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.
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast