NEW YORK — “Companies like GE can survive as we want to be the best,” said General Electric chairman and chief executive officer Jeffrey Immelt, who delivered the keynote address Wednesday at the Israel Dealmakers Summit.
Immelt told attendees that GE wants the best of everything, from the best people to the entrepreneurs of the firms it acquires to the best ideas, whether GE later buys the firm or becomes an equity partner.
He spoke on “The Strategic Importance of Global Innovation” here at the New York Marriott Marquis and said that GE’s strategy for innovation globally is to take a “big infrastructure idea and try to scale it.” To do that, GE breaks its core areas into “investment themes we can invest in” and looks at businesses that it considers “best in breed.”
Immelt also made the point that “all of us are in technology.” An example he gave was using sensors to monitor fuel in engines and how in analyzing the data, “now GE is an analytics business,” not just Google.
And while he thinks that analytics is a big part of the future, he also spoke about how to be a good partner to start-up companies. Some want all the benefits of a big company but don’t want to be part of one.
He described the mind-set of many Israeli firms that GE works with. Because of the military background of its citizens, there’s a self-confidence that one has coupled with an “I can do this on my own” mind-set. That means that sometimes when GE acquires a firm, entrepreneurs who have great ideas leave at some point because “they’d rather be king of [their] idea even if in a small [firm] than be part of the mother ship.” For Immelt, when considering an acquisition, sometimes it’s better “we should take an equity stake and leave [the entrepreneurs] alone.”
“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