With plans to venture into new categories including home and lifestyle, Lela Rose has hired Ellen Rodriguez as chief executive officer of the brand.
Rodriguez will officially exit French Connection USA today as president and ceo. At Lela Rose, she takes over some of the responsibilities previously handled by Karen Scheck, who exited the company as president in March. Scheck, who could not be reached for comment, resigned to spend more time with her three children, according to a Lela Rose spokeswoman.
Rose and Rodriguez said they each knew quickly after meeting each other for the first time that they would be good partners. Rodriguez will join the company May 12 in its West 30th Street offices, which has a staff of about 17. Her licensing know-how was a major plus with Rose, who used CT Partners for the executive search. Not to mention that “Ellen looks every bit” like a Lela Rose person, the designer said. RELATED STORY: Lela Rose RTW Fall 2014 >>
Rose also said she liked that Rodriguez (who has 25 years of experience at Juicy Couture, Calvin Klein, Kenneth Cole, Nautica and Cole Haan) has such multidimensional experience in the fashion industry domestically and internationally. At two different points in her career, Rodriguez worked at Calvin Klein Inc. — first in corporate planning and a decade later as executive vice president of global licensing and marketing.
After graduating from what was formerly known as Parsons School of Design, Rose honed her skills working for Richard Tyler and then Christian Francis Roth before opening her own business in 1998. The Lela Rose label is sold in more than 75 specialty stores nationwide, including Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom and Bloomingdale’s. The designer has a flagship store in her hometown of Dallas. Her collection is also sold in Canada, Europe, Russia, the Middle East and Japan. Building the designer’s core business is the number-one priority, Rodriguez said. While building the current business, which includes bridal gowns and bridesmaid dresses, will be the immediate focus, there are plans to expand into shoes, bags, jewelry and other categories. It has not yet been determined whether that will be done in house or through licensing deals.
That said, the designer does have a signature tabletop collection in development, though a launch date has not been set.
As one of the most recognizable models in the world, Christy Turlington Burns has an insider’s view of the fashion industry and the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around it. “I can say that harassment and mistreatment have always been widely known and tolerated in the industry. The industry is surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experiences at some point in our careers,” Turlington told WWD, along with her suggestions for how the modeling world should protect younger women and men. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: Tony Palmieri) #wwdnews
@asics America has tapped a new brand ambassador: famed DJ/record producer @steveaoki. This initiative is intended to set the tone for the new brand identity and philosophy and will include partnerships with influencers and in-store and off-line activations that will continue into next year. This is Asics’ most significant marketing effort in two decades, and is expected to attract younger consumers to the brand. #wwdfashion
24-year-old Jean Prounis is redefining the rules of jewelry. Formerly a studio assistant to Jemima Kirke and a design apprentice at Ghuran, she focuses on handcrafted subtleties and ancient goldsmithing techniques. “There was a really sterile feel in the environment and I wanted to have jewelry with character that shapes how you wear it everyday,” Prounis said. Each piece is hand made in New York, either by Prounis or three other jewelers in the district. #wwdfashion
“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