Fashion News: Mar 2016 Edition

South African Fashion News

South African Retailer, The Foschini Group, has acquired a British contemporary fashion brand called Whistles. This will expand its customers to that of Europeans and also diversify risk that is apparent in a slow-growing South African economy. http://www.fin24.com/Companies/Retail/foschini-buys-another-uk-retailer-20160324

Kids emporium was started 13 years ago in South Africa by the 22 year old Lauren de Swardt. The brand has since grown to consist of 26 franchise stores and offers a shopping experience to mom’s that focuses on educating their customers paired with superior customer service. Products range from maternity wear to toys, gifts and décor. The latest development to occur for the brand is the upcoming opening of a UK store as the brand is expanding internationally. http://www.fin24.com/Companies/Retail/kids-emporium-set-to-open-uk-store-20160323

Truworths in Zimbabwe have showed an increase in interim sales; however trading conditions for the company are getting worse due to increased job losses. http://www.fin24.com/Companies/Retail/truworths-zim-sales-up-but-clothing-retailers-suffer-20160309

International Fashion News

Fashion

Japanese designer, Issey Miyake, has been awarded for his influence on fashion in France by the French government. http://edition.cnn.com/2016/03/17/fashion/issey-miyake-japan-exhibition/index.html

A new category of male models has been created by IMG modelling agency in New York to represent plus-sized fashion enthusiasts. These men are classified as big and tall, or “brawn” by the agency.  Another plus size modelling agency in Germany has been in operation for five years. Fashion bloggers have had great influence on this move due to showing that bigger sized men also have an interest in looking fashionable.  http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/meet-the-pioneering-plus-size-male-models-and-agents-spearheading-the-male-body-positivity-movement-a6946336.html

Brands

The athleisure market is a 330 billion US Dollar market, however revenue growth has been slowing down.  Due to the growing appeal for athleisure wear by consumers and the mushrooming of many competitors, it has become quite difficult for brands to stand out. Yogasmoga, an up and coming athleisure brand, is one company that hopes to achieve this competitive advantage. http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/26/business/products-and-competition-stretch-market-for-athleisure-clothing.html?_r=0

Altruis jewelry is a company that combines technology and fashion with jewelry pieces connected to your iPhone and alerts you when important messages and/or calls are incoming. This helps avoid wasting time checking your phone unnecessarily by prioritising the type of notifications you’d be getting. http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/19/fashion/jewelry-technology-altruis.html

High-end clothing is now made accessible through making use of Rent the Runway’s service which offers a broader range of consumers access to luxury fashion items with payment of a monthly subscription. http://www.fastcompany.com/3057717/most-creative-people/rent-the-runway-launches-unlimited-service

Fashion retailer, The Gap, has been experiencing a widening gap in their market share (in a negative direction). Reasons cited are irrelevance of the brand to a younger demographic as well as competition from less expensive clothing brands and fast fashion retailers. http://qz.com/641559/gaps-clothing-empire-is-clambering-to-reclaim-its-relevance/

One of the differences in strategy between Google/Android and Apple is that the latter company sets itself apart by having a closed platform, i.e. no other party can build more than an app or a case for the Apple software/hardware. Google/Android,  on the other hand allows anyone to pair their software with the hardware they have, as in the case of watchmakers Nixon and Fossil. Google has furthermore partnered with four fashion labels to produce 18 smartwatches for Android wear.  http://www.fastcodesign.com/3057935/google-could-beat-apple-at-fashion-just-like-it-did-phones

Van’s sneakers started out as a product that appealed to skateboarders and its cool has now become appealing to fashion trendsetters. http://uk.complex.com/style/2016/03/how-vans-became-a-fashion-sneaker

Global Issues

Terrorist attacks have had a negative impact on the sale of luxury goods in Europe, particularly Paris. It is hoped that this impact is short-term. http://qz.com/646559/the-aftermath-of-the-paris-attacks-shows-what-europes-many-luxury-companies-can-expect-after-brussels/

In India, it is expected that consumers of luxury products will grow as a result of a high level of foreign direct investments and consequent increase in number of millionaires able to afford luxury items.  Luxury means different things to different people as is highlighted in this article. http://www.livemint.com/Consumer/9lNchyDP1xKFcnUfssm16M/Luxury-doesnt-need-to-be-expensive-says-Calvin-Klein.html

The drop in oil price has meant that investors in the gas and energy sector are losing out and this translates to less disposable income available to spend on luxury brands. Such is the case for luxury retailers such as Neiman Marcus in Texas, Nordstrom stores in Canada and others such as Fifth Avenue Saks who often get an influx of tourist shoppers from oil rich countries such as Brazil and Russia. http://fortune.com/2016/03/18/neiman-marcus-oil-prices-retail/

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