Henri Bendel’s vice president and fashion director, Ann Watson, has left her post after three years with the retailer.
While she has yet to reveal what she will do next, Watson said in an e-mail: “After three great years of reinventing retail as a branded experience, I am moving on to new opportunities. I feel certain the Henri Bendel branded stores will be a great success.”
Known for her eye for finding new talent, Watson played an integral role in nurturing the businesses of several young designer labels. Before joining Bendel’s, she was senior director of retail for Starwood Hotels and Resorts, fashion director at Saks Fifth Avenue and in merchandising at Neiman Marcus.
It was widely speculated that Watson would leave Bendel’s when the Columbus, Ohio-based firm, owned by Limited Brands, unveiled its new accessories-only strategy earlier this month. A spokeswoman at the store would not comment on Watson’s departure, and Watson could not be reached for further comment.
In other company news, Dina Battipaglia has been named senior vice president of merchandising. In her new role, Battipaglia will focus on increasing the Henri Bendel accessories collection, which includes handbags, wallets, key fobs and jewelry.
Battipaglia has spent more than 20 years with Liz Claiborne Inc.’s accessories division, most recently as interim president for Kate Spade. In her tenure at Claiborne, she led several accessories businesses for brands including Juicy Couture, Lucky Brand, Monet and Kenneth Cole. She will be based in New York and report to Ed Bucciarelli, president and chief executive officer at Henri Bendel.
Under the retailer’s new strategy, the Fifth Avenue flagship will be downsized as Bendel’s concentrates on its most profitable areas while getting out of apparel. The concept will be rolled out to shopping malls, where units will offer only Bendel’s branded merchandise. Six stores will open this year, joining the existing four.
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews
“Stranger Things” is getting a new cast member for season 2. Meet @sadiesink_, the 15-year-old who will be joining the Netflix series for its new season. You may recognize her from “The Glass Castle” with Brie Larson and Woody Harrelson, but the Texas native’s next role goes in an entirely different direction. She describes her character, Max, as “a rough and tumble skater girl [who] becomes friends with the boys at school.” The second season debuts on October 27. (📷: @jgreenery) #wwdeye
Amid the Harvey Weinstein controversy, there’s another sector that’s being put under the spotlight for sexual abuse: the modeling industry. While rumors about abuse and sexual harassment of female and male models — and the photographers, agents and others who perpetrated it — have circulated within the fashion world for years, model @cameronrussell started posting stories from models on Instagram last week about abusive situations they’ve encountered — from sexual harassment and molestation to attempted rape. Over 75 have weighed in so far. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews
To celebrate its 16th anniversary, @dylanscandybar tapped designers and celebrities to create mosaics out of candy. The mosaics will be auctioned off to support the philanthropic cause of each participant’s choice. Pictured here is the mural created by @aliceandolivia's Stacey Bendet. For a first look at some of the other artwork being unveiled tonight, go to WWD.com. #wwdeye
The annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in Pacific Palisades this weekend drew Kate Hudson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Laura Dern and more. See pictures of the star-studded event on WWD.com. (📷: @chelsealaurenla) #wwdeye
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye
"Nowadays when life is not so happy with everything going on in the world, I think people come to me for a little bit of whimsy and color and fun." - Designer Rebecca De Ravenel on her cult-favorite jewelry line. (📸 : @vsteves) #wwd40
“Everyone is talking about how the retail industry is struggling, but I think it’s an incredible time because brands who are doing something different and innovative are setting themselves up for the future,” said @adamgoldston, who founded the luxury athletic brand @apl with his brother @ryangoldsten. The Goldston’s are part of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables. See the rest of the list on WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
@eyeswoon blogger Athena Calderone debuted her first-ever cookbook, “Cook Beautiful,” which is heavily centered on the presentation and visual expression of food. Pictured here are her miso glazed carrots from the book. Get the recipe on WWD.com. (📷: @johnny_miller_) #wwdeye