Paul Stuart has created an executive leadership team. The Ivy League-inspired men’s and women’s retailer, which was acquired by its Japanese licensee, Mitsui & Co. Ltd., at the end of 2012, has made a couple of key hires as well as promotions designed to “assure a seamless and strategic extension of the Paul Stuart brand architecture as we pursue a myriad of growth plans and opportunities,” according to Michael Ostrove, president and chief executive officer.
The former family-owned business had a very loose operating structure in the past, according to a spokesman.
Ralph Auriemma, longtime designer of the company’s younger-skewed Phineas Cole label, has been named design director and will now oversee all product development for the retailer. Bob Green, a men’s wear veteran who was most recently president of Façonnable USA, has been named chief merchandising officer/general manager/general merchandise manager. Green, who has also served as executive vice president of sales and marketing for both Ermenegildo Zegna Corp. and St. John Knits, will be responsible for all new retail development, store management, staffing and merchandising.
Thomas Mastronardi, president of Thomas Mastronardi and Associates, has been named chief marketing officer. Mastronardi, who spent the past 18 months consulting with the retailer as director of marketing, has also represented clients including Zegna, Canali, Lacoste, Isaia and Robert Talbott. At Paul Stuart, he will oversee all brand architecture, creative development and advertising.
Michio Fujii, who spent more than two decades at Mitsui in Italy and Japan, has been named chief financial officer.
All three executives report to Ostrove.
“The logical extension of our company, within both the domestic and international markets, is made possible by the acquisition of Paul Stuart [last] year by Mitsui Corp. and by establishing a seamless operating structure,” Ostrove said. “We have taken the initial steps in what we are all sure will be a very exciting and profitable future.”
Paul Stuart is currently celebrating its 75th year in business. Mitsui said it plans to expand the company’s presence in the U.S., where it operates stores in New York and Chicago, as well as in Asia, where there are about 100 in-store shops in Japan. The Japanese company is also talking with potential licensees to expand the Paul Stuart range in Japan.
“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