PARIS — There is no "For Sale" sign hanging on Hermès International.
"The family wants to keep control of its group...Hermès is a jewel," Bertrand Puech, executive manager, chairman and member of the management board, told shareholders at Hermès' annual meeting here Tuesday. "We are indeed desirable, but we are prudent and are bent on defending our property. No takeover bid is in view."
The statement came amid persistent speculation of an imminent bid by luxury titan Bernard Arnault. Shares in Hermès International have been spiking in recent weeks, despite a denial from Arnault of any approach or share purchase.
Shares in Hermès fell 7.6 percent to 99.30 euros, or $154.34 at current exchange, on the Paris Bourse.
Patrick Thomas, chief executive officer, said he remains confident in the firm's growth potential despite economic turbulence. Hermès said this month that sales gained 13.4 percent in the first quarter to 415.1 million euros, or $621.7 million at average exchange rates, with a robust performance across all key product categories and regions, including the U.S.
Thomas said April and May sales were in line, but warned growth in the second half could slow partly because of an unfavorable currency environment.
Christian Blanckaert, executive vice president in charge of international affairs, cited Hermès' progress in Asian markets, in particular in China, despite sluggish duty free sales because of a slowdown in Japanese tourism.
Along with Eastern Europe, Blanckaert listed the U.S. among the company's key growth markets. "It was quite ballsy of us to open the [flagship] on Wall Street [last June] but it's a way of showing to the U.S. that we were confident," he said.
Key openings this year include India, Macao, Jakarta, Hong Kong, Barcelona, Oslo and San Diego. Hermès said it would soon open an e-commerce site in Japan.
Responding to a shareholder question, Thomas confirmed Hermès, which recently sold six Hermès-branded helicopters it makes in partnership with Eurocopter, has received requests to customize private plane interiors. "We are considering offering that service," he said.
As one of the most recognizable models in the world, Christy Turlington Burns has an insider’s view of the fashion industry and the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around it. “I can say that harassment and mistreatment have always been widely known and tolerated in the industry. The industry is surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experiences at some point in our careers,” Turlington told WWD, along with her suggestions for how the modeling world should protect younger women and men. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: Tony Palmieri) #wwdnews
@asics America has tapped a new brand ambassador: famed DJ/record producer @steveaoki. This initiative is intended to set the tone for the new brand identity and philosophy and will include partnerships with influencers and in-store and off-line activations that will continue into next year. This is Asics’ most significant marketing effort in two decades, and is expected to attract younger consumers to the brand. #wwdfashion
24-year-old Jean Prounis is redefining the rules of jewelry. Formerly a studio assistant to Jemima Kirke and a design apprentice at Ghuran, she focuses on handcrafted subtleties and ancient goldsmithing techniques. “There was a really sterile feel in the environment and I wanted to have jewelry with character that shapes how you wear it everyday,” Prounis said. Each piece is hand made in New York, either by Prounis or three other jewelers in the district. #wwdfashion
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews
“Stranger Things” is getting a new cast member for season 2. Meet @sadiesink_, the 15-year-old who will be joining the Netflix series for its new season. You may recognize her from “The Glass Castle” with Brie Larson and Woody Harrelson, but the Texas native’s next role goes in an entirely different direction. She describes her character, Max, as “a rough and tumble skater girl [who] becomes friends with the boys at school.” The second season debuts on October 27. (📷: @jgreenery) #wwdeye
Amid the Harvey Weinstein controversy, there’s another sector that’s being put under the spotlight for sexual abuse: the modeling industry. While rumors about abuse and sexual harassment of female and male models — and the photographers, agents and others who perpetrated it — have circulated within the fashion world for years, model @cameronrussell started posting stories from models on Instagram last week about abusive situations they’ve encountered — from sexual harassment and molestation to attempted rape. Over 75 have weighed in so far. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews
To celebrate its 16th anniversary, @dylanscandybar tapped designers and celebrities to create mosaics out of candy. The mosaics will be auctioned off to support the philanthropic cause of each participant’s choice. Pictured here is the mural created by @aliceandolivia's Stacey Bendet. For a first look at some of the other artwork being unveiled tonight, go to WWD.com. #wwdeye
The annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in Pacific Palisades this weekend drew Kate Hudson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Laura Dern and more. See pictures of the star-studded event on WWD.com. (📷: @chelsealaurenla) #wwdeye
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye