegance and sports that is changing the everyday approach to style, using the most iconic ISKO fabrics, from ISKO BLUEJYM to ISKO FUTURE FACE, JEGGINGS, ISKO XMEN’S and ISKO BLUE SKIN. Winner: Joona Rautiainen, (Aalto), awarded by MAVI
     
  • Jool: students had the unique occasion to experiment ISKOTM’s ultimate creation, ISKO JOOL, a new fabric that mixes denim and wool. Very versatile and particularly adaptable to haute couture, this fabric was an exciting challenge for participants. Winner: Ester Rigato (IUAV University), awarded by haikure
     
  • Overall winner Denim Design Award: Ester Rigato, IUAV. 
Eco Blue

Eco Blue

This article is an extended version of the same which appears in the WeAr Magazine Denim Special, out June 2015.

Words: Monica Fossati

In the beginning, the denim and jeans industry was green, since pesticides and GMOs didn’t exist at that point. Nevertheless, producing green clothes has always been a fashion trend, for a brand, a designer, a niche or a season. Over the past 15 years, the denim and jeans industry has made significant efforts to reduce its environmental impacts. Preserving water for denim’s treatment has been one of the main targets. François Girbaud, who launched the stone wash technique in 1965, which consumes lots of water, answered the first one in 2003, with his laser technique Wattwash. Many other waterless initiatives have been born since then. This is due to the growing awareness of the need to answer to the warnings of NGOs and governments, because the issues are real threats today: pollution, depletion of resources and working conditions.

Producing eco-denim is not that difficult, as it relies mainly on the material, the dye, the water and energy consumption and the treatments. First, the material: as organic cotton is rare and original treatments are key trends for denim. So imagination and research have been able to bring about new materials recycles from water bottles, linen or paper yarns. Meanwhile, textile waste, recycled materials, natural fibers and artificial fibers such as Tencel mixed together can provide many possibilities for eco-fabrics.

Dye remains natural in authentic denim, as indigo is a plant. The best eco-dyestuff is recognized thanks to labels like OEKO-TEX from Germany, which indicates the additional benefits of tested safety for skin-friendly clothing and other textiles to interested end users. It approves that a product is harmless for the environment, but also healthier for the wearer. The eco-design approach also analyses the whole lifecycle of a product. That means the whole way of production, so aside from less-water technologies, sewage treatments awareness and renewable energy developments are taking place into mills in developing countries.

A major impact on climate is transportation, so local sourcing as much as possible and greener, slower and optimized distribution help to reduce CO2 emissions that affect our climate. Plus, thinking ahead to the garment’s ending, the easy disassembling of the materials (textiles, metals) has to be anticipated, therefore some brands use stitches instead of metal rivets, and so on.

The fabric itself can be eco-designed, for example Kassim Denim does so with an environmental management system. But a pair of jeans includes other stages of manufacturing; it is a complete ‘lifecycle’. Levi’s made the first eco-designed jeans in 2006, with a 100% organic cotton denim, a coconut shell button on the waist and stitches instead of rivets. The indigo finish came from potato starch, mimosa flower and Marseille soap. The best eco-jeans rely on the whole chain: the store contributes to the global impact of the product, and the wearer as well, with the washing and the choice of ending waste.

Producing the best eco-denim for the industry is a mixture of all these ideas, aiming to reduce all environmental impacts as much as possible. Today, most denim manufacturers – the first witnesses of the whole jeans’ lifecycle – propose very smart products, such as ISKO, BOSSA and US Denim Mills. The good news is that whether you are a designer, a wearer, a buyer, or a manufacturer, every time you touch a denim, you can participate to make it greener at this stage of its life, with your choices and behaviour.

 

 

Retail China: The Light at the End of the TunnelRetail China: The Light at the End of the Tunnel

Retail China: The Light at the End of the Tunnel

Thomas Thompson

For years we were kept in the dark. The predicted return of multibrand stores in China never really came, but then, like most things over here, it happened almost overnight – and according to all the market players, we are looking at yet another bubble in the near future.

However, the long-awaited awakening is showing maybe even more potential than what could have been hoped for. “Only the stores with a strong marketing platform and a unique perspective on buying will survive,” predicts Ritchie Chan, Founder of Triple Major (three multibrand stores in Shanghai, Beijing, and Chengdu). Roy Xu, Founder and Chairman of the P+ Group (sixty P+ shoes and accessories multibrand stores; 200+ other multibrand and distributed brand stores), agrees: “it is an absolute necessity for multibrand stores to become brands in their own right, with a long-term vision and the ability to provide complete customer experiences.” But isn’t this what any brand wants?

The key difference between China and mature markets from the West is its fast-evolving consumer base. Unlike stores in Paris or London, which have a strong and stable identity, Chinese retailers constantly need to reinvent themselves to retain consumers. “In China, there is no mercy when it comes to loyalty,” continues Richie, who knows that the strong following he has built up since 2009 will disappear overnight if he is no longer perceived as their go-to fashion retail store. As a consequence, 30% of his range is new every season – and that’s an opportunity everyone can take advantage of.

The operator of ten different multibrand concepts, including Maria Luisa, which it purchased last year, P+ is in a position to push this logic even further. Pure product buying is not the most important part of its business model. Instead, the stores serve as brand incubators to create a customer following and, once potential has been detected, the group will invest heavily in developing a brand in China or Asia-Pacific, as they are doing right now with Neil Barrett.

At the other end of the spectrum, Ring Cao, Head Buyer for MyPlay (founded in 2010; twelve stores by the end of 2014), demands a lot of support from her brands. “The market is moving quickly, especially for men who are more and more fashion conscious but need guidance and lots of advice. There is huge demand for fresh brands with the right balance of design, quality, and price point, but the consumer also needs to be reassured that they are making the right choice.” This is why she will favor brands that are reactive in constantly providing PR and marketing material, and that can quickly deliver on a mid-season reorder. “The fact that more European brands now propose three to four collections a year is a huge plus for us, as it helps us retain consumers through constant novelty, especially in the growing segment that feels that fast fashion does not meet its needs in terms of guidance and shopping experience.”

In short, multibrand stores in China are progressively becoming the entry point that foreign brands always hoped they would be. Many will come and go, but by identifying the serious players, both small and medium-sized brands now have a perfect point of entry. That being said, getting orders in is just the first step, and providing guidance and marketing support to a range of buyers – ranging from very mature through to high-potential beginners – is key to long-term development.

Close monitoring of sales and customer feedback will be the cornerstone of successful market entry, whether directly managed or prepared in conjunction with these new-found partners.

Triple Major – Richie Chan, Founder

The 3 Triple Major stores (SH/BJ/CD) are just a window into the Triple Major platform, complemented and backed up by an in-house brand and a creative/branding studio and agency.

The core value and goal is to reinvent popular culture.

Triple Major aims at trying to broaden the definition of what a multibrand store can do, increasing value by organizing many events and non-apparel brand installations, live design studio events where VIP clients can watch designers at work, and redecorating and changing around the store layout and contents, and providing interesting concepts from the start (TCM dispensary concept in BJ, Center for Panda Studies in CD)

The fact that Triple Major host an in-house brand along with other designers is not an issue as its sole purpose is to complement the brand mix, focusing mostly on footwear and also trying to broaden the scope to compensate for the fact that some emerging designers that Triple Major supports only have very few SKUs per collection.
Unlike I.T., Triple Major is not doing the same but cheaper, the major differentiation is product type not price point. The lines are story-oriented and non-seasonal.

Triple Major has a different view of what a multibrand concept is supposed to be, and started its own path in 2009.

There is a feeling in the market that multibrand as a concept is going through a bubble, with little evaluation of viability and sustainability.

In Europe multibrands have existed for a very long time, but let’s look back also at how the Chinese market was back in the early 90s: it was also all small-scale multibrand stores, so the system has existed for a long time already – it’s the entry of major monobrands that changed the rules of the game.

There is a huge supply of independent designers in China, more than people are looking for and the market ready to absorb.

The whole system right now is prosperous on the surface, but one should expect a major reshuffle in about 2 years. Only those with a strong marketing platform and a unique perspective on buying will survive. This comment is also valid for designers who need to work in a more structured and sustainable way.

BUT there are still lots of good signals.

One of the key points of sustainability of “mature” markets is that the clientele is more static, with stable and predictable taste which enables the established multibrands to have a strong identity they can maintain without having to change too much or too quick. There is almost a certain conservatism when you go season after season to the key stores in Paris for example.
There are a couple big differences which characterize the China market:
– Unexpectability : even the consumers are lost and don’t know exactly what fits them, they sometimes might have a label of preference but barely (as a consequence there needs to be a few key opinion leaders for the model to become successful)
– Relatability : the consumers need to identify themselves to a store, to feel they will always find something that fits them there. It is indispensable to be distinct from others, to have a very personal, non-replicable style. A concern to the multibrand model as it is right now is that not so many people are aware of this critical requirement.

How about the United Arrows model in Japan?

There are a few obstacles and differences with China.

In Japan, a consumer follows a brand or given style pretty much from birth to grave, but in China they drop you the second you’re not cool anymore. “No mercy for loyalty”. This is why in Triple Major 30% of the buying focuses on new brands every season.

Uniqueness is key, cannot give a feeling of uniformizing everything and everyone. “Other people can dress like you but they will never be you”.

It is absolutely necessary to make your success abroad known and visible to the Chinese consumer. They will value this and see it as a safe sign they are making the right choice.

Take Opening Ceremony: they would need to take their successes in Tokyo, New York and replicate them here, taking their signature strengths as they are and localizing them just a little. They are for example very active on Facebook and Instagram, but these platforms are either blocked or not so followed in China so they need to switch the medium, but not the content.
Cool people like Jay-Z and Rihanna wear their clothes, they throw crazy warehouse parties as signature events — just need to do the same here!

Working with local KOLs that fit your style and using the media that the Chinese follow all the while staying true to yourself is the recipe for success.

As a buyer, Richie feels that browsing the internet can be even more efficient than going to trade shows to find new brands because the product is only a part of what a brand is. The shootings’ art direction, VI/CI are more ‘3D’, more complete in terms of branding compared to a clothing rack.

Regarding the delayed design and production cycles in China, 80% of the sales of most independent designers are still within their home market so more time is better to prepare and adjust a collection. The shift will happen but it will be gradual until they catch up on the cycles from the international market.
Uma Wang is a good example that this is possible as she is already showing in Milan although selling a lot in China. Designers will start pushing their processes and make sure that at least part of the collection is ready for international buying cycles.

P+ Group – Roy Xu, Chairman

Roy has been in the retail industry for 20 years, and started the P+ shoe multibrand chain in 2006, and then carried on to Maria Luisa last year, acquiring or creating a total of 10 multibrand concepts along the way.

P+ Group is getting ready to acquire a men’s multibrand concept, 6 to 7 of which are already planned to open from 600 to 1000sqm each. Also just signed with Bonini to bring the whole concept into China.

The true necessity to a successful market entry is the right knowledge and a strong platform to push the product through.

There is real potential and a great future for multibrands, but those who will truly succeed won’t be so numerous. Small local stores will come and go for lack of a long-term vision.

P+ is about to acquire a new format mobile APP in order to add value and points of contact with its customer base. A completely new model, different from VIP.com or Glamour Sales that will rely heavily on A-list celebrities endorsement.

There is an absolute necessity for multibrand stores to become real brands, with a strong follower base and all the marketing and PR support that a stand-alone brand would require.

Everybody keeps talking about O2O but the true meaning of this has never been implemented yet. The actual product part of the story is still disconnected from the rest.

Strength of multibrand concepts in Europe vs. mono-brand stores?

20 years ago, China was all about buyer stores. The first wave of established brands to come in (Pierre Cardin, etc.) started establishing a monobrand logic that didn’t exist until then, and that was consolidated by the massive entry of luxury brands.
In the past 2-3 years we have seen a return of the multibrand concept.
But at the end of the day, mono or multibrand is not so relevant, because we can see easily that P+ for example is a brand of itself. And at the same time is serves as an incubator: if a brand sells well its shoes in P+, and has a complete range of product, then this will call for a deeper collaboration and the opening of monobranded stores to capitalize on the brand’s potential. As a brand, opening one’s own stores is still an absolute necessity in China.

Maria Luisa is also a good example of how to implement a multibrand concept in a new way. Flagships in Beijing and Shanghai are opened already, with many more in the pipeline. But only with two stores in existence P+ Group already created a relative in-house brand called Maria Luisa Studio to better learn from the brand incubator that multibrand stores have become.

If you look closely at Lane Crawford, at the end of the day their success is not so big. The store is respected and selling well in Hong Kong, but overall the success of the model is still limited.
10 Corso Como in Shanghai is the same, but only relying on the content instead of capitalizing on the name for itself.

An in-house brand is an absolute necessity.

I.T. Already has 25 years history. Their business model of own in-house brands resembling a lot their buying brands can have an influence and be a problem for mid-market brands represented by them, whereas it is a huge opportunity for the bigger names: customers become hooked-up through the i.t. concept, and some of them will then turn into loyal I.T. clients.
When it comes to the A-list, people don’t want copies or something similar, they want the real product and full experience.
Overall, I.T. pushes the brands and solidifies the name, and i.t. makes the bulk of sales. i.t. will become a brand of itself and they are for sure getting ready for it.

The world is just one big interconnected network, at the end of the day even the biggest most famous brands also rely on smaller up-comers’ designs to feed their own collections with. People look down on China for this, but from New York to Paris everybody uses this development mode!

When P+ acquired Maria Luisa, the first move was to create the related in-house brand with its own dedicated design team in order to progressively create a brand with its own DNA.

Re/ Distribution and partner choices

Many many brands come knock at the door. The first step will be to run them through the buying and merchandising teams to evaluate the potential and relevance within the existing portfolio. Second step if the 1st one is successful, is to look into the possible operations modes and business model, and to run a detailed sales projection.
P+ as a group will not just buy products anymore, they will carefully select high-potential brands, and become real partners that will invest heavily in them.

Traditional distribution models have been dead in China for 5-6 years already, and P+ does not open the door to this model except for very rare exceptions like Neil Barrett, but in return will obtain the full APAC region instead of just China.

License opportunities are still big in China, P+ even has a whole team solely dedicated to licensing brands as an incubator. The M&A team is also very active, and helps better define the best fitting collaboration mode, from license to JV or full Asia representation.

MyPlay – Ring Cao, Head Buyer

How do you look for new brands?

Media and online platforms quite important to get double feedback.
Collaboration with showrooms also very deep in order to play on the safe side as you know them well already, and can rely on their designer choices.
Celebrity collaborations also important: celebrity friends like some brands and will tell MyPlay about them to help pushing the product.
Fashion weeks, international trade shows and personal travels are also a very important part of this in order to get a more direct, personal connection with the market. Trade shows are an interesting one-stop solution because they are curated and bring many brands under the same roof.

Price is very important when it comes to a new brand. The Chinese consumer is hungry for new things, but for them you need more than something that looks good: the balance between design, quality and price is key to the decision.

How to attract your attention as a new brand?

The brand support and reactivity is key to collaboration. Whenever something is needed must get immediate reaction and feedback.

Many European brands’ production cycles are very long, vs. a shorter and shorter cycle for many Asian brands which can deliver within 4 to 5 months from design to production delivery into the stores.

The market changes are very fast right now in China, so it is necessary to have partners and point of contact that are very quick and supportive.

Do you plan to make changes to your buying or make it evolve?

Most Euro brands only have 2 collections a year, but more and more will get out 3 to 4 collections. This helps a lot adjust the buying on a safer basis.

MyPlay’s background is very street and cool fashion style. But there are more and more male customers in MyPlay who request more brands that correspond to what they want. They don’t feel that fast-fashion brands can answer their needs and really want more options and support.

How do you see the future of the menswear segment in China?

