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.
Yesterday, the Parisian fashion house @azzaro_official cut the ribbon on a temeporary retrospective at the wing of the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris. The exhibition, which shows the lasting influence of the brand’s founder Loris Azzaro, is titled “Azzaro, Fifty Sparkling Years” and presents 50 looks. In it’s ’70s heyday, fans of the brand included Jane Birkin, pictured here, Raquel Welch, Brigitte Bardot and more. See more photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion
@trinaturk and @macys Inc International Concepts line are linking up on a collection for summer — filled with accessories, swimwear and shoes. The collection will also include a Mr Turk men’s line, both of which are the designer’s first entry into a more accessibly priced area. “It’s very world-traveler, gypset-inspired,” said Turk. The Trina Turk x INC line will launch on May 15th. #wwdfashion
Assouline is paying homage to the late Azzedine Alaïa with a reprint of "Alaïa Livre de Collection.” The book is comprised of photographs of the designer's summer 1992 runway show with models Christy Turlington Burns, Naomi Campbell and Tyra Banks, pictured here at right. #wwdfashion #alaia #tyrabanks
Fall 2018 accessories take on a painterly hue, with Nebulas Blue among Pantone’s top 10 colors of the season. (📸: @jonghyupstudio ; editor: @twallz21 ; stylist and set designer: @haideefindlaylevin ) #wwdaccessories
@americanapparelusa is relaunching the brand outside of the U.S. today, opening its online store to more than 200 countries. The company is also contemplating a return to brick-and-mortar, though details have not been confirmed. In tandem with the expanded distribution is a recasting of a social media ad campagn, called “Back to Basics,” pictured here, with a focus on diversity and a cast of models above the age of 21. Read more on WWD.com #wwdnews #wwdfashion
Exclusive: @britneyspears is continuing to expand her brand. The pop icon, who appears in @kenzo ’s latest campaign, is partnering with Epic Rights to launch a line of branded merchandise. Read @hernameislex ‘s story, link in bio. #wwdnews #britneyspears
The Duchess of Cambridge channeled Princess Diana’s look upon giving birth to Prince Harry, when she and the Duke of Cambridge departed the hospital with the new baby Prince this afternoon in London. #wwdeye #princeofcambridge
The new Prince of Cambridge has arrived! The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge posed with the 8-pound newborn. She wore a look from one of her go-to designers, @jennypackham. Tap link in bio for more. #wwdeye #princeofcambridge