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WWD EXCLUSIVE: Saint Laurent to Skip Paris Fashion Week, Set Own Schedule
The French fashion house will not present its collections in any of the preset schedules of 2020 as it adapts to the coronavirus crisis.
PARIS — Saint Laurent has decided to drop out of Paris Fashion Week and set its own pace for showing collections for the duration of the year, as the brand pivots to adapt to the coronavirus crisis.
“Conscious of the current circumstance and its waves of radical change, Saint Laurent has decided to take control of its pace and reshape its schedule,” the brand was set to reveal today.
In an exclusive interview with WWD, creative director Anthony Vaccarello said the “violent” impact of the COVID-19 outbreak, which has forced the closure of most of Saint Laurent’s stores, meant “business as usual” was not an option.
Chief executive officer Francesca Bellettini hinted that the brand, famed for its spectacular outdoor women’s catwalk shows set against the backdrop of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, could still stage a physical show at some point this year — but is favoring formats that are more intimate and closely aligned to the final customer.
The brand, owned by luxury conglomerate Kering, is the first major French fashion house to set out its intentions since the COVID-19 outbreak upended the calendar, forcing the cancellation of the Paris men’s shows in June and haute couture week in July.
After joining Saint Laurent in 2016, Vaccarello initially showed women’s and men’s designs together as part of the traditional women’s wear calendar in Paris.
But in recent years, Saint Laurent has opted out of Paris men’s fashion week, striking out on its own with shows in New York City in June 2018 and Malibu in June 2019.
“Now more than ever, the brand will lead its own rhythm, legitimizing the value of time and connecting with people globally by getting closer to them in their own space and lives,” it said.
“With this strategy firmly in place, Saint Laurent will not present its collections in any of the preset schedules of 2020. Saint Laurent will take ownership of its calendar and launch its collections following a plan conceived with an up-to-date perspective, driven by creativity,” it concluded.
In a wide-ranging conversation, Bellettini and Vaccarello explained the thinking behind their decision, how they plan to tweak the collections and advertising campaigns once stores reopen, and how to stay creative under lockdown.
WWD: What made you decide to forgo the traditional fashion show schedule for the duration of the year, rather than taking a step-by-step approach as authorities decide when and how each country can lift its lockdown?
Anthony Vaccarello: This is not about going against the authorities. It’s about being positive, not passive. We have known for years that something has to change. The time is now. There is no good reason to follow a calendar developed years ago when everything was completely different. I don’t want to rush a collection just because there is a deadline. This season, I want to present a collection when I am ready to show it.
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced us to suddenly and completely change our habits, behavior, and interactions with others. It has had a violent impact, disguised in apparent calm.
Our decision not to be part of any predefined calendar this year stems from our desire to recognize the importance of our time, of our life. A certain way of living more than a certain way of dressing. Slowing down and living the moment reveals all the vulnerabilities of an imprisoned organization. What’s out of fashion now is the schedule of the entire system: the shows, the showrooms, the orders.
Francesca Bellettini: Remaining in a limbo where nobody knows what to do and how things will be creates even further uncertainty. By nature we are a boldly decisive house where creativity plays the central role. In these circumstances, it is clear to us that creativity cannot be forced into an arbitrary, preset timetable, but should be free to express itself in the form, place and time Anthony feels appropriate, with everything else coming after.
Having made this decision, we find it important to communicate our intentions. As we’ve seen from how this crisis has been managed in different places around the world, the “wait-and-see” approach has been less successful than strong and clear decisions and rules set and communicated from the start.
WWD: Can you say anything about your strategy and what shape your new calendar will take? For example, will women’s and men’s collections be presented together or separately?
A.V.: The men’s show was already on our schedule, not on the industry calendar. That made it more personal, and not a show just to do a show. I don’t think we need another show: we need emotions. I always try to create those emotions with my men’s and women’s shows.
This decision is for this year, in response to extraordinary circumstances. We are not planning to change our men’s and women’s collection presentation strategy. Men’s and women’s will be presented separately, and each presentation will be planned to communicate the spirit of the collection.
Creating something that is somehow intimate is even more important in this moment than ever before.
F.B.: That’s why our presentation strategy extends beyond fashion shows into the showroom and in-store. Our approach brings us closer to customers in their space and in their lives. We want to encourage a more lasting, less ephemeral attitude toward experiences and products.
Over the last four years we have already extended the life of our collections in-store, and this strategy will be taken farther by introducing novelties with a timing that better reflects real-life needs and by planning our campaigns to align with it.
This will help bring us even closer to our clients in their markets, and we will apply this proximity approach also with wholesale as we expect it will be some time before people are traveling at previous rates again.
WWD: What will determine the frequency of your future collection presentations? Will there still be a seasonal approach, or are you looking at a more seasonless way of designing and merchandising the collections?
A.V.: It’s not complete change season after season. Everything is intended to be mixed with previous seasons. It’s always about the attitude of the same woman or man. In the show, you can really see what’s from last season. More image pieces will always be there, as it’s not the time to be boring. It’s time for even more creativity.
