MONTE CARLO — Diego Della Valle, chairman and chief executive officer of Tod’s SpA, insists his 6 percent holding in Saks Inc. is a family investment, and declined to comment whether he plans to increase his stake in the department store group.
In an interview on the sidelines of the FT Business of Luxury conference here, Della Valle also said he doesn’t plan to revive Schiaparelli, the long-dormant Parisian fashion house, before 2011, but remains optimistic about a recovery for luxury markets in the near term.
Della Valle created a stir in the industry last month when it emerged he had increased his holding in Saks to 5.9 percent between Feb. 20 and May 7, for a total consideration of $30.3 million.
“I believe it’s a great U.S. brand, and I have personally known their management for many years,” he said. Although Tod’s operates stand-alone stores in the U.S., its signature loafers and handbags are also on sale at Saks.
Della Valle, who in addition to running Tod’s sits on the board of French luxury group LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton and owns Italy’s Fiorentina soccer club, is the latest entrepreneur to take an interest in Saks, which has been the subject of takeover speculation. Mexican telecoms and retailer magnate Carlos Slim Helú is Saks’ largest shareholder, with an 18.6 percent holding. Della Valle said he plans to meet him “as soon as practical.”
Like other retailers in the U.S., Saks has been hard hit by the downturn in luxury spending in the country. However, Della Valle said he remains optimistic U.S. consumers will soon reacquire a taste for shopping.
“After the summer break, there are likely to be signals that people will be inclined to get out and buy something,” he said, although he cautioned these moves won’t immediately translate into a significant sales improvement for the luxury goods industry.
“Around Christmas, we will start to see — if not in the numbers, at least in the prevailing mood — a consumer that is overcoming the crisis,” Della Valle added, noting Tod’s foresees the conditions to increase its profitability once markets begin to show an improvement. He declined to quantify the extent of the increase.
In addition to Tod’s, Della Valle’s company sells apparel, accessories and luxury shoes under the Hogan, Fay and Roger Vivier brands. His family also acquired the rights in 2007 to couture house Schiaparelli, which has been closed since 1954.
As a Schiaparelli revival isn’t imminent, no designer has yet been chosen for the task. “This is not the right time, there’s too much to do at Tod’s,” he said, adding that at the moment, the company is focusing on luxury shoe brand Roger Vivier. “I hope that markets will have stabilized when we are ready for Schiaparelli.”
My character, Dinah Madani, is just the coolest, [most] badass woman imaginable," says @amberroserevah. The actress stars in @marvel's newest series on @netflix, @thepunisher. To prepare for her role, Revah sat down with Homeland agents to get a real sense of with Dinah's day-to-day life is really like. Read our full interview on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
A scene from the 91st annual @macys Thanksgiving Day Parade. The parade, which boasts 50 million TV viewers and 3.5 million on-site spectators, is considered one of the largest and most watched parades in the world. (📷: Jason Szenes/EPA-REX)
The circus came to @bloomingdales 59th Street on Tuesday night and lit up Lexington Avenue with acrobatic dancers, death-defying knife throwing, sword swallowing and aerial acts with no net. The 45 minutes of theatrics built up to unveiling the holiday windows depicting @swarovski crystal-encrusted circus pieces and scenes from “The Greatest Showman” – songs from the soundtrack included. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: Joshua Scott)
The psychedelic fashion that pervaded the ’60s is back with an exhibit at the @museumofcityny. “Mode New York: Fashion Takes a Trip” chronicles the changing styles from 1960 through 1973 and features designers such as @ysl, @oscardelarenta and more. The exhibition, which is on display through April 1, is organized into four periods: First Lady Fasion, Youthquake, New Bohemia and New Nonchalance. Pictured here is model Pat Bardonella during the Garvey Day Parade in 1968. (📷: @kwamebphoto) #wwdeye #wwdfashion
“People should be a lot more honest in expressing both the dark and light of themselves. We need to give each other the space to do that because it’s the only way we can grow and evolve,” says @noelwells of her new film “Mr. Roosevelt,” which is largely based on her own struggles. Unexpectedly leaving @nbcsnl in 2014 after just one season, Wells felt set back in her self-esteem and career trajectory. She quickly refocused her energy to more personal projects, which led to the completion of “Mr. Roosevelt.” Read the rest of WWD’s interview with the “Master of None” actress on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
@barbrastreisand is giving fans a chance to see her perform up close in a new concert series, which makes its debut on @Netflix today. From behind-the-scenes takes to her concert performance in Miami last December, the two-hour streaming special captures Streisand in her element. Pictured here is the singer/actress photographed for WWD in 1963. (📷: Palmieri Tony) #wwdeye #wwdarchive
@chanel and @pharrell dropped what’s being dubbed as the world’s most exclusive sneakers yesterday. The Adidas Originals NMD Hu, which Williams designed in collaboration with Chanel and @adidasoriginals, has a waiting list of over 120K people who pre-registered online at chanelatcolette.fr –– and only 500 pairs are on sale. The singer predicted the resale value of the shoes could reach $40K. Read the full interview on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdfashion (📷: Dominique Maître)
@imanshumpert is diving deeper into his creative endeavors and relaunching his clothing line, Post 90s, and is helping to raise money for the hurricane victims in St. Maarten with a jersey he’s designed with his brother. The Cleveland Cavaliers player talked to WWD about kneeling during the national anthem, working with fashion brands and how he wants to be more than an @nba player. Read the interview on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)