The Talbots Inc. named former Liz Claiborne Inc. executive Michael Scarpa as chief operating officer on Monday and said he will add chief financial officer duties when cfo Ed Larsen retires Jan. 5.
The move reunites Scarpa with another former Claiborne executive, Talbots president and chief executive officer Trudy Sullivan, to whom Scarpa will report.
A 25-year veteran of Claiborne, Scarpa most recently served as the firm’s chief operating officer after a seven-year stretch as cfo. Liz Claiborne elected not to replace him as chief operating officer when he departed last month and divided his duties among members of the firm’s senior management team, most notably cfo Andy Warren.
At Talbots, his duties will include finance, supply chain, information technology, inventory management and strategic planning.
Talbots has been without a chief operating officer since Philip Kowalczyk left the firm in July. His duties had been assumed by other company executives.
“Mike is ideally suited to succeed in his dual role as chief operating officer and cfo,” Sullivan said.
Sullivan was president of Liz Claiborne when she resigned in July 2007 to take the top job at Talbots, joining a small group of women at the helm of major fashion retailers and brands.
Sullivan’s tenure at Talbots, based in Hingham, Mass., has been anything but tranquil. A month ago, the firm put its 282-unit J. Jill brand on the selling block, and last January opted to shut its kids’, men’s and U.K. businesses, closing 78 stores in the process.
To cut costs, in June Talbots instituted a 9 percent reduction in its corporate workforce, eliminating the chief operating officer position at that time. A month later, amid growing speculation about its finances, Talbots completed a $50 million credit facility with a subsidiary of its majority shareholder, Aeon Co. Ltd.
“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