The market is huge, and the demand is very high. High-level, rich or evolved guys will always find what they need. The focus has to be on slightly less complex men who have high needs in terms of support and advice. They don’t need very complex pieces, it’s a matter of finding basics with a twist that will make them feel both safe and fashionable at the same time.
The level of fashion understanding is increasing very quickly in China, so it is necessary to accompany their evolving.
They are beginning to have more and more precise requests and tastes, which is why it is important to stay close enough to them to be able to anticipate the needs.

Is the answer with local brands or international cool stuff?

Classic menswear is very strong in China, but fashionable, cool things are still mostly coming from abroad. It thus remains key to keep bringing in more and more brands that can answer these needs.

Any plans to create an own brand?

Thinking about it, but it is still too early. Need to gather more feedback and better understanding.

The market potential is very big, so this can be a way of attracting more purchasing power.

MyPlay would most likely create lifestyle brands – accessories, coffee shops, etc. – not necessarily apparel lines. The idea is to bring a more complete experience to the consumer and provide a more 360 degrees

If a brand is doing so good with you would you distribute?

This could be considered, but at this stage the focus goes on building up the MyPlay brand as itself in order to not jeopardize the original platform’s strength.
Need first to see which brand would be so strong that this could be justified but until now no candidate has emerged.

The way P+ operates is very safe because you first create a strong brand following before taking it one step further in its development.

The most successful brands in MyPlay are those that have been sold for the longest time like Boy London (UK), Glad News (JP), 5Preview , Ground Zero .

Eleven Paris still needs more time. It will be a specially promoted brand for 2015 hope the results will be good – for now going through Hong Kong to get product. The big attention Eleven gives to final consumer price by making the right steps in controlling the price for the consumer is very important and should yield good results in the longer term.

 

Scoop International: Preview

Scoop International: Preview

With Scoop International just around the corner, WeAr interviews the show's founder and director, Karen Radley, to find out about the next event.

Scoop Internation takes place in London's Saatchi Gallery from February 1st to 3rd 2015.

Q&A with Karen Radley, founder and director of Scoop

WeAr: What are you excited about for the next edition of Scoop?

KR: I'm excited about the show being a very busy one.  The collections showcased at the next Scoop are extremely strong from established designers but also we will be having a strong focus on emerging talent.

WeAr: Why should buyers visit the show, how does it stand out?

KR: Buyers should visit show because of the wide range of collections that Scoop offers.  As well as showcasing womenswear designer collections, Scoop offers footwear, accessories and apparel.  Scoop is a one stop shop for any buyer, but more importantly a wonderful experience to seek out new and upcoming designers.  It stands out from other shows due to the aesthetic of the show being held within an art gallery – The Saatchi Gallery.

WeAr: Is there anything new for this edition?

KR: For this season we have added extra space within the Saatchi Gallery to accommodate more exhibitors!

WeAr: Are there any brands you’re keeping your eye on as ones to watch?

KR: Cultuli Cult (scarves), Majo Lab, Mr.Mrs.Shirt, Schiesser Revival, Bobbl Hats, Rosso35, Amelie Allure, Empathie, Natalie & Alanna, Bruta Shirts…. I could go on, but there are too many to mention – thats why a visit to Scoop International is so important!

WeAr: Where should visitors go after the show in London?

KR: The Beaumont Hotel and the London Edition Hotel

WeAr: Finally, what can we expect from the newly added edition of Scoop in September?

From this summer onwards an exciting new concept will see  two Scoop shows taking place each season at the Saatchi Gallery. The popularity of Scoop has seen a profuse number of brands wanting to join the family and now with this year’s schedule extending to August and September with plans to host four shows a season, an even richer selection of designers will have the opportunity to exhibit in London.The timetable has been devised to cater for overseas labels and their production agendas as well as the high-end collections and young British designers who expressed an interest In Scoop running alongside London Fashion Week. The fact that Scoop London will be taking place during London Fashion Week will also make it easier for international buyers to come to the show, as many of the key stores from Europe, the US and further afield only make it to London once each season. The first edition of this new show, Scoop London, will run at the Saatchi Gallery this year on 20-22 September 2015.