- S&P'S BCBG CONCERNS: Standard & Poor's lowered its corporate credit rating on BCBG Max Azria Group Inc. to "CCC" from "B-minus" last week. The outlook remained negative. "Because we have not yet received financial information for 2007, we have growing concern about the company's liquidity and ability to meet financial covenants," wrote S&P credit analyst Jackie Oberoi in the ratings change. "As a result, we are concerned that BCBG noteholders could accelerate payment." A company spokesman commented, "In order to be consistent with the industry, we changed our fiscal year from December to January this past year, which created a one-time delay in completing our audit. We expect the audit to be completed within 30 days." S&P said the 2006 acquisition of Max Rave and the assumption of related leases meaningfully increased the firm's debt leverage.
- SAKS, TIFFANY TO EXPAND: Saks Inc. and Tiffany & Co. each unveiled plans Tuesday to open new stores this year. Saks will launch three Saks Off 5th off-price doors during the fall in the U.S. Tiffany's expansion will be in Qingdao, China, a summer resort. The expansion of Off 5th, which has 48 stores, will be led by a 30,000-square-foot outpost at the Arches at Deer Park on Long Island, NY in October. The following month, 28,000-square-foot stores will bow at Prime Outlets in St. Augustine, Fla., and Rio Grande Valley Premium Outlets in Mercedes, Tex. The 2,000-foot Tiffany & Co. store will bow in Hisense Plaza in July and will be the jeweler's eighth Chinese location. It will carry a range of the company's collections, including engagement rings, sterling silver and fine jewelry and signature designs, as well as watches, gifts and accessories.
- WAL-MART SELLING UNIT: Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has agreed to sell its Gazeley warehouse property development business to Dubai World, a government-owned investment fund, for an undisclosed sum. The sale is expected to be completed by the end of July. Gazeley develops distribution centers in Europe, China, India and Mexico. Michael Duke, vice chairman of Wal-Mart, said, "Since the development of distribution warehousing for third parties is not a core business for us, Gazeley will be able to better serve its customers as part of an organization...committed to providing the necessary resources and investment for further expansion."
“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