NEW YORK — John Varvatos named Robert J. Wichser president and chief executive officer.
Most recently, Wichser consulted at Narciso Rodriguez and, before that one-year gig, was a principal at Yucaipa Companies, where he also served as president and ceo of the Sean John brand. Prior to that, Wichser spent 11 years as president and ceo of Joseph Abboud.
“I have known and admired John for 10 years, and have tremendous respect for the aesthetic of the company and the integrity in which the business has been built,” Wichser, whose first day is Sept. 6, said. “I think the company is perfectly positioned to become the next major lifestyle brand, and I am confident that in working with John and the entire John Varvatos organization, we can do just that.”
Wichser will report to Varvatos, the company’s chairman and chief creative officer, who also currently holds the title of president. “Bob is the partner I have wanted since we started the company,” Varvatos said. “With Bob at the helm, the sky is the limit.”
Meanwhile, the division of VF Corp. also named Don Witkowski vice president of merchandising, reporting to Varvatos. Witkowski previously had his own merchandising and production consulting company, Kona Consult, and before that served as president of men’s wear at Michael Kors and at Nautica. He was also a driving force behind the growth of Donna Karan’s men’s business in the late Nineties. “Don is one of the best merchants in the industry,” Varvatos said. “He understands all levels of the market. His eye, taste level and business acumen are incredible.”
“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