NEW YORK — Laurene Gandolfo, executive vice president of home at Macy’s Merchandising Group, brought a little emotion to the witness stand in Macy’s Inc.’s legal battle against J.C. Penney Co. Inc. and Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc.
Gandolfo, who oversees production of Martha Stewart goods for Macy’s, said she was excited when the chain cut a 2006 deal to partner with the home goods brand. A fan of Martha Stewart, Gandolfo said, “I felt like I finally hit the big leagues” making goods that would be backed by a celebrity and by television advertising.
She said she put “blood, sweat and tears” into the brand and “nurtured” it as it came to Macy’s, working with what she deemed to be inexperienced designers at Martha Stewart and taking them on factory visits.
After a rocky start and a recession, the business began to pick up steam and became Macy’s biggest home brand.
In December 2011, however, MSLO sold a 16.6 percent stake in its company to Penney’s and made a deal to set up a home shop-in-shop in the chain. Macy’s sued, and the matter is now the subject of a three-way bench trial in New York Supreme Court, where Gandolfo said Friday she was hit hard by the news that Martha Stewart cut a deal with Penney’s.
“I really put myself out there for these people,” she said. “Nobody told me to train their designers, nobody told me I had to take them to our factories. I trusted…the people I was working with [at Martha Stewart]. I was trying to help and felt like they stabbed me in the back.”
She later fired off an e-mail to colleagues saying, “It is my personal goal to show these traitors that we will not miss a beat in their business.”
Gandolfo said her team at Macy’s has been able to maintain a good working relationship with the designers at Martha Stewart, but noted that her counterparts became somewhat less helpful and were also working on ideas for Penney’s.
In a videotaped deposition shown in court, Steve Lawrence, former executive vice president and general merchandise manager of men’s at Penney’s, began to describe how the deal with Martha Stewart came together.
The issue of whether the brand’s contract with Macy’s would allow it to also be sold in Penney’s was a concern early on. He also noted, “We thought that Macy’s would probably drop [Martha Stewart] because we had seen them do that with other things [such as the Liz Claiborne brand].”
The court will finish hearing Lawrence’s deposition on Monday morning, after which Macy’s Terry Lundgren, president, chairman and chief executive officer, is scheduled to take the stand.
@kith is moving into children’s. The men’s and women’s streetwear brand has launched Kidset, a Kith kids line located in New York at 64 Bleecker Street. The line includes mini versions of staple Kith pieces like the Astor bomber jacket and the Kith box logo sweatshirts, along with a wall that can display up to 120 pairs of shoes from @adidas, @newbalance, @timberland and more. #wwdfashion
“I just wanted to create this fully rounded character, but I do think what excited me most was just the opportunity to give a group of people representation that I feel needs it. I like to do characters in projects that stand for something and Karolina definitely does, so that was really exciting to me,” @ginnygardner says of her new role in @hulu’s “The Runaways.” Gardner plays Karolina Dean, a queer superhero, which is a rarity for @marvel. Read more about Gardner’s character on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @dandoperalski)
@heriethpaul and @gracebol have a moment on the @victoriassecret fashion show 2017. See every look from the runway on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo) #wwdfashion #victoriassecret #VSFashionShow
“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