Weekend briefing: China remains a question mark in fashion plans for 2023

There is a lot of discussion in the industry about what is happening in China and how to prepare for tough global economic times. Nobody knows what to expect. Read on for analysis, as well as a look at Thom Browne’s Adidas lawsuit and a preview of February’s NYFW schedule. Don’t forget to subscribe to the Glossy Podcast for interviews with fashion industry leaders and Week in Review episodes, and the Glossy Beauty Podcast for interviews from the beauty industry. – Danny Parisi, sr. fashion reporter

As more results from the holiday shopping season came in, it became clear that not all retailers fared equally. JD Sports, for example, experienced a 20% increase in profits during the holiday shopping season, reaching more than $1.2 billion in annual revenue. On the luxury side, companies such as LVMH have had booming sales. Meanwhile, Asos and Uniqlo recorded sales declines of 3% and 2% respectively.

This inequality is related to several factors. Uniqlo blamed its sales decline on a slowdown in China, while Hermès saw higher sales in China. JD attributed its growth to higher holiday spending, while Asos blamed its reduced sales on shortages.

As inflation, recession and the end of the Covid-19 quarantine in China are poised to change the priorities of the global fashion industry, brands are left with a confusing array of data and the difficult task of trying to predict what will happen next.

Some brands predict that China will recover strongly and, like Hermès, are opening new stores there. Meanwhile, Takeshi Okazaki, CFO of Uniqlo’s parent company Fast Retailing, is less confident about China’s resurgence, telling reporters on Thursday: “The situation in China has changed drastically in the space of a month.”

Thom Browne wins the stripes

As we wrote in the previous episode of the Glossy Week in Review podcast, Thom Browne was embroiled in a legal battle with Adidas over the use of stripes. While Adidas’ iconic three-stripe logo is known around the world, Browne claimed it was different from the four-stripes he uses on some of his designs. Adidas was happy with that distinction until Thom Browne started entering Adidas territory: sportswear.

But now a judge has ruled that Thom Browne can continue to use his four-stripe pattern. The jury reportedly took less than three hours to reach its verdict.

Designers return to NYFW

Speaking of Thom Browne, the designer returns to New York next month for fashion week after a few seasons away. It helps that he now heads the Council of Fashion Designers of America, which announced its schedule last week.

And Browne is not the only designer returning to New York or appearing in New York for the first time. Rodarte opens the week, returning to the event after only performing in Los Angeles last season. Heron Preston has only performed in LA so far, but is traveling to New York for the first time for this season’s NYFW. This past September, NYFW was alive in a way it hadn’t been in several seasons. For the upcoming season, other mainstays such as Collin Strada will remain, while several well-known brands – Tom Ford, Tommy Hilfiger – will be absent.

Still, with more and more returning designers, there’s growing evidence that NYFW is returning to its status as an industry mega-event.

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