Maria Comfort has resigned as chief merchandising officer of the Hot Topic division of Hot Topic Inc., to join The Wet Seal Inc. as president and chief merchandise officer of the Wet Seal division. The appointment is effective Aug. 25.
Comfort succeeds Dyan Jozwick, who resigned on May 30 to join Bebe Stores Inc. as executive vice president and chief merchandise officer of its Bebe retail division.
Comfort joined Hot Topic in August 2005 from the Lillie Rubin division of Cache Inc. where she served as general merchandise manager. Earlier in her career, she was president of the 9 & Co. division of Nine West and executive vice president of Giorgio Armani Corp. She was also an executive at Contempo Casuals prior to its acquisition by Wet Seal. Her resignation follows the departure last month of Michael Crooke as president of the Hot Topic division after only one month with the company.
Hot Topic Inc. chief executive officer Betsy McLaughlin has managed the Hot Topic division in addition to her corporate responsibilities since Crooke’s exit.
Wet Seal Inc. ceo Ed Thomas said Comfort “brings a tremendous wealth of merchandising and organizational leadership skills to our company. Her passion for, and experience in, young women’s apparel and accessories make Maria the ideal leader to build upon the Wet Seal division’s recent success.”
The teen clothing retailer came in just above analysts’ expectations in June, reporting same-store sales slid 2.9 percent after gains in the two previous months.
Wet Seal operates 496 stores throughout the U.S. under the West Seal and Arden B. nameplates. Hot Topic operates 157 Torrid stores in addition to 683 Hot Topic units.
“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