Our approach to the collections has always been less “seasonal” than what the term usually implies. Each collection is an evolution of what has come before, combining timeless Saint Laurent pieces and new silhouettes.
WWD: Can you tell me anything about the format itself? I heard that Saint Laurent has a particularly well-performing digital showroom tool that is being touted as a best-in-class within the group. Will you be combining a digital showroom and collection presentation, or using livestreaming, augmented reality, virtual reality, film or social media platforms to tell your stories?
F.B.: The digital showroom you are probably referring to is an application we use to facilitate the buying for our stores. It has nothing to do with the way we express our creativity.
As for events and formats to reveal our collections, we prefer not to share the concepts we have in mind right now. And of course, those always depend on the message we want to convey.
For now, we want to clarify that for this year, so impacted by this global pandemic, we feel it is appropriate to detach from any preset schedule and have full control of when and how we present our message.
WWD: What will be the role of VIP guests and influencers in your new approach?
A.V.: The same as before. In the past four years we have built authentic relationships with our guests, and the approach is very much about a group of friends supporting and believing in each other as opposed to an opportunistic relationship.
Our VIPs only came to fashion week to be at the Saint Laurent show, so this approach makes even more sense now.
WWD: Anthony, how has the lockdown affected the way you work, and which aspects of your creativity are you looking to develop with this new way of presenting collections? You’ve been working closely with filmmakers in recent years: is cinema inspiring your approach in any way, or are you feeding off any other new and unexpected sources of creativity as teams switch to Zoom and other forms of online working?
A.V.: The lockdown at first generated a lot of questions in my mind. It was like everything was up for discussion, and nothing was preset. The situation we are living is so different that it seems almost naive pretending to look at the immediate future through the same lens as before.
From this initial, rapid generation of thoughts, many creative ideas have emerged, including the ones related to our next shows and their presentations. At the center of it all is the idea of taking back control of our time, recognizing the value of time.
In the last several weeks, I have taken the opportunity to immerse myself in watching and rewatching movies that I love and listening to the music that has accompanied me through my life. It has been an escape during the lockdown, but it has also been much more than that. Movies, photography and music are incredible sources of inspiration, and the artists I collaborate with are always people who I admire profoundly.
WWD: The Saint Laurent shows have been a major anchor of Paris Fashion Week in recent years, and you have worked closely with the City Hall authorities to turn them into a powerful showcase for the city. Will the new format take into account the leading role that the house plays in the Paris fashion ecosystem? If so, how do you hope to promote the Parisian dimension of the brand?
A.V.: The spirit and attitude of Saint Laurent is Parisian, and this will never change. This is what distinguishes Saint Laurent and we will continue to highlight Paris as a city and as the capital of fashion. We have done and will keep doing this, but not only with the fashion shows. We are announcing our intention to take control of our time, not to leave Paris.
F.B.: In Paris we have built our magnificent headquarters in Rue de Bellechasse and it is the city where we have revealed our strongest global initiatives to communicate the brand universe such as the Saint Laurent Rive Droite store, the first installation of [the] Self Project [art project] and the first exhibition curated by Anthony for Betty Catroux at the Yves Saint Laurent Museum.
WWD: Francesca, as president of the Chambre Syndicale de la Mode Féminine, are you concerned that Saint Laurent dropping out of Paris Fashion Week could impact the attractiveness of Paris as the leading capital of fashion? Can you tell us anything about your discussions with the federation regarding your decision, and what it might mean for the other houses under your preview?
F.B.: I am honored to serve as president of the Chambre Syndicale de la Mode Féminine, and I take this role very seriously. My role at the Fédération [de la Haute Couture et de la Mode] does not interfere with or influence the decisions Anthony and I take for Saint Laurent specifically, and that have nothing to do with the other brands. Many ceo’s also serve as leaders of industry associations. All of us separate our responsibilities to our houses from those we have to the fashion organizations.
Saint Laurent’s announcement that we will not hold events in 2020 according to the usual calendar does not in any way diminish the role or importance of Paris Fashion Week — which is, very simply, the best in the world. Paris is where every designer aspires to show.
This is not a goodbye to Paris Fashion Week, but a change that we feel is necessary in this moment and in these exceptional circumstances. At the federation we are very united, respectful and open to one another. I communicated in advance our decision to Ralph Toledano [president of the Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode] and Pascal Morand [the federation’s executive president] who have respected it fully.
WWD: What future do you see for the traditional fashion week? Will every brand be striking out on their own, or this likely to be a temporary pause before a return to “business as usual?”
A.V.: I hope nothing will go back to “business as usual.” It would make no sense. It would mean we went through all of that for nothing. Things need to change and evolve. I can’t and don’t want to speculate on what the others will do.
F.B.: This peculiar moment is stimulating a lot of reflections in all of us and interesting discussions among all professionals working in fashion as well as among all the organizations running the different fashion weeks.
Pretending to simply go back to “business as usual” seems strange. But one thing should never change: the role of fashion as source of inspiration and dreams for everyone, by putting creativity at the center of everything we do.
