CUSTOMS RULING CHALLENGED: A coalition of 97 associations and companies, including Target Corp., Neiman Marcus Group, Macy's Inc., Levi Strauss and J.C. Penney Co., sent a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff on Monday urging him to withdraw a proposal that could force apparel companies to pay millions of dollars in additional duties on their imports. The firms said the proposal from U.S. Customs, part of the Homeland Security agency, seeks to "overturn two decades of agency practice." The Customs plan would change a provision known as the "first sale rule" that allows firms to determine the value of an imported finished product on the cost at the point of first sale in the supply chain, such as factory to wholesaler. Customs wants to peg the final value to the point of importation, generally meaning the wholesale price. The agency said it needs to bring its rules into compliance with a decision by an advisory committee of the World Trade Organization.
SAFILO BUYS TWO: Safilo Group said it has acquired two international retail chains: Sunglass Island in Mexico and Just Spectacles in Australia. Along with the Solstice chain in the U.S. and Loop Vision in Spain, Safilo now has four operative organizations globally. Sunglass Island manages 45 stores, all of which are situated in premier locations throughout Mexico. They have been operating in the market for 15 years under the direction of the Krantzberg family, who will continue to work with Safilo, a 60 percent owner of the business. Perth-based Just Spectacles has 44 stores throughout Australia. Safilo acquired 100 percent of the chain. Regarding whether or not Safilo will change any current stores to its Solstice boutiques, chief executive officer Claudio Gottardi said, "For the moment the plan is to keep them as they are. The best locations will over time be converted to Solstice stores."
For its next men’s wear collection, @roberto_cavalli will show as a special guest at #PittiUomo, running from June 12-15. The brand, which has Florence in its roots, will relaunch its men’s wear collection, which will be presented separately from women’s wear for the first time since Paul Surridge was appointed creative director in May. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
“I was making the guacamole when my scout saw me,” says model @stuckinteenage on being discovered just six months ago while working at @chipotlemexicangrill. Since then Williams has signed with @dnamodels, walked in her first show at @calvinklein and landed on the cover of @vogueitalia – a high point of any model’s career. To read @lisajlockwood’s full interview with the model on her experiences thus far, head to WWD.com – link in bio. (📷: George Chinsee)
“I love the idea of dialogue, period. It’s where I’ve always gotten my inspiration from: hearing other women speak, their journeys and their paths,” said @hereisgina, who delivered the keynote speech during @sxsw for @createcultivate in partnership with @fossil. For her two panels, Rodriguez chose female empowering, female-led and female entrepreneurs to focus on. Head to WWD.com to read more about her thoughts on Time’s Up, growing up in a family of women and why we “need a girls’ club.” #wwdeye #sxsw (📷: @jgreenery)
Leading luxury brand are shaking things up to keep up with streetwear. Case in point: the arrival of @mrkimjones as artistic director of @diorhomme. Jones, who succeeds @Kris_Van_Assche, is seen as one of the handful of designers who can actually straddle the luxury and streetwear worlds — which could lead to even more changes at established brands. What could this mean for the rest of the menswear landscape? Head to WWD.com to find out what experts predict #wwdfashion (📷: @franckmura)
“It’s like buying groceries. You’re going to buy the best mango, the best mozzarella, the best things. You have to, or others are going to take it all,” said @gabrielahearst on why she uses only the finest fabrics. Last week, Hearst received her first @cfda nomination for Womenswear Designer of the Year, and earlier this month she opened a permanent showroom in Paris. To read @jessiredale’s interview with the designer and find out why this is shaping up to be a big year for her, head to WWD.com. #wwdfashion (📷: @francoisgoize)
“It’s an interesting thing, playing a younger version of your mother. It’s an interesting concept. I adore my mom and love her in every capacity, but it was just something that had never crossed my mind,” says @anniemstarke on playing a young Joan Castleman in “The Wife.” The same role will be played by her mother Glenn Close. Read more about her growing up in the film industry as the daughter of producer John H. Starke and Close and what she has planned for the future #wwdeye (📷: @nataliamantini)
@asics is launching a new streetwear sneaker inspired by its latest ambassador, @steveaoki. The Hyper-Kenzen x Aoki, which will launch at @footlocker stores exclusively tomorrow, is a slip-on style that incorporates the brand’s proprietary Gel technology through beads integrated into the midsole for comfort and endurance. Read the full story on WWD.com.