Peter Stas, co-founder and chief executive officer of Frédérique Constant, said the ruling would give independent brands time to continue developing their own mechanical movements, or calibers, and prevent them from having to seek foreign suppliers for essential regulating mechanisms like high-tech hairsprings.
“We feel it is the right decision for the Swiss watch industry on a number of levels,” Stas told WWD via e-mail. “It creates at least temporarily clarity and stability after an acrimonious fight within the Swiss watch industry.”
With the exception of Swatch Group, leading industry players have yet to react to Friday’s announcement by the Swiss Federal Competition Commission, or Comco, that it has rejected an agreement struck between its Secretariat and Swatch Group.
Nick Hayek, ceo of Swatch Group, said he regretted the ruling, which allows Swatch Group in principle to continue cutting its delivery of mechanical movements in a gradual way and under certain conditions, but halts any reduction in the supply of assortments.
Frédérique Constant was one of nine companies that appealed a temporary decision by Comco in 2011 authorizing Swatch Group to trim its supply of parts. They argued the sudden reduction in supply could put smaller brands out of business, but the Federal Administrative Court in Bern rejected the appeal in December 2011.
Stas said Frédérique Constant plans to continue investing in expanding its caliber production. “With the Comco decision, we hope that we can concentrate again on development and production of mechanical movements and watches,” he said.
The Comco decision reestablishes Nivarox, the Swatch Group division that produces oscillating and escapement parts, as the long-term supplier for Swiss-made hairsprings, or spirals, produced in large quantities, Stas said.
“For Swiss-made spirals, Nivarox is the only company who can produce spirals at reasonable cost because of history and economies of scale,” he argued.
Hayek has contended the easy availability of his group’s components has made rivals disinclined to invest in their own production capacity, and allowed them to divert spending to marketing and store networks instead.
@kith is moving into children’s. The men’s and women’s streetwear brand has launched Kidset, a Kith kids line located in New York at 64 Bleecker Street. The line includes mini versions of staple Kith pieces like the Astor bomber jacket and the Kith box logo sweatshirts, along with a wall that can display up to 120 pairs of shoes from @adidas, @newbalance, @timberland and more. #wwdfashion
“I just wanted to create this fully rounded character, but I do think what excited me most was just the opportunity to give a group of people representation that I feel needs it. I like to do characters in projects that stand for something and Karolina definitely does, so that was really exciting to me,” @ginnygardner says of her new role in @hulu’s “The Runaways.” Gardner plays Karolina Dean, a queer superhero, which is a rarity for @marvel. Read more about Gardner’s character on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @dandoperalski)
@heriethpaul and @gracebol have a moment on the @victoriassecret fashion show 2017. See every look from the runway on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo) #wwdfashion #victoriassecret #VSFashionShow
“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