- 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.
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.
@beyonce chose a custom gown by @falgunishanepeacockindia for mother @mstinalawson 's second annual Wearable Art Gala last night. The gown, which took 10 days to make, was inspired by Nubian warrior queen Amanishakheto. Reporting by @hernameislex . #wwdeye 👑 🐝#beyonce
After dressing @justintimberlake for his Super Bowl halftime performance last month, @stellamccartney has designed the star’s "Man of the Woods" tour wardrobe. Timberlake will be wearing a mix of pieces from McCartney’s fall men's collection as well as custom designs and items from his own closet. #wwdfashion