PARIS--Bernard Arnault is trying to buy Franck & Fils, a small French retail chain best known for its tony flagship store here. According to a document filed with the Commission des Operations des Bourses for a planned public tender offer by the Arnault holding company Financiere Agache, the financier has held talks with key members of the Franck family about buying a majority stake in the fashion retailer. "It's true we are in discussions with the Arnault group. Nothing has been signed yet, but the talks are at an advanced stage," said a Franck & Fils spokeswoman Wednesday. But some Franck family members reportedly consider the offer Arnault has put on the table too cheap. A spokeswoman for LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton, the huge luxury goods firm of which Arnault is president and majority shareholder, declined to comment on the talks with Franck & Fils. Arnault already has significant retail interests, including Au Bon Marche, the Left Bank department store here, as well as Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior, Christian Lacroix, Kenzo, Givenchy and Céline shops. Franck & Fils, which is fully controlled by the Franck family, has suffered through the recent economic downturn in Europe. Its main store in Paris, in the wealthy western neighborhood of Passy, has lost money for three years. Obligatory filings with the commercial court here show the 220,000 square-foot store lost $960,000 (4.9 million francs) in 1991, $1.9 million (9.7 million francs) in 1992 and $2.3 million (11.7 million francs) last year. Revenues have also dropped steadily, from $37.8 million (192.6 million francs) in 1991 to $35.7 million (182 million francs) in 1992 and $35.6 million (181.5 million francs) last year. The group has sold two Paris stores in Les Halles and Montparnasse in the last two years but still owns units in Lille, Nantes and Lyon, which apparently are profitable. However, the Paris flagship accounts for about 80 percent of group turnover. Arnault is believed to have made an offer of 10,000 francs per square meter (roughly $200 per square foot) for the Passy store, valuing the flagship at about $43.5 million. The Franck family is believed to have balked at that offer, which is below current market rates for Paris commercial property and rumored to be considerably less than the price offered by Britain's Virgin Records a few years ago.
“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