KELLWOOD CLOSES SMART SHIRTS DEAL: Kellwood Co. has completed the sale of its Smart Shirts manufacturing operations and related real estate assets in two separate transactions. Kellwood received approximately $121 million in cash at closing from the sale of the Smart Shirts business from Youngor Group Co. Ltd., and approximately $41 million in cash from Bright Treasure Development Ltd. for Smart Shirts' real estate assets in Hong Kong. The proceeds from the transactions will be used to repurchase shares and reduce debt, including the $80 million accelerated share repurchase program that Kellwood announced on Jan. 3. UBS Investment Bank acted as financial adviser to Kellwood in connection with the Smart Shirts sale. FOREIGN INVESTMENTS SURGE: Boosted by a strong world economy, increased corporate profits and an abundance of cash for cross-border mergers and acquisitions, global foreign direct investment in 2007 reached an estimated record $1.5 trillion, a United Nations agency said Tuesday. The U.S. maintained its position as the largest recipient of FDI with $192 billion, up 10 percent on the previous year. FDI inflows to developing countries and economies in transition also reached a record $438.4 billion, with China the biggest recipient with $67.3 billion. FDI gains were also posted by Brazil at $37.4 billion, up 99.3 percent on 2006; Hong Kong, up nearly 27 percent to $54.4 billion, and Russia, which registered a 70.3 percent increase to $48.9 billion. GOLD STANDARD: Flaxen-haired tennis player — and self-professed bag lover — Maria Sharapova announced the launch of the Sharapova Gold bag collection with Prince. Sharapova will tote the gold nylon bags accented in black at next week's Australian Open. "In my opinion, players should head to the court with equipment that not only delivers in terms of quality and design, but also looks great," said Sharapova in a statement. The collection will range from $50 to $120 wherever Prince products are sold.
Exclusive: @dsquared2 signs fragrance licensing agreement with Euroitalia, with the first effort of the new partnership being unveiled in September. The brand will launch two scents – one for men and one for women – in Italy. Read our interview with designer Dean and Dan Caten on WWD.com. #wwdbeauty #wwdnews (📷: @zefashioninsider)
@louisvuitton has officially renewed Nicolas Ghesquière’s contract as artistic director of women's collections. "I am very pleased to open the next chapter of the story I started with Louis Vuitton almost 5 years ago," said Ghesquière, who first signed on to design the French luxury brand's women's line in 2013. Get all the details on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo)
“I learned then and there that I had to figure out a way in life to maintain and preserve my sense of pride when I felt good about what I did or what I represented or created,” said @saintrecords on how being bullied for wearing capri pants inspired her to be the artist she is today. Knowles was at the 70th Parsons Benefit last night where she outbid the room for a Dapper Dan customized @gucci experience. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)
“There’s this amazing braintrust of people who know the whole universe so well. So we talked to them and they gave us more input,” said actor Alden Ehrenreich on playing the young Han Solo in “Solo: A Star Wars Story.” The cast was at NYC’s SVA Theatre last night for an advanced screening of the film, which hits theaters this week. #wwdeye #starwars #hansolo (📷: @aurorarosedecrosta)
@asaprocky spent nearly two hours in a Plexiglas box Sunday night at @sothebys putting himself through a series of “tests” to demonstrate the process of completing his new album called “Testing.” Get all the details and see all the pictures on WWD.com. #wwdeye
“I’ve struggled my whole life to find a bathing suit that fits me that doesn’t look like a maternity bra. I’m proud of the line because it’s an accurate representation of me rather than me putting on someone else’s clothes,” says @atlantabean of her swimwear collaboration with @piaarrobio, LPA X ATL. The two decided on a swimwear collab and increased the industry standard size for the pieces. Read more about the line — and our interview with de Cadenet Taylor and Arrobio — on WWD.com #wwdfashion
Exclusive: Cate Blanchett has been named the first global beauty ambassador for @armanibeauty. Blanchett has been the face of the brand’s Sì fragrance franchise since 2013, and is now representing all of the label’s beauty categories including makeup and skin care. #wwdbeauty (📷: @zefashioninsider)