Lifestyle brand

Saturday February 2nd, 2013

Victoria’s Secret Angel Alessandra Ambrosio to launch fashion and lifestyle brand.

Victoria’s Secret stunner Alessandra Ambrosio’s new lifestyle and fashion brand, ‘Alé by Alessandra,’ will launch in Spring 2014. The model mom is collaborating with Cherokee. The womenswear will hit Latin America first.
A new fashion and lifestyle label ‘Alé by Alessandra’ is set to launch in Spring 2014 in collaboration with US-based Cherokee.

Alessandra Ambrosio, Victoria’s Secret model and star of campaigns for Christian Dior, Giorgio Armani, and Ralph Lauren, is set to launch her new brand in Latin America and hopes to later expand around the world.
The Brazilian supermodel is the sixth biggest earner in the modelling world, with her 2012 income estimated at $6.6 million by Forbes magazine. This latest move comes as something of a surprise to the fashion world, but according to the model it was a natural progression: “this is not a hobby for me. I’ve been a fashion model for 15 years and designing is just an extension of my career,” she told WWD.

The 31-year-old model and mother will partner with US-based retailer Cherokee to work on production and distribution. “Alessandra is an international icon, a confident, active professional and is known around the world for her amazing fashion sense,” said Henry Stupp Cherokee’s Chief Executive Officer.

So what can we expect? The label will be “representative of my life, experiences and style,” said Ambrosio in a statement. Sketch images released by the brand reveal summery, light womenswear with a colorful palette. After the international roll-out, plans for the future also include new jewelry, swimwear and fragrance lines as well as accessories.


Monday January 28th, 2013

Student’s designs shown in Prince Harry charities fashion show.

A Washington State University student was one of the featured designers at the Feb. 2 Royal Fashion Show benefit for two charities of England’s Prince Harry of Wales.

Gordon Stumpo of Denver joined nearly 40 fashion students from around the world who had submitted entries for a design competition preceding the show, which was hosted by charities Pink Ribbons Crusade and Sentebale. The competition was judged by all-star designers and popular contestants from the TV series “Project Runway.” Winning designs were showcased at the Bella Collina Towne and Golf Club in San Clemente, Calif.

“Competitions like this one stretch students and allow them an entrance into a formal public arena,” said Patricia Fischer, senior instructor in WSU’s Department of Apparel, Merchandising, Design and Textiles. She worked closely with Stumpo and Marissa Dawson of Seattle, who also entered the competition.

“Both Gordon and Marissa had to learn new and more complex patterning skills beyond those covered in the course content to draft the base patterns for their garments,” Fischer said. “They have both put in a great deal of work outside of class.”
Pink Ribbons Crusade raises funds to fight breast cancer through a traveling exhibit of a multimillion-dollar collection of British royal historical memorabilia, including eight dresses owned and worn by the late Princess Diana, Harry’s mother. Sentebale is a charity for at-risk African children founded by Prince Harry and Prince Seeiso of the Lesotho royal family to honor their mothers.

Stumpo, a junior, submitted two dress designs for the competition, both of which were accepted. A major reward during the project was “taking something that was in my mind, using the tools we learned in the classroom and making it physical, tangible,” he said.

The competition also motivated Stumpo’s honors thesis, due this spring, on the evolution of Princess Diana’s clothing styles over time. Part of the thesis will involve creating three to five half-scale garments that interpret Diana’s garment tradition.

Swedish fashion

Thursday January 26th, 2012

Swedish fashion chain H&M sees small drop in Q4 profit due to discounting but market share up

Swedish fashion retailer Hennes & Mauritz AB on Thursday posted a 2.4 percent drop in fourth-quarter net profits, slightly weaker than market expectations, due to higher materials costs and heavy discounting to attract customers during an economic downturn.

Still, the company said it continued to gain market share during the period and remains optimistic about the future.

It plans to open 275 new stores in the coming year — in Bulgaria, Latvia, Malaysia, Thailand and Mexico, the group’s first foray into Latin America. It will also launch online sales on the world’s largest online market, the United States.

H&M, which is headquartered in Stockholm, said net profit dropped to 5.36 billion kronor ($790 million) in the September-November period from 5.49 billion in the same quarter a year earlier, despite a rise in sales to 36.19 billion kronor from 34.79 billion kronor.

The company blamed currency fluctuations, higher purchasing prices — mainly due to more expensive cotton — and discounts it had to make to fend off competition during what it called “one of the toughest years for a long time for the fashion retail industry.”

It said it also focused on higher quality and more sustainable materials.

H&M, whose main competitor is Spain’s Inditex, the owner of Zara, specializes in offering the latest fashion trends at low prices. It has collaborated with international designers and fashion icons, such as Karl Lagerfeld, Stella McCartney, Madonna and David Beckham.

The closely-watched gross margin, an indicator of profitability, fell to 61.9 percent in the fourth quarter from 63.2 percent a year earlier.

However, the December sales figures, released in conjunction with the report, pleased market watchers. They showed a 13 percent increase, including sales tax, compared with the same month a year earlier, while the company said the development for January looked “strong.”

Analysts had feared that the warmer-than-usual weather would have negative effects on the sale of its autumn- and winter collections during the Christmas season.

For the full year 2011, the group posted a net profit of 15.82 billion kronor, down from 18.68 billion kronor the previous year.

In mid-morning trade, shares in the company had fallen 0.6 percent to 220.90 kronor ($32.65) on the Stockholm stock exchange.

Simon Kjellstrom, an analyst at Pareto Ohman in Stockholm said that although the squeezed margins disappointed slightly, the positive news about strong sales in both December and January largely offset that gloom. “The first quarter has started off well,” he said, “and it balances it out.”

CEO Karl-Johan Persson said that despite the economic uncertainty experienced in many of the company’s markets in 2011, “the fact that we have gained market share, proves that our customers appreciate our collections.”

Looking ahead, he said the macro-economic challenges are likely to continue also in 2012, “but we have a strong belief in our offering and are convinced that H&M will continue to maintain its strong position as the year goes on.”

H&M, founded in 1947, has 94,000 staff and around 2,500 stores in 43 countries. It also owns other brands like higher-priced COS and urban fashion labels such as Monki, Weekday and Cheap Monday.