Paris at the center of the fashion universe

No competition

  • Paris Fashion Week runs from February 28 to March 8
  • The shows take place even as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has captured the world’s attention. The fashion industry is preparing for economic ripple effects.
  • Virgil Abloh’s latest collection, for Off-White, will be presented on February 28; American brands The Row, Vaquera and Chinese Rui are the latest brands to leave behind national fashion weeks for Paris

As soon as a designer starts having phrases like “highly anticipated collection” and “gaining traction,” “will show their next collection in Paris” often follows. It’s no mystery why – Louis Vuitton, Dior, Balenciaga, Chanel, Saint Laurent and other billion-dollar brands attract unparalleled international crowds. The migration has slowed down a bit in recent years, partly because of the pandemic, partly because there weren’t many brands left in New York and London that had the buzz and the dollars to show in Paris (the one of the exceptions was Cecilie Bahnsen, the former Copenhagen Fashion Week star, who took the plunge last year). But now that the schedule has fully recovered, the pipeline has reopened, with Vaquera and The Row leaving New York to show off this week. Nanushka (from Hungary) and Rui (China), along with a handful of others, are also joining the program.

One of the most watched events of the week is likely to be Off-White’s show. The brand created by Virgil Abloh will present the late designer’s latest ready-to-wear collection. Monday night’s tribute show is also expected to contain a few surprises and industry insiders will be looking for clues as to how the brand (now under the control of LVMH where Abloh worked as Louis Vuitton’s men’s artistic director) intends to write its future. .

Also in Paris on Friday, Dior will reopen its flagship store after a major renovation and expansion. Sales of the LVMH-owned brand are estimated to have tripled in the past five years, and the brand is likely to have spared no expense to redo the key location, which is located at the same Avenue Montaigne address where Christian Dior founded the brand in 1946. .

The essential : Paris Fashion Week will take place against the backdrop of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. While the shows continue, the world’s attention may be elsewhere. In the longer term, analysts believe that the economic ripple effects of the war could also threaten the strength of the luxury sector.

Nordstrom High-Stakes Earnings Report

  • Nordstrom to Release Fourth Quarter Results on Tuesday, March 1
  • Despite strong demand for apparel in 2021, the retailer has yet to return to pre-pandemic sales levels
  • Investors and analysts will examine the performance of Nordstrom’s non-price channel, Nordstrom Rack, a weaker segment compared to its larger banner stores

Nordstrom has a lot of catching up to do. The majority of U.S. retailers had a banner year in 2021, with apparel sales soaring well beyond 2019 levels. It was the perfect storm: pent-up demand from the pandemic, tight inventory levels due to supply chain issues and the general willingness of consumers to pay a little more for dresses and pants. Even struggling mall chains like Macy’s and Express have benefited from these factors. But not Nordström.

In all of its previous 2021 quarterly earnings reports, Nordstrom posted lower net sales than the same periods in 2019. Macy’s, on the other hand, topped its pre-pandemic sales performance in the second and third quarters. Part of Nordstrom’s struggle is its overpriced Nordstrom Rack segment. In the third quarter, Nordstrom Rack sales were down 8% from the same period in 2019. Rack accounts for about a third of Nordstrom’s revenue.

The essential: Before the pandemic, Nordstrom was seen as a bright spot in a struggling industry. Another disappointing quarter will cast doubt on the future of any type of department store, even those with forward-thinking store formats and e-commerce prowess.

Cathaleen Chen contributed to this article.

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