LONDON — The Alexander McQueen and Stella McCartney brands have hit their long-awaited profit targets on time, but that is just the first of many hurdles they have to overcome.On Wednesday, PPR reported that both London-based businesses had moved into the black in 2007, a goal that Robert Polet, chief executive of their parent, Gucci Group, had originally set in December 2004.Although PPR does not break out sales or profits for the individual brands at Gucci Group, it did say that year-on-year, recurring operating income more than tripled to 33 million euros, or $45.2 million, from 10 million, or $12.6 million, in the division that includes McQueen, McCartney, Boucheron, Balenciaga and Sergio Rossi."As planned, we're in the black and it's good to be there," said Jonathan Akeroyd, ceo of McQueen. "This business is totally different than what it was three years ago."An upbeat McQueen told WWD his single biggest challenge so far has been "communicating that I am a businessman — as well as a creative director," adding that his biggest reward has been "witnessing the transition from niche brand to key player in the luxury goods sector."But McQueen and McCartney have chosen different paths to profitability.McCartney has focused on building her brand outward in a variety of directions, forging long- and short-term deals with Adidas, LeSportsac, Target in Australia, the Lane Crawford Joyce Group and lingerie company Bendon. She also has a flourishing fragrance and skin care business with YSL Beauté, which Gucci Group plans to sell to L'Oréal.McQueen, meanwhile, has remained under the media radar, and mostly focused on ramping up the in-house ready-to-wear and accessories business. The company has two licenses, with Puma and Samsonite.Akeroyd said his main goal is for the company to generate annual sales of 200 million euros, or $302 million, in five years' time. He said the brand plans to stick to its basic strategy of focusing on rtw and accessories."We have huge ambitions for our core categories and the McQ line. In the future, we won't be going around looking to add on licenses," he said.That said, McQueen is right now renewing the agreement with Puma, which is now majority owned by PPR, and has extended the Samsonite one — due to expire last year — for a further 18 months. Three years ago, Akeroyd said, women's rtw made up 90 percent of the McQueen business, whereas today it's 50 percent, followed by women's accessories at 30 percent and men's wear at 20 percent. He said the women's rtw business was still growing "in the double digits," and he was happy with the new product balance.He said the handbag business also has doubled over the past year. Bags are designed by an in-house team, while the footwear design consultant is Georgina Goodman.One upcoming challenge is fragrance. The McQueen license with YSL Beauté is winding down, and has not been renewed. Akeroyd said, "We are currently looking for a new fragrance partner." He declined further comment.By sales channel, the McQueen business is split, with 70 percent coming from wholesale sales and the remainder from retail. Half of those wholesale sales come from McQ, McQueen's secondary line that launched in the fall of 2006. The denim-based collection for men and women is produced by the Italian company SINV Spa.The future focus also will be on building up McQueen's retail presence, which is still relatively small. The brand has wholly owned stand-alone stores in London, New York and Milan, and is planning a fourth, in Los Angeles, in April. It has stand-alone, franchised stores in Las Vegas, Istanbul and Moscow.Paris is next on the agenda: Akeroyd said he plans to open a stand-alone store there in 2009.McQueen also is pushing into new markets. Later this year, the company plans to open four franchises in the Middle East. In January, Akeroyd opened an Alexander McQueen Japanese division in Tokyo, an affiliate of Gucci Japan, that will help the company spread into Asia.Stella McCartney, meanwhile, is looking to build its retail presence through a variety of avenues. "Our next big step is more shops in big cities. It's our moment to grow," said Marco Bizzarri, the brand's ceo.McCartney already has units in London, New York and Los Angeles, and will open at the Palais Royal in Paris later this year. The brand also has recently revamped its Web site, and will move into e-commerce in the U.S. in March. Thanks to a distribution agreement with Lane Crawford, the brand will open stores in Beijing and Hong Kong in April. A further unit will open in Tokyo as part of an agreement with Unit & Guest.The split of the McCartney business has about 70 percent of sales coming from women's rtw, followed by 20 percent, footwear, and 10 percent, handbags, which Bizzarri thinks is "ideal." The ceo added that the company will always seek collaborations with outside brands and companies. "They're not financially driven projects. What they do offer us is a different positioning and competencies that we don't have internally," said Bizzarri, adding that there are no plans for any Stella McCartney diffusion lines.
“I design by visualization. I see things, and most of the time they’re not practical to actually make, and what I’ve found here, it’s like anything’s possible. This is the first time that I’ve made a sole unit in two months. That process usually would take six, so here’s a difference,” said @virgilabloh of the first sneaker sample he created for @louisvuitton, pictured here. Abloh spoke to WWD about his debut collection for Louis Vuitton, creating @kendalljenner’s #metgala outfit and redefining the heritage brand. Read the full story on WWD.com. #wwdfashion (📷: @alfredo_piola)
The world’s largest producer of denim @iskodenim is sharing the strategy behind its product development process. Read our full interview with ISKO’s product development manager Baris Ozden on the company’s extensive research practices, upcoming denim trends and the latest material innovations on WWD.com. #iskodenim
“I genuinely fell in love with water, I fell in love with Fiji, I fell in love with the whole life that we lived for those few months,” says @mrsamclaflin of filming for his new movie “Adrift” with @shailenewoodley. The 31-year-old actor spoke with WWD about his upcoming projects, meeting Jamie Dornan and working with co-star Woodley. #wwdeye (📷: @jamstoker)
3 years ago, fans of the late singer Aaliyah started calling for a collaboration with @maccosmetics. With the strength of social media — including mock ups of products — 25,000 people signed a Change.org petition for a limited-edition collection, and MAC couldn’t ignore the buzz. Tomorrow, MAC will unveil MAC x Aaliyah, a tribute to the singer who passed away nearly 17 years ago. Head to our stories to preview the new collection, which was worked on by Aaliyah’s family and inspired directly by her makeup bag. #wwdbeauty
Artistic director @clarewaightkeller will be dedicating @givenchyofficial’s fall 2018 couture show in Paris on July 1 to house founder Hubert de Givenchy, who passed away in March at age 91. Givenchy said the collection would be “an homage to his iconic creations, technique, and personal lexicon” and a “celebration of his timeless elegance and grace.” Head to WWD.com to read more. #wwdfashion (📷: Delphine Achard)
La Double J made a name for itself with its vintage-inspired prints, but for resort, designer JJ Martin has ventured into new territory: enter rich jewel toned solids and decadent embellishment, in the form of appliqués, crystals and sequins. #wwdfashion #resort19 #ladoublej
This Just In: J. Crew Group has named Johanna Uurasjarvi as its chief design officer.
Uurasjarvi succeeds Somsack Sikhounmuong, who left the company last September. Tap the link in bio for the full report. #wwdnews
“She came into my hotel room and she was like, ‘I have Chanel and Christian Dior.’ She was like, ‘Chanel likes you.’ And I was like, ‘I’m going to start crying,’” breakout star Maddie Hasson tells WWD of her styling sessions Molly Dickson. “I really like classic, elegant things. I love the way Anna Wintour dresses.” Read more about Hasson’s role in @impulseseries on wwd.com. (📸: @jgreenery ) #wwdeye
@virgilabloh revealed he's working with Australian stylist and
Vogue Australia fashion director @christinecentenera for his debut @louisvuitton men's collection, which will be presented in Paris on June 21. Centenera met Abloh while both working with Kanye West, where she consulted on his all his runway collections since his debut spring 2012 women's wear show. Read the full story on WWD.com. #wwdfashion #wwdnews (📷: @asussmanphoto)