Bebe announces plans for its transition into an online-only retailer

June 15, 2017

(Photos courtesy of Bebe)

Bebe, the women’s fashion retailer that closed all of its stores this year with plans to still operate online, has announced how the company is making the transition.

The following is a press release from Bebe:

Global Brands Group Holding Limited (“Global Brands” or the “Group”; SEHK Stock Code: 787), one of the world’s leading branded apparel, footwear, and fashion accessories companies, today announced that it will partner with the bebe brand (“bebe”) to relaunch a newly transformed e-commerce platform and its international brick-and-mortar stores designed to meet the heightened shopping expectations of the savvy, confident female consumer.

The announcement represents the first initiative under Global Brands’ direction of bebe’s e-commerce platform, direct-to-consumer divisions and international operations. The Company has also appointed designer Nathan Jenden as Creative Director to lead this effort. Mr. Jenden is well known for his eponymous collections, as well as his time as Creative Director at Diane von Furstenberg.

“bebe is an iconic fashion brand with a loyal, global following,” said Sandra Campos, who was recently appointed President of the bebe division at Global Brands Group. “With Global Brands’ renowned expertise behind us, we see a tremendous opportunity to relaunch a new e-commerce platform that best reflects who our global customer is and how she shops. We are very excited to welcome Nathan on board, as he’s a strong and proven design talent, with a remarkable pulse on keeping up with today’s consumer. He understands who she is, where she’s going, and how she wants to be reached. And we are confident that he is uniquely positioned to best lead the creative vision of the bebe brand.”

Mr. Jenden joins Global Brands Group’s bebe division after spending over a decade working with fashion icon Diane Von Furstenburg, and then catering to a prominent client list that counted music mogul and mega star, Madonna. He launched his own label during New York Fashion Week 2005, and by his third collection, he had Philip Treacy on board for the headpieces, and Christian Louboutin doing the heels – an impactful collaboration, which got him noticed by WWD and the International Herald Tribune. Mr. Jenden studied at Central Saint Martins and the Royal College of Art, and made his foray into the fashion world as an apprentice to John Galliano.

“bebe is one of the original brands in the world of contemporary, chic women’s fashion, which brought something new to market that wasn’t like anything we had ever seen at that time,” said Nathan Jenden. “I believe passionately in the brand’s diverse consumer who adores seductive, decorated and feminine clothes through her life twenty-four seven, and our vision is to target her complete lifestyle from clothes to accessories and beyond. We are looking at what a woman wants now, how she shops, and what she needs, and we’ll seek rich and engaging conversations with our customers to ensure we are part of their integral global community.”

Joseph Gabbay, Chief Executive Officer of Bluestar Alliance LLC, which forged a partnership with bebe stores, inc (Nasdaq: BEBE) in 2016 to create new licensees and product extensions for the brand, commented, “As we continue to build out the wholesale and department store distribution for the bebe brand, it was a natural transition for Global Brands Group to take over the bebe e-commerce platform. Global Brands Group has been a strategic licensee and can now seamlessly synergize the international distribution, e-commerce platform and wholesale business. Our efforts will concentrate on an omni-channel distribution approach to service and expand the bebe customer, both domestically and internationally.” Bluestar Alliance LLC will continue managing the brand with the existing partnership remaining intact.

Ralph Gindi, COO of Bluestar Alliance LLC, also commented, “A robust marketing initiative is set to be shared for the upcoming Fall 2017 season. Since our acquisition less than a year ago, we have introduced two major advertising campaigns. First featuring globally recognized model Irina Shayk, shot on the islands of Greece, followed by the more recent and active campaign featuring model Hailey Clauson. The latter campaign was shot by Luigi & Iango and can been seen today in outlets such as Vogue, Elle & InStyle amongst others. During festival season bebe activated with the campaign #bebefest. Through top funnel marketing, our omni channel approach & efforts yielded 18 Million impressions and new streams of revenue via customer acquisition. As we continue forward our integrated marketing activities in all aspects (print, social media, press & brand marketing) will speak directly to the loyal bebe customer and showcase its DNA, season after season.”

Saks Fifth Avenue in Manhattan opens The Wellery space devoted to wellness

May 11, 2017

Saks Fifth Avenue Wellery
Saks Fifth Avenue Wellery (Photo courtesy of Justin Bridges Photography)

The following is a press release from Saks Fifth Avenue:

Saks Fifth Avenue announces the opening of The Wellery concept shop in New York City’s Manhattan borough. In the first-of-its-kind space, guests can find more than 16,000 square feet of immersive experiences dedicated to wellness. Located on the second floor of the Fifth Avenue flagship at 611 Fifth Avenue at 50th Street, the Saks Wellery features a curated edit of the best products, classes and services in the city for living a healthier and more balanced life. This unique space will be open for a limited time through October 2017.

The Saks Wellery is a lifestyle-centric shopping destination for today’s experience-seeking consumer.  The space is comprised of 22 individual spaces offering visitors the most sought-after fitness classes and equipment, women’s and men’s activewear and athleisure apparel, and skincare products and treatments. A dedicated Saks Wellery concierge is available on-site to direct customers, or help them determine which offerings best suit their wellness needs. The Saks Studio space will host rotating pop-up classes and events from some of the City’s most exciting gyms and fitness programs.


“Saks has a long history of creating breakthrough, experiential environments in our stores—in 1935, an indoor ski slope was constructed in the flagship store in order to offer skiing lessons. The Saks Wellery, our latest concept shop, focused entirely on wellness, continues the Saks tradition of elevating shopping to a higher level by building exciting customer experiences,” said Saks Fifth Avenue Chief Merchant Tracy Margolies. “We want the Saks Wellery to be a sanctuary for our customers—a place to find peace and solace in the middle of our bustling city.”

The Wellery will offer more than 1,200 of the City’s best fitness classes through October. Studios offering fitness classes in dedicated studios include ConBody, a prison-style boot camp using only one’s body weight, and Bendable Body, a specialized stretching method that works on connective tissue. The Saks Studio space will feature rotating pop-up classes from several local companies beginning Saturday, May 13. MNDFL offers meditation classes and the instructors at modelFIT teach class-goers how to move with strength and grace through daily activities. In addition to fitness classes, the Saks Studio will host wellness-focused events, including reiki healing, meditation, massages, and more.

To feel rejuvenated and healed, visitors can visit Breathe Salt Rooms to experience dry salt therapy, then grab a hydrogen-infused HFactor water for the road. For clients in need of a beauty fix, SKINNEY MedSpa offers services including non-invasive body contouring and hi-tech facials, and Sundays nail studio specializes in two-in-one manicures with meditation.

Fitness aficionados can check out and test the latest home gym equipment in showrooms from Technogym, Peloton, and Martone Cycling Co. New York City’s Drive 495, a luxury fitness boutique, offers customized stretching and workout routines aimed at helping clients achieve athletic goals, as well as custom golf club fittings for PXG’s innovative club technology. Heroine Sport, Phat Buddha, Beyond Yoga, S’well, and Alala are just a few of the brands featured in the activewear shop.

Fitness classes throughout the floor can be booked ahead of time through the individual brands’ websites, and walk-ins can stop by the Wellery concierge to check on class availability. The Wellery concierge can be reached by phone at (212) 940-2457.

The complete list of Saks Wellery shops is as follows: Bendable Body, Blink Brow Bar, Bodyism, Breathe Salt Rooms, Care/of, ConBody, Decorté, Drive 495 featuring PXG, Glow Recipe, Greyson Clothiers, Martone Cycling Co., Peloton, Ron Dorff, Saks women’s athleisure shop, Saks Wellery concierge featuring Hfactor, Saks Studio, SKINNEY MedSpa, sundays, Technogym and Trish McEvoy.

Fabletics partners with Demi Lovato for limited-edition capsule collection

May 8, 2017

Demi Lovato for Fabletics
Demi Lovato for Fabletics (Photo courtesy of Fabletics)

The following is a press release from Fabletics:

Fabletics, the innovative activewear brand co-founded by Kate Hudson in 2013, is excited to announce its first-ever collaboration. With the Fabletics mission to empower women by making a healthy, active lifestyle accessible to everyone— regardless of size, shape, age or ability—the new Demi Lovato for Fabletics limited-edition capsule collection reinforces their shared commitment to inclusion, female empowerment and body positivity.

Featuring standout pieces inspired by her mission and her music, the first Demi Lovato for Fabletics collection reflects Demi’s authentic voice of female empowerment and unique style. The collection will support the brand’s ongoing partnership with the United Nations Foundation’s Girl Up campaign—a “by girls, for girls” movement that empowers girls to become a force for change for girls everywhere.

“When we first met, I remember being so impressed by how intelligent, accomplished and confident Demi was, even at such a young age. I loved her spirit, her honesty and how she was open to showing vulnerability, because that shows so much strength. She naturally came to mind as I was thinking about creating our first collaboration for Fabletics. Demi embodies so many elements of the Fabletics brand in such a unique way; she’s a definitive voice for female empowerment and body positivity – especially for the younger generation – which is something we believe in very strongly at Fabletics,” said Kate Hudson.

