LONDON — James Bidwell, managing director Anthropologie Europe, has left the company as part of an international restructuring.
Anthropologie confirmed Tuesday that Bidwell’s position had been eliminated. The company said it is undergoing a global restructuring “to better leverage internal resources in order to be closer to the customer, achieve greater efficiencies and to prepare for future international expansion.”
Co-presidents of the Anthropologie brand, Wendy B. McDevitt and Wendy Wurtzburger, will take responsibility for management and growth internationally, with support from the U.K.-based team.
The announcement comes on the heels of record first-quarter earnings for parent company Urban Outfitters Inc., which operates the Anthropologie, Free People, Leifsdottir, Terrain and Urban Outfitters brands. Last week, Urban Outfitters reported earnings of $53 million and sales of $480 million. Sales at Anthropologie rose 22 percent in the three months to April 30.
Glen Senk, chief executive officer of Urban Outfitters Inc., said he was bullish about international expansion. “I used to think international sales could be 25 percent of our business,” he said. “We could find out over time that it’s 50 percent. We no longer view ourselves as a North American retailer. The European business is becoming increasingly important to the company.”
Bidwell, a British retail veteran who was formerly ceo at VisitLondon.com, a tourism Web site, and marketing director at Selfridges, joined Anthropologie in February 2009 with the aim of planting the brand’s flag in Europe. He opened the brand’s first European store on Regent Street here in October, and a second unit on the King’s Road in March. At the same time, Bidwell launched anthropologie.co.uk, the brand’s first international Web site.
“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