Blacks Retail Analysis

Luxury Menswear Gets Boost From Denim, Custom Clothing

Men's denim sales soar 138.7% in December while suits, pants and neckwear suffer double-digit drops.

San Francisco, CA, February 17, 2006 --( Sales of men’s denim and custom-made clothing surged in December while suits and casual pants saw double-digit losses, according to Blacks Retail Analysis.

December sales of jeans skyrocketed 138.7%* in better men’s stores, indicating that the denim bubble has yet to burst, despite a drop of 18.4% in denim sales for November. Better men’s brands such as Diesel, Agave, Zegna and Rock & Republic led sales, according to data collected from Blacks’s pool of luxury merchants.

Custom clothing continued to sew up sales, showing a 51.7% increase over December of 2004. The custom clothing market is being driven by the demand for luxury fabrics and special treatments.

Casual pants and stock suits lacked cheer during the holiday season, falling by 23.1% and 20.2%, respectively. With the drop in suit sales, neckwear also suffered. Sales of neckwear declined 14.9% in December.

“Custom clothing will continue to drive sales in better stores as clothing junkies look to round out their wardrobe with specialty items,” said Blacks Consultant Scarlet Pruitt.

Sales of denim in better stores will start to cool, however, since many shoppers have already filled their wardrobes with weekend denim wear, Blacks predicts.

* All numbers represent 2005 year-over-year data

About Blacks Retail Analysis
Blacks Retail Analysis provides professional retail services and information for the luxury apparel and fine jewelry markets. Each month Blacks collects data from its portfolio of high-end apparel merchants to track sales and predict future trends. Our industry analysts draw on over 30 years of experience to help clients increase margins, manage change and keep on the cutting edge of market trends.

Blacks Retail Analysis
Scarlet Pruitt
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