- MARKS AND SPENCER EXPANDS IN INDIA: Marks and Spencer Group plc said it plans to launch 50 stores in India over the next five years with Reliance Industries. Together, the two companies have invested 29 million pounds, or $57 million at current exchange, in the business. M&S said it will take a 51 percent interest in the new company, called Marks and Spencer Reliance India Pvt Ltd., while Reliance Retail will control the remaining 49 percent. M&S has 14 franchise stores in India run by Planet Retail, and the company said it expected to continue to run those stores. The new deal is part of M&S' strategy to grow its international business to make up between 15 and 20 percent of the group's revenues within the next five years. Last month, the company signed a joint venture with its Eastern European franchise partner, COMS, to open 30 stores in Central and Eastern Europe over the next few years.
- LOEHMANN'S PICKS POLITZER: Loehmann's named Jerry Politzer chief executive officer Tuesday, confirming an April 16 report in WWD. He succeeds Robert Friedman, who is retiring, but will serve as vice chairman of Loehmann's board and a consultant to parent company Istithmar World Capital. Politzer was most recently president of Value City Department Stores. Loehmann's has "exceptional growth potential," Politzer said. The off-pricer has more than 60 stores in 17 states.
- HARTMARX DEAL: Hartmarx Corp. has signed a deal with Airwair International Ltd. and R Griggs Group Ltd., the holders of the worldwide license for Dr. Martens, to manufacture and market women's and men's casual apparel under the Dr. Martens name. The sportswear will be made, marketed and sold by HMX Sportswear Inc., a New York-based subsidiary of Chicago-based Hartmarx. The launch collection will feature men's wear for fall 2009, followed by women's apparel in 2010. The lines will include denim jeans, cotton shirts, sweatshirts and outerwear.
“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