Stock Surge: Luxury stocks surged Thursday on the Paris bourse after China lifted its long-standing travel ban on group tours to more than 70 locations, with immediate effect.
China’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism said Thursday it had ended its ban on group tours to 78 locations in the Asia-Pacific region, Europe, North America and Africa, three years after it was instigated to stem the spread of the coronavirus, in early 2020.
Chinese travelers can now visit the U.S., Japan, South Korea, the U.K., German and Australia, among other locales.
Beijing dropped its zero-COVID-19 policy in December 2022, then the following month allowed for group tours to 20 countries. That number was expanded to 60 in March.
Other French luxury stocks ending Thursday up included Dior couture, with a 2.7 percent gain to 781.50 euros, and Kering with a 2.2 percent rise to 528.40 euros.
“The Chinese used to spend 70 percent of their luxury budget when traveling abroad pre-COVID[-19]. And while we believe some of the spend repatriation to China will sustain, there is still about 50 percent of spend we expect to happen abroad, as Chinese customers take advantage of the [approximately] 30 percent lower prices and tax advantages,” wrote Maria Meiță, Bernstein consumer sector specialist, in a research note. “Our top picks in this scenario are LVMH, Kering, Shiseido and Estée [Lauder Cos.].” — JENNIFER WEIL and TIANWEI ZHANG
A limited-time only collection of more than 100 pieces of men’s, women’s and children’s apparel, accessories, home, outdoor play and pet products will be offered beginning Sept. 23. Prices will start at $5, with most pieces under $30.
“For nearly 25 years, Target has partnered with some of the biggest and brightest names in the industry, bringing guests on-trend designs at an incredible value,” said Jill Sando, executive vice president and chief merchandising officer for the retailer. “This fall, we’re teaming up with Rowing Blazers, a brand known for putting a fresh, colorful twist on American classics.”
Rowing Blazers was founded in 2017 by Jack Carlson, who has a Ph.D. in archaeology from Oxford University, was a coxswain on the U.S. national rowing team, and is the author of “A Humorous Guide to Heraldry” and “Rowing Blazers,” a coffee-table book about the “authentic striped, piped, trimmed and badged” jackets worn by oarsman around the world. He has collaborated with a wide array of brands including Sperry Top-Sider, Fila Noah, Eric Emanuel and even John’s Pizza. Earlier this year, he formed the Blazer Group, a brand platform and design house that signed long-term or perpetual licenses for little-known or dormant heritage labels including British brands Warm & Wonderful and Gyles & George — both favorites of the late Princess Diana — as well as the lifestyle brand Arthur Ashe, founded by the late American tennis icon.
“Working with Target on this partnership is a dream come true,” said Carlson. “My vision for the Rowing Blazers brand is based on the idea of taking the classics and making them fun, interesting and approachable. This collaboration allows us to be more accessible than ever — with first-time products for Rowing Blazers like children’s clothing and home decor.”
The Rowing Blazers x Target collection will offer updated staples such as rugby shirts, crewnecks, blazers, trousers and jackets in sizes from XXS-5X. The collection will be offered online as well as in select Target stores. — JEAN E. PALMIERI
Copenhagen Concept: Swedish label J.Lindeberg has set up big shop in Copenhagen, Denmark, for its flagship in a space previously occupied by Burberry.
The store opens on Friday right after Copenhagen Fashion Week concludes.
“We’re excited to bring our new store concept to Copenhagen to keep connecting J.Lindeberg with the world. The new store is innovative, active and engaging, and shows our mission to bridge the unexpected and keep breaking conventions,” said Hans-Christian Meyer, CEO of J.Lindeberg.
The space takes after a clean and minimal aesthetic of stonewash walls and gray marble benches with silver iron fixtures designed by Thibaut Allgayer. Three gray robotic arms are installed as a nod to technology and digitalization.
In June, the brand set up a three-month summer pop-up at Harrods.
The 280-square-foot space offered a selection of the summer holiday collection, which is inspired by the vibrant spirit of Miami and the laid-back atmosphere of the Swedish west coast.
The space was accompanied by a window display featuring two melting purple coconut trees, with a blue polo shirt and a pair of zebra shorts hanging on one of them.
Meyer said activations with key fashion players like Harrods present “a great opportunity to bring our brand to life and showcase our latest collection at one of the world’s most prestigious retail destinations.”
Under the leadership of Meyer, who used to work as president of retail for Ralph Lauren’s European operations, revenue has more than doubled over the past two years, increasing from $60 million in 2020 to $130 million last year, with further growth expected this year.
