Several lines that the $4.58 billion company deemed to be underperforming or in need of repositioning — foremost, its flagship Liz Claiborne brand that Isaac Mizrahi is taking over — are slated for spring 2009 relaunches, which will be presented in September.
In addition to the company's namesake better-priced brand, anticipated debuts include Dana Buchman's relaunch down market as an exclusive line with Kohl's, Kate Spade under creative director Deborah Lloyd, John Barlett's relaunch of the better-priced men's label Claiborne and the kickoff of DKNY men's better sportswear.
How "irresistible" — one of the company's favorite words — the product looks will be a measure of the execution of Claiborne's sweeping changes. The most significant will be Mizrahi's take on the $875 million Claiborne brand, which has been troubled for years.
Claiborne chief executive officer William L. McComb described the spring relaunches as "very important and fundamental," but he declined to project volume improvements for the first few seasons, particularly given the unpredictable impact of the economy.
"What matters most in these first few seasons is getting the fundamentals right, making them naturally margining businesses, with sell-throughs our partners admire, that are drivers of traffic in their departments," McComb said. "We are rebuilding this business logically, re-educating consumer and wholesaler, which isn't something that happens in one season."
Analyst Jennifer Black, who initially had been skeptical about the task of Claiborne's turnaround, issued a research note Monday that she labeled, "The revolution has begun — against all odds." Black endorsed the beginnings of what she called a turnaround after seeing Kate Spade's holiday and resort collections, including handbags, footwear and a smattering of apparel.
"We believe the merchandise assortment is headed in the right direction," Black said. "The brand seems a bit whimsical, yet classic, and is well priced, in our opinion. We believe this differentiates it from other competitors such as Coach. The current assortment in stores does not reflect what is to come and is much improved, in our opinion."
Supermodel @helenachristensen teamed up with longtime friend and designer @camillastaerk on a joint @paredeyewear collaboration. The lineup features three styles and 11 offerings, all of which embody a vintage feel. Get all the details on how they celebrated the collab on WWD.com. #wwdaccessories #wwdeye (📷: @slovekinpics)
“It’s a hard industry to keep motivated, as well, so finding different subjects and people is what makes it worth it – when you’re like, oh, I’ve met great people, I feel like I’ve done something good, and I feel proud of having done this,” said French actress Stacy Martin on being grateful for the variety of roles she’s take on. Read @ktauer’s full interview with Martin on her her latest film “Godard Mon Amour.” #wwdeye (📷: @danieldorsa)
After showing in front of the Eiffel Tower for his last two women’s ready-to-wear collection, it looks like @anthonyvaccarello may be heading to the Big Apple. Sources say the designer will stage his next @ysl show in NYC on June 6. Get all the details on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
EXCLUSIVE: Two and half months after John Targon, cofounder and codesigner of Baja East, was hired as creative director of the contemporary division at Marc Jacobs, he has left the company, WWD has learned. Marc Jacobs International, which is owned by LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, confirmed Targon’s departure in a statement: “John Targon is a talented designer and we appreciate the work he has done here. Ultimately working together did not make sense for the brand and we wish him the best.” Read the story by @jessiredale, link in bio. #wwdnews
@theluxurycollection is officially launching a collection, tapping Sofia Sanchez de Betak for the capsule. Over 30 styles will be featured in the Chufy x The Luxury Collection, debuting next month at Bergdorf Goodman, The Webster, FiveStory and more. De Betak, known as “@chufy,” drew inspiration for the collection from her trips to Japan in the past year #wwdfashion
@lhd, founder and CEO of @thewebster, has teamed up with @lebonmarcherivegauche for the European launch of her ready-to-wear line, LHD. The launch will come with an exclusive pop-up opening today that’s set to run through May 20. Located on the second floor, it carries her debut Miami-themed resort collection, launched in November as see-now-buy-now. #wwdfashion