The Demi Lovato for Fabletics collection will launch with an initial limited edition capsule collection in mid-May 2017, which will include an assortment of tops and leggings, followed by a full performance collection in August 2017 ranging from bras and leggings to layering pieces including tops, jackets and much more.  The collection reflects the fashion meets performance DNA of Fabletics, blended with styles inspired by Demi’s mission, music, and voice of female empowerment.   Of the collaboration, Demi Lovato said: “When I was approached by Kate to do a collaboration for Fabletics, I couldn’t have been more excited.  I am thrilled to lend my voice to such a powerful brand and organization, both of which represent many of the values I stand for—particularly the importance of empowering girls.  Being involved in the creative design process while being able to have a daily impact on young girls’ lives around the world is so rewarding to me, making this initiative very dear to my heart.”

As part of the Fabletics partnership with Girl Up, the brand is dedicated to creating a community that nurtures inspiring, confident, and spirited girls who are able to realize their best selves. By integrating Demi’s authentic voice and passionate influence, Fabletics will further strengthen its efforts to raise funds and awareness for some of the world’s most marginalized adolescent girls, ensuring that they are educated, happy, healthy, safe, and positioned to be leaders in their communities, specifically, with the aim to support one of Girl Up’s priority initiatives, SchoolCycle.

With approximately 130 million girls out of school globally, getting girls to school and keeping them there is of utmost importance. Girl Up’s SchoolCycle initiative works with UNFPA to give girls bikes—along with spare parts and maintenance training—so they can continue their education and travel quickly and safely to and from school. The bikes also give girls independence and mobility to create a better future for themselves, their families, and communities.

The Demi Lovato for Fabletics capsule collection will be sold across 8 countries and will be available on the official website as well as in the 21 Fabletics stores nationwide.

Sarah Jessica Parker to open second SJP store

May 8, 2017

Sarah Jessica Parker wears SJP by Sarah Jessica Parker shoes.
Sarah Jessica Parker wears SJP by Sarah Jessica Parker shoes. (Photo courtesy of Bellagio)

Sarah Jessica Parker is opening a SJP by Sarah Jessica Parker boutique this summer at the Bellagio Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. It will be the second SJP by Sarah Jessica Parker store and the first on the West Coast.

The first SJP by Sarah Jessica Parker opened in December 2016 at Bellagio’s sister property MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland.

Parker commented in an Bellagio press release: “On the heels of our first SJP by Sarah Jessica Parker boutique opening in December, we are thrilled to be opening the doors to a second standalone store with MGM Resorts at Bellagio in Las Vegas this summer. Having our own store has long been a goal we’ve worked  toward and it feels like a dream to be able to do it twice in less than 12 months with such brilliant partners. The expertise, guidance and support that MGM Resorts has brought to the table are unparalleled and we’re honored to be taking this massive next step with them.”

Bellagio president and COO Randy Morton added,  “We are honored Ms. Parker and her team chose Bellagio to debut SJP on the West Coast. The boutique at MGM National Harbor was an immediate phenomenon, creating an energy and excitement rarely found in the retail world. The opportunity to bring Ms. Parker’s brand and passion to Bellagio complements our commitment to creating wow moments for each guest that walks through our doors.”

The boutique will be located in the Promenade retail corridor, taking the place of La Scarpa, which will close in mid-May.

SJP was founded in February 2014 by Sarah Jessica Parker and partner George Malkemus III. The footwear and accessories collection stems from Sarah Jessica’s love for the single sole and vivid memories of New York City fashion in the latter part of the ’70s.

Harris Poll’s 2017 EquiTrend Study lists the top fashion retail brands of the year

April 19, 2017

The Harris Poll’s 29th annual EquiTrend Study reveals 2017’s strongest brands across the media, travel, financial, automotive, entertainment, retail, restaurant, technology, household and nonprofit industries, based on consumer response.

Measuring brand health over time, the EquiTrend Brand Equity Index is comprised of three factors—Familiarity, Quality and Purchase Consideration—that result in a brand equity rating for each brand. According to a Harris Poll press release, the brands ranking highest in equity receive the Harris Poll EquiTrend “Brand of the Year” award for their respective categories. This year, more than 100,000 U.S. consumers assessed more than 4,000 brands across more than 450 categories.

Here are the top-ranking brands in the fashion industry:

Department Store Brand of the Year

Kohl's fashion retail

  1. Kohl’s Department Stores
  2. Macy’s Department Stores
  3. JCPenney Department Stores
Other Department Store brands in study ranked below category average (alphabetically): Belk Department Stores, Dillard’s Department Stores, Sears Department Stores

Footwear Store Brand of the Year

  1. DSW (Designer Shoe Warehouse)
  2. Journey’s Shoe Stores
  3. Foot Locker
  4. Shoe Carnival Stores

Luxury Department Store Brand of the Year

  1. Nordstrom Department Store
  2. Saks 5th Avenue Department Store
Other Luxury Department Store brands in study ranked below category average (alphabetically): Bloomingdale’s Department Store, Lord & Taylor Department Store, Neiman Marcus Department Store


Off-Price Retailer Brand of the Year

  1. TJ Maxx Stores
Other Off-Price Retailer brands in study ranked below category average (alphabetically): Burlington Coat Factory, Marshalls Stores, Ross Dress For Less


L’Officine Universelle Buly sets up shop at Bergdorf Goodman in New York City

 April 18, 2017

L'Officine Universelle Bul
(Photo courtesy of L’Officine Universelle Buly)

L’Officine Universelle Buly, a Paris-based beauty center founded in the 19th century, has opened up a shop at Bergdorf Goodman in New York.  L’Officine’s Bergdorf Goodman outpost, located Bergdorf Goodman’s Beauty Level,  is bedecked in ivory-colored cracked lacquer with brass accents.

According to a L’Officine press release, the store’s furniture was entirely manufactured in France. To mark the occasion, L’Officine Universelle Buly has also sent to New York one of Buly’s original, monumental advertising posters from the 1920s, plucked from its private collection.

White Company makes its U.S. storefront debut in New York City

April 4, 2017

The White Company

The following is an excerpt from a White Company press release:

The White Company is delighted to announce the opening of its first store in New York City this summer. The first international flagship will sit at 155 Fifth Avenue in the Flatiron area of the city and will stock a curated selection of lifestyle, homeware and fashion products across 3,000 square feet. The White Company’s expansion into the States follows its acquisition of a US audience, having launched its US e-commerce site in 2014 –a main contributor to a record growth year for the company, with operating profits of $21.4 million.

Founded by Chrissie Rucker, MBE over 22 years ago, The White Company has become one of the U.K.’s fastest growing multi-channel retailers, topping $229 million turnover, over 1 million customers and more than 50 stores across the U.K. The brand is now synonymous with transforming houses into homes, creating impeccably stylish, beautifully designed products—principally in white – with British town and country heritage at its core. The collection encompasses home accessories, such as candles, tableware and vases; beauty—including a recently launched skincare collection—fragrance, bath and body, alongside an impressive clothing range that includes the softest cashmere sweaters, luxurious loungewear and stylish dresses and accessories. A selection of The Little White Company products featuring good quality, affordable white baby clothes and nursery equipment will also be housed in the new store. In less than half a decade, The White Company has become recognized as the lifestyle destination for homeware, clothing and childrenswear.

Rucker is renowned and celebrated as a leading female entrepreneur, having received an MBE from Her Majesty the Queen in 2010 for outstanding service to the community through her work with The White Company. Her other accolades include: Spears Entrepreneur of The Year Award, The Sunday Times Fast Track 100 league table, Profit Track 100 Best Brand Award and Private Businesswoman of the Year from the Financial Times in 2012. Unable to find well-designed quality bed linen, Rucker was inspired to create an assortment of essentials for the linen cupboard, including pillowcases, fitted sheets and luxury towels; all in what has now become the iconic “white” of the brand. Starting as a 12-page mail order brochure, The White Company has become one of the U.K.’s fastest-growing multi-channel retailers and is now considered one of the most successful high-end British brands with a reputation of selling a lifestyle, not simply a product.

Ashley Stewart launches first concept store in Newark

April 3, 2017

Ashley Stewart Newark
Ashley Stewart Newark (Photo courtesy of Ashley Stewart)

The following is an excerpt from an Ashley Stewart press release:

Ashley Stewart, the premier lifestyle destination for plus-size women’s fashion, announced today that it has unveiled it’s first-ever concept store in Newark, New Jersey. To serve Ashley’s community of women, the new 4,500 square feet store offers a completely revolutionary shopping experience. Coined “The Ashley Stewart Lab,” the shop houses a full range of branded apparel, jewelry and handbags, and for the first-time ever, incorporates a social lounge, which ultimately houses a marketplace dedicated to a curated selection of Ashley’s favorite non-apparel brands.

In a move to engage customers into Ashley’s incredibly powerful, women-driven social universe, the concept store features a social lounge that serves as a fashion haven for girlfriends to gather and celebrate their curves.  The store also has large fitting rooms that lead to a runway-ready lounge, complete with a digital display that streams the brand’s Ashley TV multimedia content. To customize the shopping experience, the store also features dedicated vignettes, including a Casual Shop, Career Shop and Intimates Shop, all for women who love their curves.

As the first brick-and-mortar opening since the reinvention of Ashley Stewart in 2013, this new store marks a significant move for the brand because it is also a return to Newark; a city that encompasses many of the same traits – perseverance, resilience, and hope – which drove Ashley Stewart to prevail.

“We are particularly excited for Ashley Stewart’s return to Newark,” remarked Nicole Goodman, Manager of Ashley Stewart Newark. “In many ways Ashley is reconnecting with a good friend from the past, and we are thrilled to give her something to talk about with this new store concept.

The new Ashley Stewart store is located in the Springfield Avenue Marketplace at 204 Springfield Avenue, Newark, New Jersey and is the retail chain’s 90th store. To celebrate the opening, Ashley Stewart had an opening party for their Divas on April 1 and will have a ribbon cutting with the Newark Community Economic Development Corporation and Mayor Ras Baraka on April 13, 2017.

On April 22, 2017, Ashley Stewart will host Finding Ashley Stewart 2017 at the store. The event is the fourth of eight stops on a national tour which, combined with an online search for finalists this summer, which will culminate in New York City with a grand finale in September. This nationwide search will award the title of “Ashley Stewart 2017” to a woman who embodies and exudes the confidence, strength and fierceness that has become synonymous with Ashley Stewart.

New York & Company partners with Gabrielle Union for fashion line, brand ambassador deal

March 31, 2017

Gabrielle Union
(Photo courtesy of New York & Company)

The following is an excerpt from a New York & Company press release:

New York & Company has partnered with actress Gabrielle Union to be the face of the Company’s 7th Avenue Design Studio beginning in April and will launch her own namesake collection, exclusive to New York & Company, in August.

The 7th Avenue Design Studio is a sub-brand within New York & Company that includes chic dresses, modern suiting, and versatile separates. Customers will see Gabrielle’s campaign in stores and online as well as in print advertising, digital marketing, and social media.

The specialty retailer’s 7th Avenue Design Studio collection was largely inspired by hit show “Being Mary Jane,” a TV series produced by and starring the award-winning actress. Gabrielle’s character, Mary Jane Paul, embodies a specific New York & Company customer—the career woman who needs easy and effortless styles that are polished and on-trend. “Mary Jane’s style reflects power, leadership, and risk taking. She wears classic styles but with a twist, which is why I think she’d definitely shop at New York & Company,” Gabrielle explains.

Later this year, New York & Company will expand the partnership further by introducing an exclusive namesake collection designed by Gabrielle. New York & Company CEO Greg Scott stated, “Our customers will relate to Gabrielle. She has worked hard to establish a successful career and is both, aspirational and inspirational to our consumer. Gabrielle’s collection will be unlike anything our customers have ever seen from us. Adding her brand to our portfolio will strongly appeal to our loyal clients and will also attract new customers to our brand. It will be significant to our growth strategy in 2017.”

The launch of this partnership is a “whole new game” for Union. She shares, “I am excited to work with a brand that’s known for embracing diversity and that caters specifically to women—especially women who want to look on-point without breaking the bank. I can’t wait to show everyone what I’ve been working on!”


Karlie Kloss x Express Collection debuts

March 30, 2017

Karlie Kloss
Karlie Kloss (Photo courtesy of Express)

Fashion retailer Express and supermodel Karlie Kloss have teamed up for the Karlie Kloss x Express Collection, which debuts on March 30, 2017. According to an Express press release, Kloss and Express are set to reveal the collection (which consists of 17 styles) at a live fashion show featuring innovators, game changers, and go-getters as runway models in Kloss’ hometown of St. Louis, Missouri. The event, which will be webcast at 7 p.m. Central Time on Express’ official Facebook page, will also feature live DJ sets by Hannah Bronfman and a special musical performance by Charli XCX. The collection is available online on March 30, 2017 after the event and in Express stores on March 31, 2017. Pieces in the collection (which include T-shirts, blazers, maxi dresses and bombers) have a price range from $24.90 to  $168.00 (U.S. dollars).

Karlie Kloss and Express selected the inspiring individuals who will appear in the runway show via a contest where applicants uploaded videos to Instagram, explaining how they live their best life and empower others to do the same. Kloss is also featured in Express’ “Your Life, Your Dress Code” campaign, which launched in late February 2017.