While it’s primarily known for its golfwear in the U.S., the brand, which was founded by Johan Lindeberg, the former marketing director of Diesel, in 1996, has been adopting a more fashion-focused positioning.
Fashion product now accounts for 40 percent of the brand’s global sales, and is set to take up even higher percentages in the future. — HIKMAT MOHAMMED
Trunk Show: Moda Operandi will launch its second curated trunk show with the Fifteen Percent Pledge, a nonprofit organization that calls on retailers and corporations to dedicate 15 percent of their purchasing power to Black-owned businesses, on Friday. While the first trunk show collaboration in March featured ready-to-wear, this one will highlight three fine jewelry designers and three home brands selected in partnership with Moda Operandi and the Fifteen Percent Pledge.
The trunk show aims to not only increase visibility for Black brands and designers, which have faced multiple barriers when trying to increase their recognition — with 67 percent reporting that they have faced microaggressions in their work — but also provide an opportunity for Black entrepreneurs to grow their businesses.
The fine jewelry brands are V.Bellan, A.M. Thorne and Dan-yell. The home brands are Keraclay, Porcelain Sneakerhead and Jomo Tariku.
“Our customer is perpetually looking for new brands and great product. This trunk show showcases just that from a number of exciting BIPOC [Black, Indigenous, people of color] businesses,” said Ryan Kleman, Moda Operandi’s accessories designer. Gabby Cadet, fashion office associate added, “We worked closely with the Fifteen Percent Pledge team to select brands and pieces that would resonate with our customer. From unique gemstones with individuality with A.M. Thorne, soft geometric forms with Dan-yell, and handcrafted classic cool with V.Bellan, we curated a jewelry selection with a story to tell. In Home, Jomo Tariku creates modern African-inspired furniture, Keraclay creates sustainable ceramics made from recycled clay, and Porcelain Sneakerhead brings a touch of whimsy and irony with her Instagram-famous ceramic sneaker.” — LISA LOCKWOOD
Pay Problems: A month after resolving winding-up petitions filed by a pool of U.K.-based creditors, luxury lingerie brand La Perla has allegedly failed to pay its Italian staffers this month, according to a note issued by local trade unions.
The Filctem-Cgil and Uiltec-Uil unions said in a joint statement that the company, now owned by German businessman Lars Windhorst’s private equity firm Tennor, and based in London, did not pay wages to its Bologna, Italy-based employees this month. They unpaid workers reportedly total 350.
“We consider this as an act of utmost seriousness which confirms the caliber of the management’s commitment to the La Perla Group,” the unions said. “In consideration of this umpteenth act of disdain from La Perla’s management team we urge [parties] to gather at a round table at the ministry [of Enterprises and Made in Italy],” they added.
Unions claim the ministry has yet to summon the parties to find a way forward for the company’s operations in Italy although the Emilia-Romagna region and the city of Bologna have both urged it to do so.
La Perla representatives did not immediately respond to requests for comment Thursday.
In the U.K. the brand had been served winding-up notices in past months by Purple PR; the accountancy firm Mazars; the design agency Edge Retail, and the consultancy firm HSO Enterprise Solutions. Petitions have since been withdrawn after La Perla paid its debts, as reported last month, except for the latter, as the company still owes HSO Enterprise Solutions more than 701,129 pounds, and a winding-up petition was still pending last month.
The troubled innerwear brand has been searching for new revenue streams and has expanded into beauty and swimwear. It became one of the first brands to join Amazon Luxury Stores. The company also invested $50 million into the now-shuttered British couture house Ralph & Russo. — MARTINO CARRERA
FGI Dallas: The Dallas chapter of Fashion Group International will present Christian Siriano with an award for Achievement in Fashion at its annual Night of Stars gala on Nov. 10 at the Ritz-Carlton, Dallas.
Known for red-carpet creations, Siriano founded his label in 2008 after winning Season Four of TV’s “Project Runway” design competition, where he has served as a mentor to contestants each season since 2019. The runway show he mounts at the gala will celebrate the 15th anniversary of his business, according to event cochair Cristina Graham.
FGI Dallas’s Night of Stars will also pay tribute to model and diversity activist Bethann Hardison for Lifetime Legacy and New Orleans pop artist Ashley Longshore for Exuberance in Art. In addition, Elle magazine editor in chief and “Project Runway” judge Nina Garcia will be honored for Excellence in Media. Fern Mallis, who was feted as an Icon of Innovation at last year’s FGI Dallas Night of Stars, is honorary chair.
The event unites people across Dallas’s fashion and design industries while raising funds for scholarships. Tickets starting at $500 go on sale Sept. 1 at fgidallas.muradbid.com. — HOLLY HABER