- HOUSE OKS FARM BILL: The House passed a $300 billion compromise farm bill on Wednesday that could potentially help retailers and apparel brands save millions of dollars in additional duties, extend benefits to apparel companies making clothing in the Caribbean, expand trade benefits to Haiti and give some financial support to U.S. textile producers using U.S. or imported cotton. The legislation next goes to the Senate for a vote, but it faces a veto threat from President Bush, who has argued that it contains too many subsidies for wealthy farmers. The House vote was 318-106, which is more than the two-thirds needed for an override if the President vetoes the bill.
- POLO DEPARTURE: Eileen Sullivan, a senior vice president of design at the Polo Ralph Lauren Corp., has left the company. Since joining in 1987, Sullivan held various design jobs at Polo, including senior design director in women's design, and vice president of Ralph Lauren Polo Sport. More recently, she was designing children's wear for American Living, the exclusive J.C. Penney brand developed by Polo's Global Brand Concepts division.
- NOT FOR SALE: Escada's major shareholder and Finartis chairman Rustam Aksenenko denied German press reports that he is considering selling his stake in the German fashion house. "We did not negotiate and are not negotiating a sale of our participation in Escada," Aksenenko said in a statement. "We believe in the potential of the brand." Rumors have been circulating of a possible interest in Escada by Tchibo Holding and MaxInvest co-owner Michael Herz, and according to a new report this week, the Indian steel billionaire Lakshmi Mittal via the Swiss bank UBS. While Aksenenko said he welcomed outside interest in the company, he added, "The recent rumors have not been helpful in keeping the company focused on the operations challenges of maintaining and building a world-class brand." Finartis' FCMH Fund LP owns 24.8 percent of Escada, and Aksenenko privately owns an additional 1.4 percent for a total of 26.2 percent.
Harrods plans to remove the famous statue of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed from the bottom of the Egyptian escalators and hand it back to Mohamed Al-Fayed. “We are very proud to have played our role in celebrating the lives of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed at Harrods and to have welcomed people from around the world to visit the memorial for the past 20 years,” said Michael Ward, Harrods managing director. “With the announcement of the new official memorial statue to Diana, Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace, we feel that the time is right to return this memorial to Mr. Al Fayed and for the public to be invited to pay their respects at the palace.” More on the news, with reporting by @loreleimarfil, at WWD.com. #wwdnews
@prada is introducing a new project at its men’s fall 2018 show this Sunday: “Prada Invites.” The fashion house invited four celebrated creative minds – @ronanaerwanbouroullec, Konstantin Grcic, @herzogdemeuron and @rem.koolhaas – to each create a unique item with its iconic nylon material. The designs will be unveiled on the runway show, which will take place at the company’s warehouse in Viale Ortles 25. #wwdfashion #mfwm (📷: @martinocarrera)
@kering_official is spinning off its stake in puma in an effort to focus on its luxury brands, the brand operator announced yesterday. “We are proud to have supported the turnaround of Puma, which now has unrivaled capabilities to take full advantage of the specific dynamics of its global markets and is poised to achieve substantial growth,” said François-Henri Pinault, Kering’s chief executive officer and chairman. Artémis will become a “long-term strategic shareholder” of Puma with a 29 percent stake. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
The fashion world mourns for celebrated street style photographer, Nabile Quenum, who died at age 32 in Paris.
Quenum, creator of the fashion blog “J’ai Perdu Ma Veste,” was a fashion week fixture, and regularly shot for New York magazine’s The Cut, among other outlets, and brands such as Louis Vuitton, Moncler and Adidas. He was also actively involved in the #NoFreePhotos initiative, which kicked off in the fall. Read more about Quenum in @kbsmoke's story on WWD.com. #wwdnews
@verwanggang and @maisonladuree have teamed up on a dessert collab called Vera Wang Pour Ladurée. The collection, which launched this week, features a specialty macaroon, as well as a wedding cake inspired by one of the designer’s gowns. “I could not imagine a more delicate or sophisticated creation to grace any couple’s celebration,” said Wang. #wwdfashion