Fred Leighton continues to have flair for the dramatic: Peter Bacanovic has been ousted as president of the 38-year-old vintage jewelry house.
In streamlining company expenditures, Thomas Shull, who was named chief restructuring officer-plan facilitator of the firm last month by theU.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan, eliminatedthe role of president. Sources said Bacanovic, whose contract was up for renewal on Feb. 1, had investors interested in Leighton, but that once Shull stepped in late last month Bacanovic no longer had a say.
Also according to sources, Shull, chief executive officer of restructuring specialist Meridian Ventures LLC who served as an adviser in the bankruptcies and eventual sales of Macy & Co. and Barneys New York, has former Barneys owner Bob Pressman lined up as a possible investor in the troubled jeweler.
“There are people, more than a couple of people interested in becoming equity partners,” said Ralph Esmerian, who acquired Leighton in 2006 in coordination with Merrill Lynch’s Global Asset Based Finance Group from founder Murray Mondschein. “But in terms of the time and environment it’s never enough people…There’s never enough money.”
Esmerian said there has been added confusion since Bank of America acquired Merrill Lynch in September.
Bacanovic’s swift exit comes after last week’s departure of Leighton’s chief financial officer Satyajit Bose. Bacanovic’s hire slightly more than a year ago was an eyebrow raising choice for the role of president of the jewelry house seeing as he had no previous experience in the industry.
The closest Bacanovic — the Merrill Lynch broker who was fired, banned from the securities industry and completed a jail term for insider trading in the ImClone scandal — had come to the luxury industry was when he was creative director for Judith Leiber with the socialite Vanessa Getty in 2006.
“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