WWD: Kering chief financial officer Jean-Marc Duplaix said recently that all the Kering group brands will be making “drastic” cost cuts, with high double-digit reductions in spending. Did budget considerations play a role in deciding not to have fashion shows this year? Could other Kering brands follow suit?
F.B.: First, we have not said that we will not hold fashion shows this year. Next, this decision has nothing to do with cutting costs.
Within Kering each brand takes these decisions independently, and we don’t know if the others intend to follow similar paths. This decision is right for us in this moment, but we do not assume it will be right for other brands.
WWD: Duplaix said brands would be producing smaller collections and focusing on best-selling and carryover styles, as deliveries of the winter part of the collections could be delayed by up to four weeks. How is Saint Laurent adapting its collections to the delayed calendar? By how much do you expect to cut the number of sku’s?
F.B.: The fact that stores worldwide have been closed for some weeks, and some production sites, too, has impacted the shelf life of collections, actually shifting to more of a buy-now-wear-now calendar. This has to be taken into consideration in the development of the next pre-collections in particular, and every brand will do it in the way that suits its offer best.
WWD: How will the cost cuts affect your budget for A&P [advertising and promotion]? Do you plan to maintain advertising this year? Or will there be an even bigger pivot to digital? Have you shot your fall campaign yet, or will that also evolve in line with your strategy?
A.V.: We have already shot our fall campaign. I never link the image I’m doing with a show. I always tend to show those images before as I love to produce them, but it may be time to release those when the collections are in store.
For sure what’s happening will affect the imagery itself. I’m not in a bubble, what I want to avoid is the easy Zoom pictures I’ve seen for the last month on social media. We can be more creative than that, especially as we are an iconic house as Saint Laurent.
F.B.: We are looking at how we can create efficiencies in advertising and promotion. We still plan to advertise this year, as it is pivotal to sustain the brand image and positioning. The release of the campaigns will probably align with the arrival of the collections in the stores, and the media chosen will be those that communicate best with local clientele in each market.
source | wwd
Tom Ford Writes CFDA Members
Tom Ford stresses the challenges ahead, but foresees for the CFDA community, "a future for us all."
When Tom Ford accepted the post of chairman of the Council of Fashion Designers last year, he knew it was a big job through which he would have to address complicated issues. He could have had no idea just how big and how complicated.
On Monday afternoon, Ford sent a letter to the CFDA membership in which he addressed the coronavirus impact of the industry. “The challenges we are experiencing truly are unprecedented.” Ford wrote. He said that part of the CFDA’s mission now is to provide information and support “to ensure that as many businesses survive this pandemic as possible.”
Ford noted that A Common Thread, the CFDA-Vogue fundraising effort to benefit businesses impacted by the COVID-19 shutdown, has raised $4.2 million — and has received a whopping 1,000-plus applications for those funds. While he did not indicate in what amounts or to how many recipients the money will be allotted, he said that payments would commence later this month. “We know we cannot save everyone, but our hope is to help businesses survive the immediate and in turn be positioned for future survival,” he said.
Ford noted that as the economy begins to open up, companies will have to adapt to a landscape in which once-standard practices no longer work. “Brands need to make adjustments to their retail stores to create safe environments for employees and customers,” he said.
At the same time countless questions remain, including what to do with excess inventory and how to handle markdowns. “Will there be reasonable open-to-buys given the significant carry-over merchandise from the previous season?” Ford queried. “And then of course, will people even be running out to stores and spending money? What kind of products are they going to want when this is all over?”
Despite the magnitude of such questions and the devastation wrought on so many businesses, Ford celebrated his designing colleagues for having risen to the occasion. “[The crisis] has also made me feel incredibly proud to be a member of the American fashion industry,” he said, noting its fund-raising efforts as well as broad-based initiatives to help those on the pandemic’s frontlines. “The CFDA has diligently been working to ensure that designers have the information and resources to source, donate, and provide Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), and many of our members focused on making masks as well as isolation gowns,” Ford wrote.
Noting that “there are no quick fixes” and that uncertainty will continue, Ford offered that the CFDA is mobilized to “help support and guide the American fashion community.” He said the organization is exploring digital retail destinations to help sell existing collections, and that it is in regular communication with the the fashion bodies in Paris, Milan and London “to share updates as we collectively determine how fashion weeks will look this fall.”
Ford concluded with a definitive statement: “The industry will change; but change also presents an opportunity to reset, restart, and create a strong foundation for the future of American fashion. The one thing I can promise, is that there will be a future for us all.”
source | wwd
COVID-19 Response: Stores Closed Now May Never Reopen
Retailers are re-examining the criteria for keeping their stores open and are accelerating closings.
Retailers are getting stricter about grading their stores.
It’s typically an annual process for companies to review their brick-and-mortar fleets. But now retailers, spurred by the impact of COVID-19, are working double time to get out of, or revise, leases and rethink the balance of brick-and-mortar versus digital in the overall business.
They see Americans fearful of getting infected by visiting malls, continuing to shift to online shopping, fleeing big cities to the less dense suburbs, and bankruptcies creating more vacancies in shopping centers. Considering all that, retailers are recalibrating sales and profit goals, and recasting a lot of stores as undesirables. Just months ago, they would have thought otherwise.
This week, Nordstrom, among the stronger retailers in the country, revealed plans for 16 store closings, representing roughly 15 percent of the upscale department store’s fleet. Retail experts suggest Nordstrom would never have made such a sharp downsizing were it not for the impact of the coronavirus. Some experts are also wondering how much business Nordstrom’s 57th Street flagship, opened last October with great fanfare and success, can recover with many Manhattanites certain to stay away from the city even after the lockdown on nonessential stores is lifted.
The criteria is changing — productivity and profit goals for brick-and-mortar are getting loftier. Retailers must factor in additional costs of operating stores differently, including regular sanitizing, reconfiguring store hours and staffing needs, and equipping associates with PPE. It will all be necessary for as long as there is the threat of the coronavirus and no vaccine against it.
Macy’s Inc., in February before the coronavirus outbreak, disclosed it would close 125 stores over three years. But chief executive officer Jeff Gennette said last week that the company, which operates Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, Bluemercury, and off-price outlets, is now considering a greater number of store closings. Some sources pin the number at closer to 200 or more stores.
Neiman Marcus Group, on the verge of filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy — some say it could happen Monday — will close some weaker units. Neiman’s locations said to be on the hit list are in Natick, Mass., and downtown Dallas.
Lord & Taylor, owned by Le Tote, is expected to liquidate all 38 of its locations once the stores can be reopened and has already fired most of its executives at the L&T headquarter offices in Brookfield Place in lower Manhattan, as first reported by WWD on March 31.
“Companies like Gap, American Eagle, Abercrombie & Fitch, Hollister have hundreds of leases that will expire this year and many won’t be renewed,” predicted one retail expert.
“There’s no question retailers have more concerns about profitability and sales levels,” said retail analyst Walter Loeb. “There are also changing demographics, and retailers are even taking a close look at where their stores are in proximity to distribution centers. If there are some that are too far away, they’re thinking about the time and money it takes to get the goods shipped to those stores.”
J.C. Penney, noted Loeb, could close hundreds of stores, particularly smaller ones on the Main Streets of America. They have low operating costs and still serve a purpose in the communities, but as Loeb also noted: “They haven’t been renovated for 20 years and still take up management’s time.”
While Penney’s is expected to go bankrupt or be liquidated, some retail experts believe the department store chain could be acquired by a developer because closing Penney’s stores would trigger covenants regarding co-tenancies that would enable other retailers to vacate malls without penalty.
“There is a real possibility that retailers in some locations will leave their stores dark or negotiate a closing with the landlord if they believe that their store will never get back to the productivity level required to make it cash break even or profitable,” said Janet Kloppenburg, president of JJK Research Associates Inc. “You are going to see store-by-store, mall-by-mall analyses by brands to see if particular units are still viable for operating profitably. The hurdle rate for stores to be open is much greater. Productivity levels are going to be much lower because, number one, we are in a recession and, secondly, retail is in a state of digital transformation. More people are going to shop online now because they got used to the convenience, and because many people are going to be afraid to go to the mall,” due to fears of being infected by the virus.
“If you have a store in a mall, and an anchor like Macy’s or Penney’s goes dark, it could take two or three years to fill that space again,” Kloppenburg said. “So why would you open your store there, particularly if it hasn’t been a high-producing store. You have co-tenancy kickout clauses which allows retailers to get out of a lease if one or two anchors go dark.”
“For the past decade, department stores have made fitful attempts to trim their store fleets and retail square feet, but until the last few years, the efforts were too little/too late,” said Craig Johnson, president of Customer Growth Partners, in a research report on department stores. “Since 2015, however, aggregate department store fleets have fallen 24 percent, from 5,210 stores to 3,935 today, while total square footage declined a similar 24 percent, from 583 million square feet to 443 million square feet.
“Still, the steep decline in department store capacity was not enough to offset the sharp plunge in store sales productivity, indicating that the stores remain behind-the-curve in matching supply and demand, with in-store sales productivity well behind past levels, even with inflation. Moreover, true operating productivity metrics show that, even including online sales, operating income per square feet has plummeted in recent years, on average by more than 40 percent, indicating that most department stores still need to take more radical steps to shrink their fleets, while rethinking the value proposition they are offering today’s consumers.”
Nordstrom plans to reopen stores in a phased, market-by-market approach where allowed by local authorities and with the health and safety of employees, customers and communities as a priority. No store reopenings have been disclosed yet but they are expected to begin very soon.
“You’ve got to look and think about where the population is going to live,” said Michael Gould, the former chairman and ceo of Bloomingdale’s. “If people aren’t going to be working and living in Manhattan, and there’s a lot less international travel, how does that change how people look at their flagships? The ripple effect of this is far-reaching. Shopping pattens will change. With online shopping, you lose all that impulse shopping when you are in the stores.
“Retailers will have different hurdle rates,” added Gould. “Maybe the store isn’t cash flow positive anymore,” with all the impact from COVID-19. “Maybe they think they have two of their stores too close to each other. I don’t need two stores that are a 15-minute drive apart. I could create one great ‘headquarters’ store in that trade area that captures some business from the store I’m closing. I have the customers names from the other store, and I can pick up business online.”
“If I could sign a new lease tomorrow, it would just be percentage rent — end of story. Percentage rents protect your business,” said one upscale fashion executive with retail shops. “You also want co-tenancy rights. If an anchor goes dark, what do you want to do?”
“We’ve been investing in our digital and physical capabilities to keep pace with rapidly changing customer expectations. The impact of COVID-19 is only accelerating the importance of these capabilities in serving customers,” said Erik Nordstrom, chief executive officer of Nordstrom Inc., in a statement Tuesday. “More than ever, we need to work with flexibility and speed. Our market strategy helps with both, bringing inventory closer to where customers live and work, allowing us to use our stores as fulfillment centers to get products to customers faster, and connecting digital and physical experiences with services like curbside pickup and returns.”
source | wwd
The Retail Liquidations – Neiman’s, J.Crew, Pier 1, More — Are About To Start Flowing
May 7, 2020
Maybe liquidation-a-go-go is too flippant for such a tragedy. But it does fit.
As the number of retail bankruptcies start to pile up from companies whose final destruction was caused by the coronavirus pandemic, we are about to see a massive round of close-out/going-out-of-business/liquidation sales. It’s likely to be the largest such wave in modern retail history.
Already, the list of stores waiting to get started is pretty long: Neiman Marcus, J. Crew, Pier 1, Modell’s, True Religion, Roots and John Varvatos. They could be joined by Lord & Taylor, Sur La Table and, if things continue to go badly, J.C. Penney. Others are no doubt waiting in the wings.
Much of this, of course, is the result of the unprecedented shutdown of physical retailing over the past two months due to the pandemic. For companies that were teetering on financial ruins before this – due to too much debt, too little merchandising smarts or some combination of the two – COVID-19 was the final straw.
Add to them the retailers that filed before the crisis began and those that will struggle once they reopen and find they can’t make it and there will be literally thousands of stores with billions of dollars of merchandise that needs to be disposed of cluttering up the retail landscape throughout the summer and into the fall.
Couple this with functioning retailers trying to clean out the goods that have been sitting in their closed stores for two or three months and the off-price retailers who are expected to be able to access enormous amounts of merchandise stuck all throughout the supply chain pipeline. It’s going to be a feeding frenzy for shoppers…and a blood bath for margins.
And all of it has been on hold as long as the physical stores were closed. You can’t dump inventory online the way you can in physical stores which is one reason why we may not have seen the totality of the bankruptcy filings. There was no sense of urgency to do so as long as stores were closed. Now that they are starting to reopen the rush will be on to get to the consumer’s pent-up buying demand as fast as possible and before everyone else.
The retail liquidation business in America these days is a somewhat odd, somewhat complicated process. Retailers who file bankruptcy need to dispose of the merchandise in their stores whether they are completely shutting down or just restructuring, intending to stay in business once they emerge from the chapter 11 proceedings. Either way, they are trying to raise money to pay off creditors, lenders and anybody else with their hands out – usually attorneys, bankers and consultants.
But these days, particularly in out-and-out liquidations, these sales are handled not by the existing retailer but by a third party that specializes in such things, firms like Gordon Brothers and Tiger Capital. And under the rules of bankruptcy they are allowed to bring in additional merchandise to sell that has nothing to do with the goods the store itself sold while it was operating. Sometimes as fast as the sales are rung up at the front of the store, the tractor trailers are unloading new stuff at the back, insuring a constant flow. And even if the defunct retailer was known for its sales or coupons or whatever, the liquidation is handled under a different promotional schedule. Often the margins are pretty good. Sometimes they are outstanding, better than anything the retailer ever did in its regular operations.
And it’s all about to begin any day now.
source | forbes
EXCLUSIVE: Where Nordstrom Has Closed Stores for Good
Eliminating 20 percent of the Nordstrom department store fleet underscores the impact of COVID-19.
Nordstrom Inc. will permanently close more stores in California than anywhere else in the U.S. as part of the retailer’s downsizing of its department store fleet by 16 locations.
WWD has learned that six California stores — Santa Barbara, Riverside, Escondido, Sacramento, Pleasanton and Montclair — won’t ever reopen. Since March 17, Nordstrom has kept all of its stores temporarily closed due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Nordstrom operates 116 full-line stores in the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico. Eliminating 13 percent of its department store fleet underscores how much COVID-19 has hurt retailing and the economy, in particular “nonessential” retailers such as Nordstrom. The department stores slated to permanently close would just never reopen.
California is Nordstrom’s largest market, with close to 30 department stores and more than 50 Rack off-price stores.
In addition to department stores, Nordstrom operates 247 Nordstrom Rack units; three Jeffrey high-end boutiques; two clearance stores; six Trunk Club clubhouses, and five Nordstrom Local service hubs. The company also operates the nordstrom.com, nordstromrack.com, HauteLook and trunkclub.com web sites.
Nordstrom is also restructuring its regions, support roles and corporate organization for “greater speed and flexibility,” the company said in an announcement Tuesday evening. Some merchants were affected, though Nordstrom did not disclose the number of employees who would be let go.
The restructuring is expected to result in expense savings of approximately $150 million, or 30 percent of the company’s previously announced plans for net cash reductions of more than $500 million in operating expenses, capital expenditures and working capital. These actions, combined with its initial savings plan of $200 million to $250 million, represent a reduction in non-occupancy-related overhead expenses of approximately 20 percent.
Nordstrom has been in discussions with landlords and in many cases is also seeking to amend lease terms, including seeking to have rents based on percentage of sales, which would give the retailer greater financial protection. Other retailers are doing the same.
It’s likely that Nordstrom is considering closing some Rack stores, though the company did not disclose any of those plans.
As previously reported, Nordstrom has already taken dramatic steps to strengthen additional liquidity and financial flexibility in response to uncertainties created by the coronavirus. Among the measures taken, Nordstrom amended its $800 million revolving line of credit, and closed on its 8.75 percent secured debt offering of $600 million, as well as sharply cutting operating expenses, capital expenditures and working capital by around $750 million, and has been realigning inventory levels. The Seattle-based retailer also suspended quarterly cash dividends and share repurchases.
The other 10 is stores that Nordstrom will permanently close are in San Juan, Puerto Rico; Hurst, Tex.; Happy Valley, Ore.; Broomfield, Colo.; Chandler, Ariz.; Freehold, N.J.; Annapolis, Md.; Richmond, Va., and Miami and Naples, Fla.
source | wwd
DSQUARED2’S DEAN AND DAN CATEN: “THIS MOMENT TRULY TURNED OUR WORLD ON ITS HEAD.”
written by Eddie Roche May 6, 2020
Dean & Dan Caten (Courtesy)
In today’s “Cavin Fever Diaries,” we check in with DSQUARED2’s Dean and Dan Caten, who have been spending quarantine together in Cyprus. The inseparable duo tell The Daily how the experience has changed them and what they’ve been doing to pass the time.
What has been the biggest change to your routine?
Dan: This moment truly turned our world on its head. We have used this time as one of reflection and to truly consider what is most important in life. We have definitely had more time to take care of ourselves, read more than ever, and reconnect with friends and family through a whole new way of communicating.
What do you miss most about life before the quarantine?
Dan: Seeing and being with friends and family. Things we used to take for granted, simple things as going out for a meal or visiting our friends whenever we wanted to. We have missed the daily human contacts and working office routine with our team for example.
How are you staying active?
Dean: Personally, apart from daily business topics, I had the opportunity to enjoy reading and listening to good music. Dan is the same, but he also enjoys fitness.
How’s your sleep?
Dean: Great actually! Our schedules are usually so hectic that we don’t always get a full night’s rest in but we’ve had a lot of time to catch up on our sleep and decompress during this time, which we’re grateful for.
What have you been watching on TV?
Dean: Honestly we haven’t been watching that much television. From listening to new music, reading and working remotely throughout these days, we haven’t had the time! But we were able to sneak some time to start Hollywood on Netflix yesterday. It’s amazing!
What have you been eating?
Dan: We’ve been doing a lot of cooking, which we’ve never really had time for in the past. We are missing going out to eat, especially authentic Italian meals in Milan, so trying to recreate some of our favorites at home. We’ve pretty much mastered the Gnocchi di farro from our Ceresio 7 in Milan! Basically, we have always tried to have a balanced diet.
If you could be in self-isolation with anyone, who would it be?
Dan: We are lucky that we have had each other throughout these months.
Dean & Dan Caten (Courtesy)
Have you accomplished anything since self-isolating?
Dean: We’ve had a lot of time to think about the future, how to manage employees’ care and business matters in the best way during this challenging time, designs for the new collection, collaborations, projects, brainstorming and reflections. There’s lots ahead to look forward to especially as this marks a special year for us – 25 years of DSQUARED2!! Basically, something unexpected happened and we need to be focused and relevant to the brand DNA, team, and customers.
What music have you been listening to lately?
Dean: All the greats! A lot of disco, which has always been an inspiration from talented and magnificent musicians. We have had the privilege to work closely with so many musical talents of all walks of life who we’ve always admired and held so much respect for— everyone from Beyoncé to Sister Sledge, Jennifer Lopez, Madonna and so many more. We’ve spent a lot of time listening to music, reminiscing on the past and dreaming about what’s to come.
How has the experience changed your outlook?
Dan: Now more than ever we’re grateful for each and every day and all that we have accomplished so far. We’ve had a lot of time to reflect including the days from when we first stated out and we couldn’t make ends meet and are so grateful for our shared success and all those who helped us get here.
What has been the most surprising thing about this whole experience for you?
Dan: We’ve always appreciated but never realized how much we rely on essential workers. We are both so grateful to those risking their lives working on the frontline, but we’ll also never again take for granted the little things such as stepping out for a quick haircut or hugging a friend! We want to start again but without forgetting this period and doing that with a new perspective and spirit. Being strong, taking care and giving the right value to things.
