• COURT APPROVES MERVYNS FINANCING: A federal bankruptcy court in Wilmington, Del., approved Mervyns’ $465 million debtor-in-possession financing facility, according to the retailer, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last month. A group of lenders led by Wachovia Capital Finance Corp. (Western) is providing the financing. “Our DIP financing provides Mervyns with the liquidity and stability it needs to continue serving our customers and meeting our obligations to vendors,” said John Goodman, chief executive officer. “With this final DIP financing in place and our financial position now strengthened, we are able to maintain our operations while continuing our discussions with creditors as we focus on emerging from bankruptcy.” Mervyns, which operates 175 stores, plans to close 26 doors by early November.

This story first appeared in the August 27, 2008 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.


• SWAROVSKI-SHENKAR CONNECTION: A collection of black evening dresses set with Swarovski crystals and designed by Israel’s Shenkar College of Engineering and Design students is on display until Sept. 11 at the Swarovski Crystallized Lounge at the company’s flagship in London, and in Watten, Austria, in the Swarovski museum. The project was first shown in the “My Black Dress” fashion show, part of the college’s annual gala event, which this year honored Nadja Swarovski. Following the flagship and museum exhibits, the dresses are being sent to the U.S. for a show on Sept. 18 at the Israeli Consulate in Boston.


• DIOR WATCHES TAPS BARRAQUE: Stephane Barraque, most recently international director for Baume & Mercier, has been named president of Dior Watches North America. Barraque will manage all sales and marketing activities for the brand, reporting to Ulrich Wohn, president and chief executive officer of LVMH Watch & Jewelry NA. Barraque, who was with Baume & Mercier since 2005, begins at Dior watches on Sept. 15. “We are all confident that Stephane’s leadership and solid business acumen will contribute greatly to Dior Watches’ double-digit growth,” Wohn said.