LONDON — The Mary Norton label has become the latest casualty of the struggling economy.
The South Carolina-based luxury accessories brand filed for Chapter 7 on Friday, and the Mary Norton stores in Los Angeles, on Melrose Place, and in Charleston, S.C., have closed.
On Tuesday, Marty Wikstrom, whose Atelier Fund holds a majority stake in the label, said Norton and Atelier’s investors had made a mutual decision to “stop and rethink” the business.
“The economic climate is dire, and young designers are especially hard-hit,” said Wikstrom. “The brand is in a high-end category, and there is a buying hiatus for those consumers right now.”
The Atelier Fund is backed by Compagnie Financière Richemont, the Swiss luxury goods conglomerate that owns Cartier, Chloé, Dunhill, Montblanc, IWC and other major brands. Wikstrom runs Atelier with Dawn Mello and Jon Brilliant, and their other investments include Harrys of London and Adam Lippes.
Norton is best known for her fine detailing, hand-finishing and embellishments such as beading, feathers and rosettes on evening bags and shoes. She founded her company in the mid-Nineties under the name Moo Roo, and changed it to its current name after Atelier took a majority stake in 2006.
The label was sold at stores including Saks Fifth Avenue and Harrods, where, until recently, bags were selling out. “The timeless, Hollywood glamour of Mary Norton’s bags really appeals to Harrods’ customers,” said Marigay McKee, the store’s fashion and beauty director, late last year.
The charismatic designer, whose first career was in film production, started the accessories business at her dining room table, customizing and embellishing bags. Over the years she attracted a celebrity clientele including Teri Hatcher, Tina Fey, Charlize Theron, Jennifer Lopez and Helen Mirren, all of whom have carried her bags on the red carpet.
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