BERLIN – As insolvency proceedings for German department store, catalogue and travel group Arcandor opened midday in Essen, a severance package of 15 million euros, or $21.45 million, for outgoing chief executive officer Karl-Gerhard Eick has provoked outrage in Germany.
Worker representatives said they were incensed by the amount, at a time when executive compensation is a hot-button topic in Europe. In an interview on German radio, Chancellor Angela Merkel said she did not agree with a manager receiving five year’s salary for six months work.
When Eick took over the group in March, he received a guarantee of the severance package from the private bank Sal. Oppenheim, one of Arcandor’s main shareholders.
The group employs over 38,000 employees, many of whom may be now threatened with redundancy. Last week, Arcandor AG announced it would let go a majority of staff at its primary holding company. The Essen-based firm has given close to two-thirds of its 100 holding company employees notice to leave their desks by the end of September.
Last month, Arcandor gave up all hope of finding a buyer to take on the entire group. Insolvency administrators can now continue the search for individual investors for the Karstadt department store chain and Quelle mail-order service, and say there’s a 90 percent chance the company could survive the restructuring process, which may include the closing of 19 Karstadt doors and the firing of a third of the Quelle staff.
“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