LONDON — The British fashion retailer All Saints is on the prowl for a new chief executive officer from outside the company after Stephen Craig abruptly stepped down Monday.
Craig, who helped find new majority investors earlier this year after All Saints’ main backer, the Icelandic bank Kaupthing, collapsed, said he had no choice but to resign his post. “The current leadership structure is untenable given the lack of clarity of roles between the chairman, Kevin Stanford, and me and, as such, I now believe it is the right time for me to explore other more entrepreneurial opportunities,” he said.
Lyndon Lea, a co-founder of Lion Capital, which purchased All Saints along with Goode Partners, said it was a sad day for him. “I get along with them both. But it was like one of those marriages that ends after so much time spent in the trenches,” he said in a telephone interview. “They have not been happy working together since the sale.”
Craig had been with the company since 2006, and had helped to boost turnover to 300 million pounds, or $465 million, from 14 million pounds, or $21.7 million. All figures have been converted at current exchange.
All Saints said Craig would be succeeded temporarily by Peter Wood, who is currently chief financial officer.
Lea called All Saints a “special, design-led business,” and said the stores could easily be rolled out and replicated. “We don’t have much presence in Asia and the Far East, and I think there is so much potential there. This could be a worldwide brand,” he said.
Lion and Goode injected 105 million pounds, or $162.8 million, into the company when they purchased it in early May. “I think the real myth of All Saints is the state the brand was in at the time of the sale. It was a success despite the problems with its capital structure,” Lea said.
Although the business risked filing for bankruptcy, Lea said it had never stopped growing. “Yes, it could have been growing more profitably — we were touching on 70 percent margins. It was very resilient.”
Lion Capital’s other investments include American Apparel, La Senza lingerie and Bumble Bee Foods.
“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
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast