NEW YORK — After 18 months as interim chief executive officer of Ralph Rucci LLC, Jeffry Aronsson has relinquished that post to focus on his consultancy company, the Aronsson Group.
The plan is to hand over the ceo role to a permanent ceo, but an individual has not yet been named.
Both parties said Monday that the temporary arrangement had always been part of the plan. Aronsson is maintaining his minority stake in the company.
Ralph Rucci chairman Nancy Marx said Aronsson “did such a great job,” helping to stir up more interest among stores, moving the designer’s offices into a new space and “putting out some fires,” among other things. With Aronsson on board, the designer branched out into new categories, attracted new investors, earned favorable reviews for his spring collection and launched his first advertising campaign. Industry sources said Aronsson has been instrumental in improving sell-throughs, stabilizing the company financially and operationally and enhancing the wholesale side of the business. RELATED STORY: Ralph Rucci RTW Spring 2014 >>
Another consultant, Guy Muzio, has stepped in to help out with Aronsson’s former responsibilities. Marx declined to say when a permanent ceo would be named, but noted the company was “holding out” for an exact match.
Reached at home Monday, Aronsson said, “This is a transient moment for the company because of what we have achieved in the past year and a half. Now the company is ready to get someone in who can devote 150 percent of their bandwidth and really make the business happen. This isn’t something so sudden. We have been casting a net for a permanent ceo for a while. As much as I enjoyed being acting ceo, I want to focus on my own business.”
He continued, “With Ralph [Rucci], this was a situation that I responded to when he needed me. I was happy to help out.”
At various points in his career before he started his own company in 2006, Aronsson served as chairman and ceo of Donna Karan International, Marc Jacobs International and Oscar de la Renta. More recently, in 2011, he relocated to Paris to work as the acting ceo for Emanuel Ungaro, a post that wound up being a four-month arrangement. At that time, his firm took on the strategic planning for that business.
Rucci said, “Jeffry has moved the company forward into a new era; he has done a tremendous job over the last year and a half. The company is now ready to benefit from a permanent ceo to continue its expansion both domestically and internationally. We look forward to this next step in our evolution.”
Aronsson Group came into the company in a consulting role in spring 2012.
Soon off on a two-week trip to India to celebrate his 25th wedding anniversary with his wife Wendy (a year after the fact), Aronsson said he will remain in touch with the Rucci team. “I am very pleased with the experience and the preparation for the next phase,” he said. “Now it’s up to someone else. It’s time for a permanent ceo who can really devote the hours 24/7.”
“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