MILAN — Alessandro Benetton has put his money where his mouth is.
The executive deputy chairman of Benetton Group SpA purchased 45,500 company shares this week, increasing his investment in the Italian clothing retailer to 160,500 shares, equivalent to more than 1 million euros, or $1.4 million at current exchange.
“In the current difficult context of the international financial markets, even emotive reactions are inevitable,” Benetton said Thursday.
“I think that at this particular juncture, it is essential to take into account the solidity of the group’s foundations and trust in our assets and in the strategy of development and innovation we are energetically pursuing, with tangible results.”
Last week, the group bought back 657,000 shares for nearly 5 million euros, or almost $8.5 million, taking its holding to over 6.6 million shares, or 3.6 percent of social capital. The stock has lost more than 17 percent of its value in the last month.
Citigroup downgraded the clothier to “hold” earlier this week, after Benetton chief financial officer Emilio Foa unexpectedly quit the company less than two years into the job.
Citigroup said Foa’s resignation cast some doubt over Benetton’s ability to retain top-notch management and that the lack of an immediate replacement and the prospect of a worsening macroeconomic outlook in Europe undermined investor confidence.
On Thursday, the stock closed up 1.4 percent to 6.51 euros, or $9.17.
“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