MILAN — La Perla has appointed Alain Prost as its new chief executive officer, effective April 20.
The appointment confirms a report on WWD.com Wednesday. Prost succeeds current ceo Jeff Hansen, who will assume the role of president. Hansen is a partner of La Perla’s new owner, San Francisco-based private equity fund JH Partners LLC, which is focused on a reorganization and relaunch of the luxury innerwear, beachwear, apparel and accessories brand.
For the past five years Prost has been general manager of intimate apparel firm Chantelle Group. Prior to that, the executive worked for 20 years at L’Oréal.
Hansen said he will continue to be involved in La Perla and that, despite the economy, he was “encouraged as ever” by its prospects. While not divulging figures, the statement said La Perla’s new owners have successfully turned around the company, taking it from operating losses to a profit in 2008 and expecting an increase in profit in 2009.
La Perla, based in Bologna, plans to bring its production entirely in-house to focus on Made-in-Italy manufacturing. In December, La Perla signed a licensing agreement with Mariella Burani Fashion Group for the production and distribution of its ready-to-wear line, which had been produced in-house for more than 10 years. A new creative director replacing Alessandro Dell’Acqua, whose contract expired with the spring season, is expected to be announced soon.
To streamline operations, La Perla said in October it would shed 365 jobs at its headquarters in Bologna, but, in December, Italian trade unions and JH Partners reached an agreement under which government funds will pay about 70 percent of 250 workers’ salaries for a two-year period.
“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