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September 1, 2003
Women's Wear Journal
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Economy Shows Unexpected Strength
The economy grew at a revised annual rate of 3.1 percent in the second quarter, the government reported yesterday, and the unexpected strength led economists to raise their forecasts for the rest of the year.
Bras join the luxury line-up
NEW lingerie label Willow has turned bra straps into luxurious fashion accessories.
The decadent, glamorous Melbourne-based label features detachable silk bra straps that can be replaced by jewel-encrusted straps in a range of beautiful
Designer and former fashion publicist Kit Willow said she established the 1920s-inspired label purely from instinct.
"I felt intuitively that there was a niche so I just went for it," she said.
"As it happened, the market for boutique fashion lingerie has turned out to be huge. London, in particular, is obsessed with it, and there hasn't been anything like this in Australia for many years."
Willow is being sold exclusively in Australia at David Jones and will be first garments seen at this year's spring/summer collection parades featuring models Megan Gale and Candice Lake.
The Australian-made lingerie is detailed with nickel-free rings on the bra straps and design features, but it is refreshingly lace-free.
"We didn't want to use any lace or bows," Willow said. "It's much more modern and elegant than that. We use the same silk in our lingerie that Chanel and Alexander McQueen use in their clothes, so it's very luxurious."
Knicker prices start at $89.95 while bras are $129.95.
Willow's partner, Sophie Roet, choose the colors for each season.
Having worked for European fashion masters John Galliano and Alexander McQueen, Roet is an expert at predicting
"It's about buying lingerie as a fashion item and encouraging women to build up their bra wardrobe, because so many shirts are sheer and summer tops are strappy that bras don't need to be hidden any more," she said.
Wal-Mart Sees Strong August Same-Store Sales
The world's largest retailer, Wal-Mart Stores Inc, on Monday said August same-store sales may beat its forecast of three to five per cent thanks to the strong start of back-to-school sales.
The Arkansas-based company said sales through August 15 were at the high-end of its monthly forecast and said although last week's power cuts affected around 200 stores it does not expect the blackout to have a material impact on sales or profits.
It added its best-selling categories so far this month include apparel and swimwear.
Victoria's a lingerie star
Swedish model Victoria Silvstedt was the star of a lingerie show yesterday.
She launched a one-off undies set by Triumph International
at the Lingerie and Swimwear Fair in Harrogate.
The 28-year-old former Miss Sweden, who was a Playboy Playmate
of the Year in 1997, is no stranger to nude
She has also been a downhill skier, a singer and an actress.
E-Bay Leads Online Apparel Traffic
eBay.com was the leading retail website in terms of unique visitors for apparel and beauty products at the beginning of August according to the latest Nielsen/NetRatings update.
For the week ending 3 August, the rankings placed eBay first with its section on clothing, shoes and accessories, hosting 1.95 million visitors.
Its section on jewelry and watches came second, hosting 646,000 visitors. Next were Old Navy, with 614,000 visitors; Victoria’s Secret, 359,000; and The Gap, 316,000.
Apparel and jewelry came fourth in all categories for the highest number of online advertising impressions at 49.64 million.
NAFTA Cuts South Carolina Textile Jobs By Half
New figures from the US Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics show that South Carolina has lost 63,200 textile and apparel jobs since NAFTA took effect in 1994.
From its heyday in December 1993, when the state employed 123,200 people in the textile and apparel industry, the number of workers has fallen to 60,000 in June 2003 – the month for which the most recent data is available.
New research shows that British teenagers are in the midst of a spending spree, while their parents struggle with debt. They are sophisticated shoppers, act older younger, and call the shots when out shopping and in the way they dress. As a result, manufacturers and shops are increasingly targeting teenage needs.
The International Lingerie show debuts
in New York
The popular lingerie show from Las Vegas will be showing for the 1st time in New York at the Metropolitan Pavilion - 125 West 18th Street (between 6th & 7th Avenues).
Show days and hours will be will be Sunday (noon to 6:PM), Monday (9:30AM-5:30PM) & Tuesday (9:30AM-3:PM) - September 7th, 8th and 9th, 2003 and again in March 2004.
You can pre-register as a buyer and get exhibitor information by calling 212/714-2401.
See us at the International Lingerie
show in New York Sept 7-9
Saks Loss Grows
Department store operator Saks Inc. is having a tough time.
The Birmingham, Alabama-based company, which owns Saks Fifth Avenue, Proffitt's and MacRae's, reported a large quarterly loss on Tuesday, citing soft sales, increased price discounting and a smaller contribution from its recently sold credit card business. But Wall Street analysts had expected worse.
Despite gaining $2.7 million by closing a handful of stores, Saks posted a loss of $25.8 million, for the second quarter ending August 2. The quarterly drop compares with a loss of $20.4 million, a year earlier.
Plentiful markdowns didn't help the company's weak consumer buying trend. While overall U.S. retailers delivered better-than-expected sales for July, Saks reported unchanged sales from a year ago at $1.24 billion and a 0.6 percent slip in quarterly sales at stores open at least a year.
Nordstrom Q2 Profit Leaps 81%, as Sales Climb
Upscale clothing chain Nordstrom Inc on Thursday cited strong sales and improved cost controls for its 81 per cent jump in second quarter earnings from the same period of last year.
The Seattle-based company said in a statement net income for the quarter ended August 2 leapt to $65.9 million, or 48 cents a share, compared to $36.3m, or 27 cents a share, in the year prior.
same-store sales climbed 3.9 per cent.
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Sept. 6-9, 2003
Kohl's Q2 Profit Slides 22%, Sales Up
Rapidly-expanding apparel chain Kohl's Corp on Thursday announced a 9.8 per cent slide in second quarter net profit from the same period of 2002 as its performance was hampered by wet weather and bulging inventories.
The Wisconsin-based company reported net income for the second quarter ended August 2 of $112.1 million, or 33 cents per share, from $124.4 million, or 36 cents per share, in the year-ago period.
Net sales rose 14.9 per cent year-on-year to $2.2 billion while same-store store sales rose 1.1 per cent.
Kohl's plans to open another 50 stores in the second half which will mean it opens 85 new shops before the end of this year. It will open about 95 new stores in fiscal 2004.
Brides putting corset dresses back in style
Just when you think it's safe to let it all hang out and walk down the aisle in a flowing chemise, it's time to suck it in again. At least that's what many bridal designers are touting with their new corset gowns--all laced up and ready to say "I do" to the latest fashion trend in wedding attire.
Ever since that show-off Madonna strutted her corset around in public, there seems to have started a revolution that marched straight from the intimate apparel industry to mainstream fashion and now into
chic wedding designs.
How many of us have eyed the cute little things in the stores and toyed with the idea of jazzing up that black suit with a corset-kind-of-thing discreetly tucked beneath the jacket? Or a prom dress for damsels who don't consider themselves in distress at all? The fact that, with one tug of a string, it could all come undone has undone my desire to own anything remotely like a corset, at least for now.
Enter the "mock" corset--fake the lacing and you never have to worry. Of course, the corset has a long, stylish history--each generation reinventing it and adding their own twist to shape bodies. It seems we've always had to push or shove something into place somewhere, whether it was the hips, the bust or the
stomach. Since the word originated from the French word for body--"corps"--it seems we've never been quite satisfied with our anatomy and where things naturally belong.
Greek women reportedly strapped themselves in with leather strips to accentuate their figures under their robes in the 16th century.
Later, the corset was a stiff device complete with metal, wood or whalebone--worn by men and women.
Then the men got smart and left the uptight undergarments to the women, who continued to have fainting spells until around the turn of the last century when designer Paul Poiret made loose chemise dresses all the rage. Women could finally breathe again.
The new corsets cropping up in fashionable wardrobes now, however, bear little resemblance to their painful predecessors. The newest interpretation of the corset
has been romanced into silk and satin, all laced up with ribbons and bows to make a memorable impression when a bride walks down the aisle. After all, what does the audience see during most of the ceremony? Why, the back of the bridal gown, of course.
Fashion designers who favor the tight embellished bodices this year include Reem Acra, Vera Wang, Richard Tyler, Carolina Herrera and Amsale. Elegant touches adorn these body-hugging dresses for the modern bride.
With bridal designers choosing to bring up the rear in wedding attire this season, there may not be a better way to make such a dramatic statement than to show off a tiny bit of skin while at the same time emphasizing the waist and decollete. Just be sure the knot is tied--tight.
Have you noticed your computer running slower than ever?
The reason for that may have to do with online advertisers adding SpyWare or AdWare to your computer without your knowledge.
"Spyware" is a common term for files that are installed on your system without your knowledge that allow companies to monitor your Internet activity.
"AdWare" is software that will show you popup ads over and over. What they don't tell you, however, is how these files can be extremely dangerous to your PC and could cause major problems with your PC.
We are offering every computer owner, including yourself, the opportunity to scan your computer to see how many
"SpyWare" infections your PC has at no charge. To scan your computer at no cost,
Our goal is to put an end to shady online advertising so that Internet users can enjoy the World Wide Web without having their privacy intruded upon.
We urge you to run the complimentary scan! 8
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Figleaves.com, the London-based intimate apparel retailer, launched quietly in the US late last year, and is now beginning to raise its profile stateside. Earlier this month, the company inked a deal with Amazon.com to launch its selection of lingerie, hosiery and swimwear in the online behemoth's nascent apparel and accessories store.
CEO Michael Ross says he expects Figleaves' US business, currently 10 percent of overall sales, to match the UK operation within the next 18 months. The link-up with Amazon's apparel store, which launched in November with 400 brands and now offers well over 1,000, is key to that goal.
Last week, Figleaves joined Amazon in launching Shock Absorber's Anna Kournikova Multiway Bra stateside. Already available on
Figleaves' UK site, it will now be sold in the US exclusively at Amazon's Figleaves boutique through September 19.
Hopefully Shock Absorber will be the first of several blonde bombshell-endorsed brands that Figleaves will bring to America. Love Kylie (Kylie Minogue's lingerie collection) and Elle Macpherson Intimates are still available only on the company's UK website. Most of
Figleaves' brands, however, from Aubade to Australian label Zimmermann, are available on both sides of the pond.
Though its US website is less than a year old, Figleaves has been shipping its lingerie to more than 60 countries through its UK site for the last four years. The company says that in terms of hits, it's the UK's second most-visited online apparel retailer.
In October, Figleaves will also bring its second annual Breast Cancer Awareness Month campaign to the US. In collaboration with British designer lingerie company Beau Bra, the company has created a new collection, called Grace, to be sold exclusively through
Figleaves, with all profits going to support the fight against breast cancer.
A little boy wanted $100 badly and prayed for two weeks but nothing happened.
Then he decided to write God a letter requesting the $100. When the postal authorities received the letter addressed to God, USA, they decided to send it to President Bush.
The President was so impressed, touched, and amused that he instructed his secretary to send the little boy a $5.00 bill.
President Bush thought this would appear to be a lot of money to a little boy.
The little boy was delighted with the $5.00 and sat down to write a thank you note to God, which read:
Thank you very much for sending the money, however, I noticed that for some reason you had to send it through Washington D.C. and, as usual, those crooks deducted $95.00.
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