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19/08/2017

Gap shares back in fashion after rosier outlook, earnings beat

 

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Gap shares surged in extended trading after the retailer mounting a turnaround posted better-than-expected second quarter results, led by Old Navy, and lifted its full-year earnings outlook. Shares in the San Francisco-based company surged as much as 16 per cent before paring those gains to trade 6 per cent higher after reported that comparable sales, a measure of sales in stores that have been open at least 12 months, rose 1 per cent. That represented the third straight quarter of positive comparable sales growth but was slower than the 2 per cent growth posted in the first quarter. Gap, like other clothing retailers, has struggled to stave off competition from online retailers and fast fashion rivals — like Zara and H&M that copy runway looks at a fraction of the cost — and lure shoppers back to its stores. Moreover, a string of fashion misses at its Banana Republic had also eroded sales at the brand. Comparable sales rose 5 per cent at Old Navy, the retailer’s largest division, topping expectations for a 3.1 per cent gain. Meanwhile, same-store sales slid 1 at the Gap Global brand and 5 per cent at Banana Republic, compared with Wall Street estimates for a drop of 2.2 per cent and 3.9 per cent respectively. Net sales slid 1.3 per cent from a year ago to $3.79bn, just ahead of analysts estimates of $3.77bn. Net income rose to $271m or 68 cents a share in the three months ended July 29, compared with $125m or 31 cents a share in the year ago period, which reflected a 29 cents charge associated with restructuring plans. Stripping out a 10 cent benefit from insurance proceeds related to the fire that occurred on the company’s Fishkill distribution center campus, earnings of 58 cents in the second quarter were better than expectations of 52 cents. That came as the company noted a fourth straight quarter of gross margin expansion, which improved to 38.9 per cent, from 37.7 per cent in the year ago period. “With a third consecutive quarter of comp sales growth, we are seeing our investments in product, customer experience, and brand equity begin to pay off,” Art Peck, chief executive, said. And following the “strength” of the first half the company raised its adjusted full-year earnings outlook to a range of $2.02 to $2.10 a share, up from its previous projection of $1.95 to $2.05 a share. That was above the $2 a share that Wall Street had forecast. Gap shares are up 1.1 per cent so far this year having tumbled nearly 50 per cent in the prior 2 years.

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17/08/2017

It’s Now or Never: are Elvis jumpsuits catching on in menswear?

An exhibition featuring 40 of the King’s jumpsuits is opening in the UK – just as they are finally being embraced without irony by fashion designers

An exhibition at the O2 looking at Elvis’s career between 1969 and 1977 will feature 40 of his jumpsuits. The exhibition’s timing is also pertinent in menswear, where jumpsuits are in the process of becoming staples.

Thankfully, this trend is only loosely inspired by the King. Elvis may have worn a rhinestone and gold lame jumpsuit on the cover of 1975’s Promised Land, but next summer’s hit will likely be Miuccia Prada’s pit-stop version, which has a stripe down the side of one leg, earning comparisons to the kind of apparel usually seen at Silverstone. See also Alexander McQueen’s denim version and Louis Vuitton’s one, which resembles a silvery parachute.

It is not, granted, the jumpsuit’s first bid for menswear success – they appeared in suede at Louis Vuitton in SS15 and, the following summer, as boiler suits for Issey Miyake, in minimal navy for Christopher Raeburn and military-style on the Balmain catwalk. But it is the first time they are being discussed without irony.

Historically, jumpsuits have occupied two main camps. First, one of alpha masculinity and graft – known as boilersuits in the 1920s because of their workwear roots, these were looser versions of jumpsuits, worn because they stopped dirt entering underclothes. The not-dissimilar siren suit, worn by Winston Churchill, was designed to be slipped on en route to an air-raid shelter. Also worn for photocalls by the PM, it emitted a sense of preparedness during diplomatic meetings with Stalin.

The other infamous jumpsuit was a genderless, ritzier incarnation that came of age in the early 70s, during the glam-rock period. David Bowie’s billowing Kansai Yamamoto jumpsuit arguably paved the way for Devo, Kanye West and Perfume Genius to have a go. Somewhere in the middle is Sean Connery’s arch leisurewear, as seen in Goldfinger.

Bill Belew designed most of Elvis’s jumpsuits. Depending on whom you ask, they served another, practical purpose – co-costumier Gene Doucette claims they allowed for free movement; his ex-wife, Priscilla, said they constricted him. Either way, they became a core addition to his wardrobe as he battled depression, obesity and addiction – and were most likely designed to accommodate a waistline in flux.

As many women will attest, jumpsuits can be practical and, when styled correctly, comfortable. So, why has it taken so long for them to catch on in menswear? Some take issue with the cutesy name, not helped by the launch of RompHims – 2017’s Kickstarter success story – which manage to make jumpsuits sound sexist and infantilising. A rebranding is necessary, and that is where Elvis and the catwalks come in.

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11/08/2017

Vogue is coming to Adelaide for Vogue Festival Get ready.

South Australia, mark October 13 and 14 in your diaries, because Vogue is coming to Adelaide.

Announced on Tuesday night at the launch of Adelaide Fashion Festival (AFF) by Vogue’s editor-in-chief Edwina McCann, Vogue Festival is well and truly on its way to Adelaide.

A two-day event packed with runway shows, special offers, prizes, giveaways and styling sessions will be activated at Rundle Mall — with pop-ups from Levis, The Daily Edited and even a blow dry bar from Dyson.

Harnessing in on Adelaide-born fashion, like Paolo Sebastian, Cmeo Collective and Acler, the Festival aims to showcase all the fashionable talent coming from the South Australian capital — complete with the Vogue team on the ground.

Key events include a Vogue kitchen, hosted by Edwina McCann, an exclusive art presentation by Tiff Manuell, the Vogue Festival launch moment, and the Myer runway show.

With the support of the City of Adelaide, AFF and Rundle Mall Management Authority, Vogue’s event will run alongside a week of fashion-focused events, making October in Adelaide very enticing indeed.

The launch will be held on October 13 at Myer, with Jennifer Hawkins introducing the Festival and kicking off celebrations — make sure not to miss out and buy tickets to each event here.

See you there!

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