ZALE CLOSURES: Zale Corp. said Wednesday it will close 105 stores and cut 20 percent of its headquarters' staff to streamline operations to generate $65 million in yearly savings. The company said $5 million in savings will be realized in the fourth quarter ending July 31 from the restructuring. The Dallas-based jewelry chain said some of its planned operational initiatives, reduction of $100 million in inventory and reduced spending from $85 million in fiscal 2008 to $45 million in fiscal 2009, were announced previously. Of the 105 locations, 95 are considered underperforming and 50 are kiosks. The company, cutting 225 jobs, has already eliminated 140 filled positions and 85 open posts at headquarters. "In order to improve Zale's overall performance and provide our value-oriented customer with an exceptional experience, it is essential that we reduce the company's infrastructure costs, which have outpaced its sales growth since 2002," said Neal Goldberg, Zale's president and chief executive officer.
WET SEAL EXIT: The Wet Seal Inc. chief operating officer Gary White has resigned to become chief executive officer of United Retail Group Inc., a subsidiary of Redcats USA Inc. The company does not plan to replace White, who was hired in 2004. Ed Thomas, Wet Seal's ceo, indicated that he will assume some of White's duties and will distribute others among company managers. Wet Seal, a retailer of young women's contemporary apparel and accessories, operates 494 stores in 47 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.
“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