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.”
“What he has done at Vuitton is really exceptional,” said @gameofthrones’ actress Gwendoline Christie on @mrkimjones’ final show for @louisvuitton. “He has rebooted luxury in terms of making it commercial, viable and contemporary. And most importantly artistic. He has never compromised his artistic vision for the sake of commodity.” (📷: @zefashioninsider)
After seeing a demand for men’s wear from its customers, British contemporary women’s wear label @ariesarise has added a men’s wear component and will launch a unisex collection with @mrporterlive. The 20-piece collection includes jackets, denim, logo T-shirts and more with deconstructed ‘90s vibes. Set to launch on January 18, you can shop the pieces on Aries’ website and on mrporter.com. #wwdfashion
“And so spending so much time with a character who thinks like that, inevitability you try and analyze yourself and go back and think about your own demons and dark chapters that you had in your life,” says @thedanielbruhl of his role in TNT’s “The Alienist.” The show, set in the Gilded Age of New York, also stars Dakota Fanning and Luke Evans. Head to WWD.com to read about how 39-year-old Brühl prepared for the role and why he thinks the show is so relevant to today #wwdeye ( 📷: @Eriktanner)
Now that Celine Dion’s collection has topped $10 million in sales, the pop superstar, fashion icon and newly-minted industry player is eyeing growth in Asia. Read the full report by @tiffanyap, link in bio. #wwdnews #celinedion
“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)
Among the familiar faces at @off____white’s show was a surprise figure: Japanese artist @takashipom, pictured here on Wednesday morning. Other show-goers included @jerrylorenzo, who spoke about his upcoming project: a @nike collaboration for back to school, with designs inspired by his childhood on the West Coast. Sitting in the front row were Future, Don Crawley, @miguel and more. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: Stephane Feugere)
According to @laurentsai, former “Terrace House: Aloha State” cast member, she didn’t know she was auditioning for the Japanese version of “Real World.” “I was telling a couple of my friends and someone’s like, ‘That sounds a lot like Terrace House.’ I was like, ’No it can’t be.’” Turns out, it was. But Tsai isn’t just a reality star — she’s an illustrator who has worked with Starbucks Japan and most recently, she’s dipping her toes into the fashion world. Head to WWD.com to read about her time on the show, modeling and her art. #wwdeye (📷: @danieldorsa)
More changes are coming to New York Fashion Week: Beginning with the spring 2019 collection, @alexanderwangny will move his New York show to June from September, adopting a biannual schedule with collections shown in June and December. Additionally, the @cfda is planning for an official summer/winter fashion season taking place as soon as June and December 2018. Read more about the upcoming changes on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @slovekinpics)