A watch industry in crisis, demands of the digital era and the changing habits of the Chinese consumer have forced luxury behemoth Compagnie Financière Richemont to think in a new way — and make some draconian changes.Earlier this year, it took the big step of selling an old fixture in its portfolio, Shanghai Tang, to the Italian entrepreneur Alessandro Bastagli and the investment company Luxcite.Analysts applauded the move, saying Richemont was brave to start culling its holdings, although no more disposals are expected soon.Thomas Chauvet, senior equity analyst at Citi, said Richemont is continuing to adjust the business model to the “new normal” of the market and to the rapidly changing consumer behavior and attitudes.“This decision shows that [chairman and owner Johann Rupert] is very pragmatic and very hands-on. Richemont has never done fashion very well. It requires very different competencies from its core watches and jewelry businesses, where it excels.”Richemont is shifting its focus to the future in other ways: A few days after touting the growing importance of travel retail, Rupert bought a 5 percent stake in the travel retailer Dufry. “What will people be doing in 15-20 years’ time? I suspect they’ll travel, they’ll want to visit countries, they’ll want experiences,” which makes travel retail interesting, he said.The company has also reshuffled management and stacked the board with a new wave of digitally savvy executives — including some highly educated and accomplished women — whom Rupert is hoping will push and challenge him to innovate.“This is not window dressing,” Rupert said. “This is a whole new generation bringing skills, at all levels, to the non-executive board. Just look at what these people have achieved in life.”Although Richemont, like other big luxury players, has been resisting the shift to digital commerce, it has been taking small steps, selling more of its high-end watches through Net-a-porter Group, which it owns in part.Industry sources have told WWD that Richemont has begun hunting for “digitally savvy” people on both sides of the Atlantic, with the aim of creating a true omnichannel business.Rupert has also been retooling and wiping out the chief executive officer role and making the company, which saw sales and profits fall last year, less dependent on fixed costs and more reactive to market changes, such as the ebb and flow of the watch business.Nearly all of the Richemont tweaks have been met with a thumbs up from analysts: According to a report from Bernstein Research last month, Rupert's recent reorganization will contribute to a 13 percent-plus spike in ongoing earnings per share growth by fiscal 2021.Bernstein also said it expects more changes to come in the next years, and is positive on the long-term prospects of the conglomerate.
@chanel and @pharrell dropped what’s being dubbed as the world’s most exclusive sneakers yesterday. The Adidas Originals NMD Hu, which Williams designed in collaboration with Chanel and @adidasoriginals, has a waiting list of over 120K people who pre-registered online at chanelatcolette.fr –– and only 500 pairs are on sale. The singer predicted the resale value of the shoes could reach $40K. Read the full interview on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdfashion (📷: Dominique Maître)
@imanshumpert is diving deeper into his creative endeavors and relaunching his clothing line, Post 90s, and is helping to raise money for the hurricane victims in St. Maarten with a jersey he’s designed with his brother. The Cleveland Cavaliers player talked to WWD about kneeling during the national anthem, working with fashion brands and how he wants to be more than an @nba player. Read the interview on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)
Not only does #TheProfit return to CNBC tonight, but @marcuslemonis has launched @shopmarcus, a new shopping and lifestyle retail experience in Aspen and Chicago, with more locations to come. The retail stores offer in-store stylists and a variety of contemporary womenswear selections.
“It’s life, I’m going to face it,” @mingxi11 sighed. “I fell, but you know, I think the most important thing is that I get back up. I had the love, the help from my sister — the girl next to me Gizele [Oliveira] — she’s so nice. When I went backstage everybody was trying to comfort me like ‘Oh Ming, it’s OK.’ I’m really, really touched. I think it’s them who gave me the courage to go back on stage for the finale,” Xi told WWD of her fall at the @victoriassecret fashion show. (📷: David Fisher) #wwdfashion #vsfashionshow #victoriassecret
@louisvuitton tapped @therealpeterlindbergh for its latest city-centric photo book, which is part of a series called Fashion Eye. The primarily black and white book captures the spirit of Berlin in 57 images shot between 1989 and 2019. “Berlin is an inspiration for me, more than a city. I mean @millajovovich is simply Berlin!” said Lindbergh. #wwdfashion
“You know, I think audiences expect a certain performance so I have to deliver to them what they’re expecting to a certain degree. But I’m also a different actor and a different person, I have my own spin on the character,” says @noahegalvin of his takeover of the leading role in “Dear Evan Hansen” following the departure of @bensplatt, who originated the role. Read WWD’s interview with the 23-year-old actor on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
For pre-fall 2018, @etro created richly-colored wonderland, using tapestries, textiles and wallpapers from the Eastern world at large. The line featured floral and graphic prints and jacquard motifs, like this two-piece look featured here. #wwdfashion (📷: Giovanna Pavesi)
@kith is moving into children’s. The men’s and women’s streetwear brand has launched Kidset, a Kith kids line located in New York at 64 Bleecker Street. The line includes mini versions of staple Kith pieces like the Astor bomber jacket and the Kith box logo sweatshirts, along with a wall that can display up to 120 pairs of shoes from @adidas, @newbalance, @timberland and more. #wwdfashion
“I just wanted to create this fully rounded character, but I do think what excited me most was just the opportunity to give a group of people representation that I feel needs it. I like to do characters in projects that stand for something and Karolina definitely does, so that was really exciting to me,” @ginnygardner says of her new role in @hulu’s “The Runaways.” Gardner plays Karolina Dean, a queer superhero, which is a rarity for @marvel. Read more about Gardner’s character on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @dandoperalski)