NEW YORK — Valentino Fashion Group looked inside to find its new U.S. chief.
The company promoted Wendy Kahn to chief executive officer of Valentino USA and V.F.G. USA and Canada. Her mandate is to lead the growth for both Valentino and the M Missoni brand, which is licensed to V.F.G.
Kahn said her job "will continue to allow me to work closely with the design and marketing teams in Italy, as well as with the chief merchants of all the major U.S. department stores and specialty stores to continue to develop Valentino's various divisions and M Missoni."
Before joining Valentino USA as senior vice president of sales, marketing and retail in 2005, Kahn spent 10 years at LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, rising to president of Celine and Pucci USA. At Valentino, she had an instrumental role, managing the heads of women's wear, accessories, men's wear and retail when the company was expanding its wholesale and retail network and building its accessories assortment, among other initiatives.
Kahn is taking over responsibilities for North America that had been handled by Graziano de Boni, Valentino SpA's former worldwide president of sales, marketing and retail, who recently left to join Prada USA as president and ceo.
Although Valentino traditionally has been known for its women's apparel, it more recently has been experiencing significant growth with accessories, particularly handbags and shoes.
Kahn said she was drawn to a brand as untarnished as Valentino, which is embarking on a new chapter in its iconic history. Her new role comes at an important moment for the fashion house. In the last year, it was acquired by private equity fund Permira, saw the retirement of founder Valentino and the formation of a creative setup that consists of Alessandra Facchinetti in charge of all women's ready-to-wear lines and couture; Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli spearheading the accessories division, and Ferruccio Pozzoni at the helm of men's wear.
Facchinetti's first couture outing last week was favorably received by the press, and parent V.F.G. plans to aggressively build the brand by doubling sales over the next five years.
"Wendy is a talented and knowledgeable executive and is an important part of our management team," said Stefano Sassi, chairman and chief executive of the fashion brand and V.F.G. ceo. "She is very committed to the growth of the Valentino and M Missoni brands in the United States."
“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