• HOMEBODIES: Skittish shoppers are taking a toll on major retail chains, but Housing Works seems to be cashing in on consumers’ newfound thriftiness. Earlier this month, the company opened a TriBeCa store at 72 Warren Street, and late next month, its ninth store, a unit at 130 Crosby Street in New York, will bow. In addition, Sears and Kmart have signed up as sponsors of the nonprofit’s Design on a Dime charity event on May 7, which will feature 50 designers, including Charlotte Moss, John Bartlett and Ty Pennington, among others.
• HARPER QUITS THEO FENNELL: Pamela Harper has resigned as chief executive officer of Theo Fennell Plc, the London-based fine jewelry house, the company said Monday. Barbara Snoad — whom Harper had originally replaced in late 2007 — will assume Harper’s duties on an interim basis. Sources close to the company said it’s possible Snoad’s appointment could become permanent. Harper, a former Burberry executive, joined Fennell in 2007. The firm’s sales fell 21 percent during the five weeks of December, compared with the same period the previous year, and the company expects to take a loss for the 2008-09 fiscal period. Fennell has shelved plans for a New Bond Street store, and has not renewed its contracts to operate the luxury watch and fine jewelry concessions in Harrods or Brown Thomas in Dublin. Sources have said the company’s decision to no longer operate those departments will result in cash benefits totaling 3 million pounds, or $4.3 million. Fennell will continue to operate its own retail counters at Brown Thomas and Harrods.
• AGENT PROVOCATEUR SALES RISE: Agent Provocateur’s upscale lingerie seems to be weathering the economic downturn. The company said sales rose 26 percent in the year ended March 31, 2008, to 20.7 million pounds, or $41.4 million. All dollar figures have been calculated at average exchange rates for the period. Sales to date for the year ending March 31, 2009 are up 8 percent compared with the same period last year. The private equity group 3i acquired Agent Provocateur for an estimated $123 million in 2007. Because of investment in the brand, 3i said Agent Provocateur’s EBITDA for the 2008 fiscal year fell 18.5 percent to 2.2 million pounds, or $4.4 million. The company said it has invested 4.5 million pounds, or $6.5 million at current exchange, since 3i acquired the label, in projects including opening 13 new stores, a new IT system and a head office relocation.
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
“Stranger Things” is getting a new cast member for season 2. Meet @sadiesink_, the 15-year-old who will be joining the Netflix series for its new season. You may recognize her from “The Glass Castle” with Brie Larson and Woody Harrelson, but the Texas native’s next role goes in an entirely different direction. She describes her character, Max, as “a rough and tumble skater girl [who] becomes friends with the boys at school.” The second season debuts on October 27. (📷: @jgreenery) #wwdeye
Amid the Harvey Weinstein controversy, there’s another sector that’s being put under the spotlight for sexual abuse: the modeling industry. While rumors about abuse and sexual harassment of female and male models — and the photographers, agents and others who perpetrated it — have circulated within the fashion world for years, model @cameronrussell started posting stories from models on Instagram last week about abusive situations they’ve encountered — from sexual harassment and molestation to attempted rape. Over 75 have weighed in so far. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews
To celebrate its 16th anniversary, @dylanscandybar tapped designers and celebrities to create mosaics out of candy. The mosaics will be auctioned off to support the philanthropic cause of each participant’s choice. Pictured here is the mural created by @aliceandolivia's Stacey Bendet. For a first look at some of the other artwork being unveiled tonight, go to WWD.com. #wwdeye
The annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in Pacific Palisades this weekend drew Kate Hudson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Laura Dern and more. See pictures of the star-studded event on WWD.com. (📷: @chelsealaurenla) #wwdeye
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye