Fashion News Alert: Hood by Air to Relaunch, Senior Cuts at Macy’s, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney Advocates for NYFW, and Generation Z Makes Brick and Mortars Fashionable

Image courtesy of thirteen.org

New York Fashion Week (NYFW) is bereft with challenges. In recent years there is the issue of a suitable venue—though that is to change with the opening of Hudson Yards—the low attendance of many fashion industry professionals; big brands departure from NYFW; the loss of corporate partnerships, and the list goes on and on.New York Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney has decided to do something about these challenges. “Fashion and New York go hand in hand and we need to make sure it stays that way,” said Congresswoman Maloney in a press statement. “The loss of Amazon and the jobs it would have brought to Long Island City, makes it all the more important that New York City support and continue to develop industries that stimulate our economy and promote job growth. The fashion industry has proven time and again to be a source of massive economic power for New York City,” explains Maloney.

Congresswoman Maloney has partnered with the Joint Economic Committee on reports that highlights the importance of NYFW to New York City and the fashion industry. According to the 2017 report, the fashion industry generated 4.6 jobs in New York City and generated more than $11.3 billion in wages and $3.2 billion in tax revenue.

The report also demonstrated that NYFW weeks brings in over $600 million in total income annually to New York City which is more than the US Open and Super Bowl combined. The report emphasized the importance of Millenials and Generation Z who will make up 40 percent of the consumer market by 2020.

Hood by Air spring 2017 image courtesy of dailyfrontrow.com

Hood by Air to make a comeback

Hood by Air (HBA) is making a return. According to an interview in SSense, creative director Shane Oliver is expecting to relaunch his company soon.

Shane Oliver created Hood by Air in 2004 and after winning several fashion awards, including the CFDA award in 2015, Oliver put HBA on hiatus after being named artist-in-residence at Helmut Lang for the spring/summer 2018 season. Oliver’s tenure at Helmut Lang had mixed reviews and some fashion pundits contended that Oliver was not a good fit.

With Oliver’s return to HBA, the brand will concentrate on “extracting the essential meaning of the brand, the personalization, impact, and storytelling that made HBA so refreshing in the past.” Oliver also contends that, “critical views on materialism and mass culture, offering potential solutions while proposing new models for consumerism.” 

Shane Oliver has expressed no interest in returning HBA to the NYFW calendar. “Fashion weeks, at this point, are no longer for the people that need them,” Oliver told Ssense. “Through runways, these younger kids essentially just become mood boards for bigger corporations who have the capability to push out [their] ideas at a faster, more commercial, more developed rate. I don’t feel the need to be in that conversation. I want to remove the brand from the conversation of just fashion, in general, and allow it to exist outside of the fashion system, so people can really see I am not trying to prove anything or create a vocabulary for the fashion world.”

Image courtesy of retailshoppers.com

Back to brick and mortar

Though there is much talk about the demise of brick and mortars, and how Millennials and Generation Zers prefer to do everything on their Smart phones, a new survey details that Generation Z is more attracted to brick and mortar shopping than browsing online. This survey was conducted by LIM College.

The survey also found that Generation Zers are bigger spenders than Millennials with 60% admitting they update their wardrobes monthly, compared to 44% of Millennials. If given a $1000 gift card, 40% of Generation Zers would prefer to spend the gift card on accessories and apparel, compared to 23% of Millennials.

“Gen Z seems to be more drawn to ‘things’ than the Millennials are and they are keen to buy apparel and fashion accessories for themselves,” said Professor Robert Conrad, one of the faculty members at the Manhattan-based LIM College, who conducted the survey alongside Dr. Kenneth M. Kambara. “This bodes well for the fashion industry.”

The survey interviewed 450 participants between the ages of 15 and 38.

Photographer: Jin Lee/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Macy’s Inc. Layoffs

On Tuesday, Macy’s Inc. announced that it would cut 100 senior department positions as the company seeks to cut costs and improve profitability due to a weak holiday season. This restructuring plan will save Macy’s Inc. $100 million dollars in 2019.

“The steps … will allow us to move faster, reduce costs, and be more responsive to changing customer expectations … These actions impact colleagues who have made strong contributions to the company over the years,” Chief Executive Officer Jeff Gennette said as detailed in a fashionnetwork.com article. These cuts will eliminate over 100 vice presidents and senior management positions.

Macy’s Inc. fourth quarter was better than expected, and as of this past Tuesday Macy’s shares traded 2 percent higher at $24.88 in morning trading.

—William S. Gooch

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