WILSONS TO CUT STORES, JOBS: Wilsons The Leather Experts Inc. said it plans to close 160 stores and cut over 1,000 jobs in an effort to reduce costs. The company will remodel its 100 remaining stores to a new "Studio" concept, which will be a brand-driven store for women focusing on fashion accessories. The new accessories concept started testing last fall in four different regions, and the company said it was pleased with the initial results. Wilsons expects to complete the remodels by August. The company expects to launch an inventory liquidation and resolve lease terminations over the next 90 to 120 days. The store closures will result in the elimination of 938 store-related positions, and 64 cuts elsewhere.
DEL VECCHIO IN TAX PROBE: Luxottica Group SpA chairman Leonardo Del Vecchio has been ordered to pay 20.4 million euros, or $30 million, in missed tax payments and fines, Italian authorities told WWD on Monday. The charges relate to share transactions made in 1997 and 1998 via a holding company in Germany, which authorities claim Del Vecchio illegally used to avoid paying higher corporate taxes in Italy. Del Vecchio has denied the charges and is appealing the decision. If he does have to cough up the $30 million in payments and fines, Del Vecchio will be dipping in to a net worth estimated at $11.5 billion by Forbes magazine, putting him in 52nd place in last year's billionaires list. Authorities said the German holding company in question, Leofin, did not have any employees or other overheads, which justified it being incorporated in Germany. The case is not related to eyewear manufacturer Luxottica.
Harrods plans to remove the famous statue of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed from the bottom of the Egyptian escalators and hand it back to Mohamed Al-Fayed. “We are very proud to have played our role in celebrating the lives of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed at Harrods and to have welcomed people from around the world to visit the memorial for the past 20 years,” said Michael Ward, Harrods managing director. “With the announcement of the new official memorial statue to Diana, Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace, we feel that the time is right to return this memorial to Mr. Al Fayed and for the public to be invited to pay their respects at the palace.” More on the news, with reporting by @loreleimarfil, at WWD.com. #wwdnews
@prada is introducing a new project at its men’s fall 2018 show this Sunday: “Prada Invites.” The fashion house invited four celebrated creative minds – @ronanaerwanbouroullec, Konstantin Grcic, @herzogdemeuron and @rem.koolhaas – to each create a unique item with its iconic nylon material. The designs will be unveiled on the runway show, which will take place at the company’s warehouse in Viale Ortles 25. #wwdfashion #mfwm (📷: @martinocarrera)
@kering_official is spinning off its stake in puma in an effort to focus on its luxury brands, the brand operator announced yesterday. “We are proud to have supported the turnaround of Puma, which now has unrivaled capabilities to take full advantage of the specific dynamics of its global markets and is poised to achieve substantial growth,” said François-Henri Pinault, Kering’s chief executive officer and chairman. Artémis will become a “long-term strategic shareholder” of Puma with a 29 percent stake. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
The fashion world mourns for celebrated street style photographer, Nabile Quenum, who died at age 32 in Paris.
Quenum, creator of the fashion blog “J’ai Perdu Ma Veste,” was a fashion week fixture, and regularly shot for New York magazine’s The Cut, among other outlets, and brands such as Louis Vuitton, Moncler and Adidas. He was also actively involved in the #NoFreePhotos initiative, which kicked off in the fall. Read more about Quenum in @kbsmoke's story on WWD.com. #wwdnews
@verwanggang and @maisonladuree have teamed up on a dessert collab called Vera Wang Pour Ladurée. The collection, which launched this week, features a specialty macaroon, as well as a wedding cake inspired by one of the designer’s gowns. “I could not imagine a more delicate or sophisticated creation to grace any couple’s celebration,” said Wang. #wwdfashion