LONDON — It’s official.Breitling has confirmed that former Richemont executive Georges Kern will join the Swiss watchmaker as chief executive officer and become a shareholder in the company that was purchased by CVC Capital Partners earlier this year.The Breitling statement confirms an earlier report in WWD on Monday.Kern was most recently head of watchmaking, marketing and digital, a new position, at Compagnie Financière Richemont. Prior to that, he was ceo of IWC from 2002 to 2016, where he repositioned the brand. He began his career at Kraft General Foods, and moved into the watch industry in 1992 after joining Tag Heuer.Kern studied political science and business administration in Strasbourg, France and St. Gallen, Switzerland, respectively.Breitling said Kern’s mission will be to foster its global development and to focus on further building the brand's digital and retail footprint, “especially with a view to accelerating growth in the important Asian markets.”Théodore Schneider, who sold a majority stake to CVC and became chairman of Breitling, said Kern’s “extensive experience and knowledge of the luxury watch industry and his creativity will further accelerate Breitling's growth momentum.” Schneider continues to hold a 20 percent stake in the company.Jean-Paul Girardin, the former ceo, will remain with Breitling as vice president.In April, CVC took an 80 percent stake in Breitling via its Fund VI. Breitling was one of Switzerland’s last remaining family-owned, independent watchmakers.“Using our network and expertise, CVC will work to make this global, iconic brand even more renowned and help shape the future of one of Switzerland’s last independent watch manufacturers,” Daniel Pindur, senior managing director at CVC, said after purchasing the company in April.“Specifically, we see significant growth potential for Breitling in both existing and new geographies by driving the digitization of the marketing and distribution channels in the company, helping to enrich the product and customer experience.”Breitling was founded in 1884 and is based in Grenchen, Switzerland. The company employs 900 people and operates two domestic manufacturing facilities.
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast