MARILYN KAWAKAMI REJOINING ANNE KLEIN AS HEAD OF BRIDGE
Byline: Alice Welsh
NEW YORK--Marilyn Kawakami, who started the bridge business at Anne Klein & Co., is returning as president of its bridge lines, Anne Klein II and A Line. Kawakami was with the company from 1981 to 1987 as president of Anne Klein II. She left to become president and chief executive officer of the Warnaco women's division. A Line, a more casual division, started in 1991. Most recently, Kawakami was with GFT at the company's headquarters in Turin, Italy, working on all the GFT collections, including the bridge lines Sahza, Si You and Essence. Her responsibilities included opening and operating a fashion marketing and merchandising office for GFT in Italy. Kawakami noted that she was originally hired by GFT in 1990 to expand the Giorgio Armani Le Collezioni White Label by integrating American marketing ideas. Andrew Rosen, president of Anne Klein & Co., has been directly responsible for the Anne Klein II and A Line divisions. Kawakami, who starts at the company Nov. 7, will report to Rosen. In a joint interview Monday with Rosen in his office here, Kawakami noted that she had been in discussions with Rosen about returning to Anne Klein since April. Rosen, who joined Anne Klein in 1989, added, "Even though I didn't work with Marilyn when she was at Anne Klein, everyone had the highest regard and respect for her, so I stayed in touch with her after she moved to Italy. "In the last couple of years, we have restructured the company a lot, including bringing in Richard Tyler to design the collection, and I had wanted to hire someone to run A Line and Anne Klein II. But I wanted the perfect fit, someone to take advantage of what we have been doing at Anne Klein and to help pull it all together. "Marilyn was the ideal choice because she's been to Europe and gained that experience, so now she has tremendous domestic and worldwide expertise." Kawakami said she was eager to get back to New York and excited about returning to Anne Klein. "Being in Europe was a great experience, but like anything else, you pay for it personally, with family, friends and loved ones. It was time to come home," she said. "It was a very important process for me, the experience in Italy. I focused on what we do in this country and then adapted it to other countries. "Our ways of doing business are different, but in terms of fashion, we are a global market. What's valid here is valid elsewhere. What is right there is right here." Rosen also indicated that the appointment of Kawakami will not mean immediate dramatic changes for the two divisions. "Our growth is a process of evolution, not revolution," he said. Rosen said A Line will have sales of approximately $30 million this year, while Anne Klein II will do over $100 million.
“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