NEW YORK -- Lawrence J. Aiken has found his ticket to France.
Since early January, Sanofi Beaute has been searching for an executive to head its American operations, allowing Aiken, president and chief executive officer of the New York-based subsidiary, to relocate to the parent company's headquarters in Paris.
This week, Aiken got his man in Donald J. Loftus, who for over a year has been president and chief operating officer of Vepro USA Ltd., which markets Gianni Versace's fragrances here.
Loftus will join Sanofi on March 14 as executive vice president and chief operating officer. He will report to Aiken, who plans to leave for his new post on May 1.
In addition to retaining his responsibilities with the American subsidiary, Aiken will join the international management team of Claude Saujet, chairman of Sanofi Beaute SA and Yves Saint Laurent Parfums.
Following Elf-Sanofi's acquisition of YSL last year, Aiken became worldwide president of Sanofi's American brands, which include Oscar de la Renta and Perry Ellis. He has been handling the global responsibilities from New York through a staff in Paris.
"Don will be responsible for the day-to-day running of the company," Aiken said this week. "The seven vice presidents who reported to me will report to him."
The areas of responsibility represented by the vice presidents are finance, human resources, operations, management information systems, sales and the marketing of both the European and American brands.
The new job represents a homecoming for Loftus, who not only once worked for Sanofi, but also for YSL before its acquisition. He was the vice president of sales at YSL from 1988 to 1990 and was recruited by Aiken to hold the same job at Sanofi.
He left Sanofi in October 1992 to join Vepro.
"It's flattering to be called back by a company you had worked for," said Loftus, who was reached in Milan on Wednesday. "The opportunity they are offering me is quite exciting."
Loftus was referring to an upcoming flurry of fragrance launches, including Van Cleef and YSL's Champagne this year and 360° for Men by Perry Ellis in April 1995.Last year, the acquisition of YSL added roughly $50 million to Sanofi's U.S. business, pushing total wholesale volume to $204 million by the end of last year. Aiken declined to give projections, but sources indicate that Sanofi is shooting for $220 million in North American volume this year and $250 million in 1995.
Prior to joining YSL, Loftus worked as a retailer with May Co. Cleveland from 1974 to 1986. In 1976, when he was a department manager of men's wear in the Great Northern branch, his branch divisional merchandise manager was Lawrence J. Aiken.
Noting that this will be the third time the two have worked together, Aiken said, "I told him we'll keep doing it until we get it right."
@tradesy is turning the concept of a showroom upside down with its new space in Santa Monica. Here, the company plans to hold events, art exhibits and a showcase rare fashion pieces like this Louis Vuitton boxing set. Get all the details on Tradesy’s first showroom on WWD.com. #wwdnews
Spotted last night at the @erdem x @hm launch event: Kate Bosworth, Rashida Jones, Kirsten Dunst and Selma Blair. The party, which took place in LA, also marked the opening of their pop-up shop. “I was interested in creating a collection that wasn’t in any way disposable. It was about pieces you’d create and keep forever, things that have a permanence to it,” designer Erdem Moralioglu said. #wwdeye (📷: Katie Jones)
Renee Zellweger in yellow in 2001 and again in 2017. Chosen as one of the 12 @pantone Leading Spring Colors (and dubbed “Meadowlark”), it only makes sense that the bright hue stands the test of time and is making a resurgence this season, seen already on stars like @blakelively and @gigihadid. (📷: Donato Sardello & @rexfeatures) #wwdfashion #tbt
Dior’s 70th anniversary celebration continues with a new exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. “Christian Dior,” which is scheduled to run through March 18, takes a look at the founders tenure from 1947 to 1057 and feature 40 designs. Pictured here is an evening gown from the Ailée, fall 1948-49 haute couture collection. #wwdfashion (📷: Brian Boyle)
As one of the most recognizable models in the world, Christy Turlington Burns has an insider’s view of the fashion industry and the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around it. “I can say that harassment and mistreatment have always been widely known and tolerated in the industry. The industry is surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experiences at some point in our careers,” Turlington told WWD, along with her suggestions for how the modeling world should protect younger women and men. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: Tony Palmieri) #wwdnews
@asics America has tapped a new brand ambassador: famed DJ/record producer @steveaoki. This initiative is intended to set the tone for the new brand identity and philosophy and will include partnerships with influencers and in-store and off-line activations that will continue into next year. This is Asics’ most significant marketing effort in two decades, and is expected to attract younger consumers to the brand. #wwdfashion
24-year-old Jean Prounis is redefining the rules of jewelry. Formerly a studio assistant to Jemima Kirke and a design apprentice at Ghuran, she focuses on handcrafted subtleties and ancient goldsmithing techniques. “There was a really sterile feel in the environment and I wanted to have jewelry with character that shapes how you wear it everyday,” Prounis said. Each piece is hand made in New York, either by Prounis or three other jewelers in the district. #wwdfashion
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews