Mario Grauso isn’t having much of a September holiday.
Monday was his swan song as president of Carolina Herrera Ltd. and Puig Fashion Group, but by Tuesday morning he was already present and accounted for at Vera Wang’s runway show.
Industry sources claim Grauso will be joining Vera Wang in “a major leadership role” within the next few days to head up the designer’s business. In doing so, he would free up Wang to have more time to focus on the creative side as opposed to the business side. Wang’s business includes ready-to-wear, bridal, fragrance, an exclusive label for Kohl’s, stationery and a bevy of other products.
Grauso declined to comment on his career plans Tuesday, as was the case Monday at Herrera’s runway show. Executives at Vera Wang also declined comment.
Some credit Grauso with amping up Herrera’s designer ties to Hollywood, helping to turn celebrities such as Renée Zellweger into die-hard fans. Given that, there is speculation he could do the same with Vera Wang.
Last fall, Susan Sokol exited Vera Wang as president of apparel to join J.Mendel as president, chief operating officer and a member of the board. Grauso’s presumed post is believed to be more extensive.
During her four-year run at Vera Wang, Sokol played an integral role in transforming what was then largely a bridal business into a fashion brand with designer rtw and sportswear. She also helped develop the contemporary Lavender label a few years ago. Wang is taking a breather from Lavender for the spring season while it is repositioned.
Back at Puig, a search for Grauso’s successor as president of Carolina Herrera is under way, but in the meantime, Marc Puig has assumed those responsibilities. Versace North America’s president and chief operating officer Patrick Guadagno’s decision to attend Herrera’s show raised eyebrows, but he insisted he still has his current job.
“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