NEW YORK — After a lifetime in the fashion industry, Robin Marino was caught off guard when she found out in December 2011 that Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc. had cut a deal to sell home goods through J.C. Penney Co. Inc.
First, she was surprised none of her friends had leaked word of the deal to her — and she no doubt has lots of friends who could have, since she was an executive at Martha Stewart for six years and eventually ascended to co-chief executive officer overseeing the company’s merchandising operations.
But Marino was also surprised, because she didn’t think Martha Stewart’s similar agreement with Macy’s Inc. — a deal she conceived of and helped negotiate and execute — would allow it.
That’s certainly the position of Macy’s, which sued Stewart last year, ultimately bringing the three parties to New York Supreme Court, where Marino, now group president at Li & Fung, was testifying.
Marino first started to talk about joining Martha Stewart when the home maven was serving a prison term for obstruction of justice. “My perception going in was that the business was going to be very challenged as a result of Martha’s incarceration,” Marino said.
Kmart — which sold Martha Stewart home goods at the time — was also going through a difficult transition under the guidance of hedge fund operator Edward S. Lampert, she said. “I believe that we needed to diversify the business because we had all of our eggs in one basket,” Marino said. And the company’s deal with Kmart wouldn’t let them take the brand to another discount player such as Target Corp. or Wal-Mart Stores Inc.
So Marino approached Macy’s. “I felt that we needed to take Martha Stewart upmarket,” she said.
The question of exclusivity came up frequently in Marino’s negotiations with Macy’s and was an important point for the department store. Marino said it was her goal that the Martha Stewart brand take over more of Macy’s home business and that she believed the brand would be aggressively promoted and advertised.
Macy’s has been accused in the case of not doing all it could to grow the Martha Stewart business.
Martha Stewart has maintained that it was within its rights to sign its deal with Penney’s because it’s setting up shops-in-shop with the chain. Under the agreement with Macy’s, Martha Stewart is permitted its own branded shops.
The trial continues today with Penney’s ceo Ron Johnson taking the stand.
@fearofgod and @maxfieldla have teamed up on a pop-up installation. The store, located in the gallery space across from Maxfield’s Melrose Ave location, is the site of the brand’s House of God pop-up in which Fear of God founder @jerrylorenzo has created a church-inspired installation. A dozen vintage church pews sit in front of an LED screen playing 90s gospel singers in an effort to re-create an environment akin to a Southern Baptist Church, Lorenzo explained. Read more about the pop-up on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: Jennifer Johnson)
Known for his sleek, sophisticated American glamour, Norman Norell is the subject of an upcoming exhibition at @fitnyc. “Norell: Dean of American Fashion,” which runs from February 9 through April 14, will feature approximately 100 ensembles and accessories. His best work is exemplified by the designer’s glittering “mermaid” gowns frosted with thousands of hand-sewn sequins – like the one pictured. (📷: William Helburn) #wwdfashion
For pre-fall 2018, @balmain didn’t let go of the glitz. A crystal embroidered baseball jacket priced at around $40,000 hangs in the “couture” section of the brand’s first men’s pre-collection. Sporting the words “Balmain Army” across the back, the item took around two months to make. “When it was completed, it was like Christmas, it was like, ‘It’s done, it’s exactly what I wanted,’” said Balmain’s creative director @olivier_rousteing during a tour of the collection in a Paris showroom on Monday. #wwdfashion
Eighty degree temperatures and outdoor installations at the annual Art Basel Miami Beach called for bright, elevated beachwear. See more street style pictures on WWD.com. #theyarewearing #ABMB (📷: @lifeinreverie)
Following September’s emotional tribute to her brother Gianni, Donatella Versace wanted to bring the spring show’s deep sense of intimacy to her @versace_official pre-fall collection. Donatella found inspiration in Versace Palazzo in Milan and from Gianni’s opulent apartment. Archival patterns and new motifs were splashed on silk shirtdresses and fitted jersey frocks. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com. #wwdfashion
Demna Gvasalia continues to shake up the Paris fashion calendar — and experiment with new runway timetables for his @vetements_official brand. WWD has learned that Vetements plans to stage its next coed show for the fall 2018 season on January 19 during Men’s Fashion Week in the French capital. Details about the timing and venue have not been confirmed — stay tuned on WWD.com to catch the latest. #wwdnews (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo)
@zacposen's go-to holiday gift? Cookies! "I'll usually bake cookies and send them as a gift," said the designer, who recently released his cookbook "Cooking With Zac: Recipes from Rustic to Refined." Get the recipe for his Brown Butter-Chocolate Chip Cookies via link in bio 🍪🍪🍪 #wwdeye #cookingwithzac
For @monsemaison’s pre-fall 2018 collection, Fernando Garcia and Laura Kim honed in on the brand’s many signatures — men’s wear, which was tweaked and feminized through deconstruction, proportion play and lots of bare shoulders. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)
On Friday night, @yohjiyamamotoofficial received the Design for Asia Lifetime Achievement Award in Hong Kong. The 75-year-old designer has been celebrated for many years and is best known for his dark and avant-garde tailoring. “In my long career, in design, architecture, [I’ve been to] so many parties, this is the very first time that I have such a warm feeling, I really appreciate this,” Yamamoto said. #wwdfashion (📷: @dominiquemaitre)