FIRMENICH CHAIR: Vernon Sankey has been elected chairman of Firmenich’s board of directors. He replaces Jean-Marc Bruel, who will retire from the role after an eight-year tenure. Sankey, who took up the chairman role Thursday, joined Firmenich’s board in 2006. He is also a member of the boards of Zurich Financial Services AG and Atos Origin SA. Bruel joined Firmenich’s board in 1995 and was named chairman in 2000. He was the firm’s first nonfamily chairman since Firmenich was founded in 1895. In other Firmenich news, the privately owned firm reported sales for the year ended June 30 hit 2.85 billion Swiss francs, or $2.52 billion at current exchange. That equates to a 13.5 percent increase in Swiss francs and an 18.4 percent hike in local currencies. Its perfumery division generated double-digit growth in the period. “In fine fragrance we achieved a robust sales progression and again posted the highest win rate for new market launches,” the firm stated. LONG ROAD TO CVS: The battle for Longs Drug Stores may be finally over. Walgreen Co. chief executive Jeffrey A. Rein issued a letter to Longs Drug Stores stating it was withdrawing its takeover offer of about $2.8 billion. The letter states Longs refused to “engage in a constructive dialogue.” Last month, Longs decided to accept a lower bid from CVS Caremark.
REGIS UP: Salon operator Regis Corp. posted first-quarter revenues of $680.2 million, a 1.9 percent increase from $667.5 million in the same period a year ago, as overall same-store sales slipped by 1.6 percent. Hair services accounted for the bulk of sales at the 13,500-unit chain, generating 70.3 percent of revenues, or $478.1 million, while product sales accounted for 28.1 percent of revenues, or $191.4 million. “Consumers are cutting back and as a result we are seeing a slowdown in spending and visitation patterns,” Paul D. Finkelstein, chairman and chief executive officer of Regis, said of effects of the economic environment on same store sales. He added that first-quarter earnings from operations are now expected to be near or slightly below the low end of the firm’s guidance range of 41 to 47 cents a share.
PIER 1 VENTURE: Pier 1 Imports Inc. is taking a bigger stride into beauty. The 1,100-store retailer, which began carrying a spa product line from Thailand called Prann a year ago and added a body care line from Israel called Nature’s Minerals in July, is poised to launch no less than five collections of bath and body care products and accessories for spring. The lines, which include monikers like Freesia, Seaside Mist and Pink Grapefruit, were unveiled during a press event at Gary’s Loft this week. Prices across the different lines range from $1.50 to $30, and the collections are slated to be launched during January, February and April. L’OREAL MASTERS: L’Oréal is going back to school. The French beauty giant is sponsoring the law and business ethics masters degree at the University of Cergy-Pontoise, in France’s Val-d’Oise department. The program will begin in 2009. “It is the first diploma of its kind in Europe,” said Emmanuel Lulin, L’Oréal’s director of ethics and sponsor of the law and business ethics masters class of 2009. “Business ethics is a complex subject, which needs to be addressed with humility and determination. The global leaders of tomorrow are those companies who have integrated ethics into their strategic planning but also [into] their everyday business practices.” L’Oréal also supports the university’s law and business ethics chair, which was created in July 2007.
RAMOS DEBUT: Hairstylist Robert Ramos launched his namesake hair care line at the Estilo Salon in Los Angeles Monday night. Ramos’ Hollywood client list includes Jessica Alba, who attended the launch event with husband Cash Warren and actress Jaime King, and Bette Midler, whose tresses Ramos handles for her Las Vegas shows. Robert Ramos Products includes four, 8-oz. items: Daily Moisture Shampoo for $23, Daily Moisture Conditioner for $23, Spray Leave-In Conditioner for $25 and Volumizer for $31. Ramos called the Volumizer, which contains hydrolyzed algae and rice protein, the star of the initial selection. “It was important to me to have something that would give you body and volume, but wouldn’t beat up your hair,” he said. “The algae really seals the hair and protects it from environmental assault, and the rice protein gives you the texture and the body.” The line is sold at Estilo and robertramos.com, and Ramos expects it to generate $250,000 in first-year sales.
“My personal philosophy to beauty is paying attention to oneself. I love to be outdoors, lots of fresh air, trying to take care of yourself as best you can. I always notice that comes through,” says Felicity Jones, the global face of @shiseido-owned @cledepeaubeauteus, which launches today. Head to WWD.com to read more about the actress’ love for beauty and how she prepared for her new role in “The Basis of Sex,” playing the young Ruth Bader Ginsburg. #wwdbeauty (📷: @dandoperalski)
For men’s fall 2018, @giuseppezanotti drew on elements from streetwear, sport, biker, combat and rock ‘n’ roll. Pictured here are a pair of shoes from the collection, featuring zippers, rhinestones, and silver hardware. Head to WWD.com to see a roundup of the accessories from Milan’s men’s fall 2018 shows. #wwdfashion (📷: Andrea Delb)
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of @ralphlauren’s snowboarding collection, the brand is mining its archives. The iconic brand is reintroducing vintage styles and dropping new designs for a color capsule that will be available in Ralph Lauren stores and @openingceremony on January 25. The capsule will consist of 10 pieces, including the Snow Beach Pullover, pictured here, which is a collector’s item that rapper Raekwon wore in Wu-Tang Clan’s “Can It Be All So Simple” video. #wwdfashion (📷: Tom Gould)
For @rochasofficial’s pre-fall 2018 collection, creative director Alessandro Dell’Acqua channeled the sophisticated and intriguing Catherine Denevue in the film “Belle de Jour.” Polished collarless coats, midi skirts, suits and ’60s graphic motifs were all featured in the collection, adding a sense of discreet luxury. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion
“We tried to produce clothing of that couture quality, but the most daunting part was that we only had a matter of days [to do it],” said costume designer Lou Eyrich, who recreated Gianni Versace’s iconic looks for @americancrimestoryfx. Eyrich searched online retailers and vintage shops for original pieces from the design house and for @penelopecruzoficial, who plays Donatella Versace. Head to WWD.com to read how she created the Versace world. #wwdfashion
Only three months after her stellar debut catwalk season, @kaiagerber has inked her first big design collaboration –– with @karllagerfeld. The collection blends Lagerfeld’s Parisian chic aesthetic and the model’s signature West Coast casual style via RTW, accessories, footwear and more. The #KarlLagerfeldxKaia collection will launch in September with a series of events. Get all the details on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion
Harrods plans to remove the famous statue of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed from the bottom of the Egyptian escalators and hand it back to Mohamed Al-Fayed. “We are very proud to have played our role in celebrating the lives of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed at Harrods and to have welcomed people from around the world to visit the memorial for the past 20 years,” said Michael Ward, Harrods managing director. “With the announcement of the new official memorial statue to Diana, Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace, we feel that the time is right to return this memorial to Mr. Al Fayed and for the public to be invited to pay their respects at the palace.” More on the news, with reporting by @loreleimarfil, at WWD.com. #wwdnews