^^^ Do these two sleep together in the same bed??? What is it with this “we” all the time…??? I just find their portraits so creepy and obnoxious— and now always with the “we, we, we”...
^ I completely forgot they're twins and not a couple haha.. reminds me of the twin that kept hitting on me and I never knew how to tell them apart, besides always dressing the same (head to toe Owens to make it... harder) they ALWAYS spoke as a collective, crossed their arms at the same time, and at one point said "imagine you've done everything with someone, lived with them for 40 years [they were 40] and know that's how your life will always be".. lol actually no, I can't imagine... but sounds like you're set and need no third wheel like me.
I've always gotten heavy incestual vibes from them and it's not even from the images, they literally always sound like a couple. I know some siblings can be close, but with them, it just feels...creepy.
@MulletProof but did you hit it though?
^ ha, I wish I could share the ig of these guys with you so you would know what creepy siblings really looks like, they hashtag their posts as 'soul mates' 'brotherhood' 'union', and yes, it is ONE account for both.
(and no, should you know, the story ends with me hiding inside a wardrobe after I had a bunch of missed calls on my phone, office phone, texts and then they just decided to show up at work).
^^^ So sweet and cute: Passive Mullet hiding from her stalkers?!?!?!
“Soulmates” twins can get together all they want it’s none of my business (and frankly, I wouldn’t mind if it’s the right twins… Shut up, Benn)… Head-to-toe in Rick Owens on the other hand, is inexcusably revolting and a huge huge huge warning sign to avoid and this I can judge all I want.
^ and that was 'shooting day' attire.. they wear some abominable stuff on regular days (as Benn can now attest lol). Think, yeah, darker Dsquared circa 2004.
^^^…”shooting day”…Oh God— they’re Insta”models” LOOL
(I do own a couple handfuls of DSquared2 clothing. They’re impressively well-made and fit so well. With their unadorned stuff, it’s always about masterful craftsmanship and fit and none would be the wiser that it’s DSquared2 and not a more refined brand. I can understand why they are successful. I took a pair of their boots to have the sole redone and the cobbler was drooling over the leather and craftsmanship and kept asking me if I were sure I wanted to resole such a premium sole.
Creepy collective/royal “we” aside, I’m a tad proud of these two that grew up in the same neighbourhood I grew up in. Not everyone there grows up to be a doctor/lawyer/banker.)
Fashion’s Great French Revolution
Laura Lanteri asks if fashion can instill meaning again, and regain its relevance.
In 2012, when Miuccia Prada, sitting at the Carlyle Hotel in Manhattan, was trying to reconcile her own political and philosophical beliefs (she was a member of the Italian Communist party during her youth) and the idiosyncrasies of her job, she commented: “Fashion is the first step out of poverty.” Her reasoning was quite simple. Once an individual satisfies all their primary needs — food, shelter, health — one of their first desires is to look better, to change, to “elevate” themselves.
Aspiration versus accessibility, equality versus exclusivity, relatability versus uniqueness: Miuccia Prada knew that fashion did have a place in bettering this world, but she was also deeply aware of the almost irreparable craters that separated her from the masses.
Fast-forward eight years and here we are, exactly where Miuccia Prada predicted we would be: the fashion revolution is here, and it’s disturbingly ugly. The dynamics that have driven the exorbitant financial and commercial growth of the industry are the very same forces that — exasperated by a global pandemic of unthinkable proportions — are now possibly risking its extinction.
And, this time, the Revolution started at the bottom of the food chain, from the very customers that fashion, and especially the luxury sector, tried to lure into impossible aspirational dreams of never-ending consumption.
Customers are most certainly not buying into the aspiration anymore, and the reasons for their unhappiness go well beyond the scarcity and misery brought about by this pandemic.
From reports that millions of garment workers in India and Bangladesh may be reduced into starvation by the current interruption in the supply chain of major retailers, to the increasingly popular images depicting a cleaner, less polluted world due to a halt in consumption, travel and productivity, to the devastating realities of hundreds of thousands of retail workers being furloughed across the United States, fashion has never looked so broken.
And fashion customers, just like the French Revolution insurgents circling around the impossible marvel that was Versailles, are taking notice. Not just notice — action.
It’s not that surprising then that — at the time when we are all forced to cling to our own very essential version of life — most of this “stuff,” the fashion stuff, is getting cut out. McKinsey & Co. is projecting a contraction of the luxury sector of up to 40 percent in 2020. I think that may be an optimistic figure. Earnest Research reports a 70 percent drop in spending for “Apparel and Accessories” for the week ending on April 1, 2020.
Even assuming that fashion and luxury will survive in some tangible form, the reality we will go back to will not resemble our pre-pandemic world in any way.
