LONDON — Giorgio Armani and his longtime U.K. retail partners Club 21 are parting ways.
The Armani Group and Club 21 said Tuesday they have reached an agreement by which Armani will take over direct control of its U.K. retail and wholesale operations for all its brands. Club 21 currently operates one Giorgio Armani flagship and six Emporio Armani stores in the U.K. and oversees wholesale accounts at stores such as Harrods and Selfridges.
The one exception is A|X Armani Exchange, a joint venture between Club 21 (UK) Ltd. and Giorgio Armani. Club 21 said Tuesday it and Armani would continue to expand the A|X Armani Exchange brand worldwide.
“We have enjoyed a great working relationship with Club 21 for over two decades, and I am truly grateful for their great contribution to establishing the Armani business so successfully in the U.K. during that time,” said Giorgio Armani, president and chief executive officer of his company. “However, it is now time that a global brand like Armani runs its own interests in a market as significant as this one. We have great plans for the U.K., and we look forward to a new era for Armani there.”
An Armani spokesman did not elaborate on the future plans in the U.K.
Giorgio Armani is a private company and does not break out sales for the U.K. However, the company said in its 2011 revenue statement earlier this year that Europe, excluding Italy, was the biggest market for the group, accounting for 31 percent of sales.
Christina Ong, whose family owns and operates Club 21, said: “We are grateful to the Armani Group for having given us the opportunity to develop the business over the last 23 years. We are confident that with the global strength of the Armani Group, the U.K. operations will move on to achieve even greater success.”
Club 21, the fashion and accessories arm of the Ong family’s Como Group, was founded in 1972 in Singapore. It operates multilabel fashion stores as well as licensed boutiques in Australia, the Far East, the U.K. and U.S., and manages brands including Donna Karan, ck Calvin Klein, Balenciaga, Marni, Dolce & Gabbana, Diesel, Paul Smith, Issey Miyake, Jil Sander and Dries Van Noten.
“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