Fashion and luxury will have to change because the audience they used to have are not there anymore. Fashion is no longer simply a monologue, and customers are emerging as much more powerful voices in this dialogue. They are shouting. They are shouting at Madonna taking a milky bath with rose petals in her mansion while philosophizing about COVID-19 being “the great equalizer.” They are shouting at Ellen DeGeneres, who is comparing her quarantine in a multimillion-dollar compound to “jail.” They are shouting at Jennifer Lopez, who is joke-complaining about quarantine with her family in a massive mansion, oblivious to her privilege and to the horrendous struggle outside of her door.
It is worth noting that many of these celebrities were, as of a few weeks ago, considered the pioneers of change for fashion. J.Lo was seen as the ambassador of “older women,” showing us that we didn’t have to dress “our age.” DeGeneres has been, and maybe still will be, a pioneer in the advancement of LGBTQ rights, both in entertainment and in fashion.
Madonna has changed the way we think about how women dress well before she wore the much-clamored Gaultier cones. But not anymore — these women are not the voices or the aspirations of the zeitgeist. They were brand ambassadors for a system that was already on the verge of collapse. Their obliviousness to this current catastrophe only accelerated a process of self-destruction.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. Fashion used to be — in many ways — an invisible force behind change. Not an equalizing force, but a transformative one. Taking pleasure in beauty and design is a quintessentially human prerogative. Beyond the obvious aesthetic qualities that fashion encapsulates, fashion used to mean something to its audience.
The most famous fashion designers in history have made significant contributions to how we relate to each other in society and how we perceive who we are. Not simply about how we look.
From Coco Chanel’s rebellion against uncomfortable clothing for women, to YSL’s embrace of the androgynous to Vivienne Westwood’s anti-establishment ethos, to Pierpaolo Piccioli’s vision of inclusivity, fashion becomes successful when it relates to its audience on a deep, visceral level. Not just on a grand scale, but — most powerfully now — on a human scale.
Fashion customers, the industry audience, seem to have suddenly noticed the difference. From the founder of Something Navy, who has been subjected to vicious attacks on social media after escaping Manhattan for the Hamptons during the pandemic, to Elle Macpherson, whose brand WelleCo has been heavily criticized after it sent out promotional e-mails marketing a “Super Elixir” allegedly promoting immune support (cost: $80), fashion customers appear pretty unforgiving and quick to discard previously beloved brands. Perhaps even more tellingly, Chiara Ferragni — the Italian model and “digital entrepreneur” ranked as the number-one fashion influencer in the world by Forbes — is now advertising pasta and mascarpone cheese on her Instagram posts. No more Giambattista Valli there.
Make no mistake: These are hard times for any company that is not selling essential goods. And buying a new dress is in itself an utterly insignificant gesture. But if this dress morphs into a determination of a person’s true presence, then fashion regains its power.
Fashion perhaps can be small again, it can shrink back to human scale, its beauty as vivid as the fairness of its (new) processes. Fashion’s ambition has probably always been — indeed as Miuccia Prada said — about a desire to better ourselves. Recently, we just lost track of who we are.
So let the screams coming from social media all around the world be a powerful wake-up call for all of fashion. Because the Fashion Revolutionaries are in. And they will not eat cake.
Laura Lanteri is an adjunct professor at The New School’s Parsons School of Design.
source | wwd
UK fashion industry pleads for more aid to survive Covid-19 crisis
British Fashion Council hands out £1m in emergency funds but says much more is needed
UK fashion industry pleads for more aid to survive Covid-19 crisis
This is why my blood boiled when I read that Victoria Beckham dared to seek state funding despite her and her husband's personal wealth. Because that started a witch hunt in the UK on fashion brands looking for financial aid. And in most cases, they actually qualify but now everyone will be tarred with the same brush.
Dylan Jones should take his finger out of his ar$e and get proactive. He's quick to remind podcast interviewers about his role at the BFC, time to put in the work, and get his celebrity chums to chip in. They should've done an aggressive campaign weeks ago to secure funds over and above the figure that the British government would offer. Because now it's too late, all eyes are glued to who's getting bailouts and other services are prioritised. Anna Wintour appears to have had that foresight with the CFDA Fund.
The tabloids will have a field day if they receive an additional payout.
I get that her brand is in the red, and that it probably, technically qualifies for this type of funding, but there are so many young independent designers who have invested everything they have in their businesses and have no other way of making things work right now that makes Victoria's situation so embarrassing. Like seriously, sell a property if you want to keep your failing business so badly, or use your contacts to secure a good loan. And mind you, I generally like Victoria and still want her brand to succeed, but taking state money that could go to poorer and more deserving designers seems unfair to me.
Right! She's not the sole owner of her business, I think David and another company have some stakes in it as well. But they have other businesses, as does the other company.
Things are going to be tough for VB. The court of public opinion won’t like that she took the state’s fund and it will be quite crazy for her to go back to her luxury brand aspirations. She needs to reconsider the strategy of her brand and play low key in the press.
They do live together but they seems to have very different taste in men weirdly. I was at a party and they were there...Obviously, their boyfriends looked like Dsquared models but one had a black guy (I don’t know if he was mixed or light skin) and the other had the typical blonde Dsquared model.
They might be very co-dependent....(obviously).