BERLIN — Management changes are under way at Escada.
Richard Simonin, the Escada board member responsible for licenses and accessories, is leaving the firm, effective Monday. An Escada statement Wednesday said the Munich-based fashion house and Simonin had parted ways by mutual agreement and that there would be no further claims on either side.
According to reports, the Escada supervisory board had not initially accepted Simonin’s resignation. His contract was due to expire in fall 2004. Simonin would not comment on the grounds for his departure nor his plans, other than to say he will “definitely be staying in the fashion business.”
Industry sources noted that his responsibilities at Escada have been shrinking. He also had been head of Escada Beauté until it was sold to Wella in April 2002, a deal that he was instrumental in arranging. This May, Escada announced the termination of its underwear license with Hanro.
The remaining Escada licenses are for eyewear; fragrance, and scarves, shawls and ties. The company also has a partnership in the fine jewelry business, but accessories for both the Escada and Escada Sport collections are now in-house.
As part of Escada’s “continuing efforts to consolidate its business fields,” Wolfgang Ley, Escada’s chief executive officer, said: “The board of management will be reduced to three members.” They are Ley; Beate Rapp, chief operating officer, and Georg Kellinghusen, chief financial officer. Ley will assume responsibility for Escada accessories, and Rapp for license business at the board level.
Sales for the total Escada Group hit $892.7 million in fiscal 2002, compared with $977.4 million the previous year. Dollar figures have been converted from the euro at current exchange rates.
The firm will hold a press conference today regarding its most recent financial results.
MORE PLEA DEALS: Two more former Rite Aid executives, Franklin Brown and Eric Sorkin, are expected to change their pleas to guilty today when they go in front of U.S. District Court Judge Sylvia Rambo’s courtroom in Harrisburg, Pa., in the government’s case against them. Brown, former vice chairman and general counsel, and Sorkin, on administrative leave as vice president of pharmacy purchasing, were to face jury trial about their respective roles in the Rite Aid accounting scandal, which resulted earlier this month in the entrance of guilty pleas, just prior to the scheduled start of their trials, by former chief executive Martin Grass and former chief financial officer Frank Bergonzi. Brown and Sorkin were the two remaining defendants in the government’s case against Rite Aid following Grass’ and Bergonzi’s pleas.— Vicki M. Young
NOT SO BEAUTIFUL: Goldman, Sachs & Co. cut its rating on L’Oréal to “underperform” from “in-line” on Wednesday. Although the investment bank said in its research note that it expects L’Oréal to have an 8.5 percent sales uptick on a like-for-like basis in the second quarter — “the strongest in our universe” — it doesn’t anticipate that the French beauty giant’s profits release will shine in September. “We expect 1.6 percent growth in the first half in adjusted EBIT [after currency hedges], the weakest of the stocks we cover,” Goldman Sachs reported. “This light performance stems from increasing competition, the uncertain economic environment and the difficult comparable period.”
L’Oréal stock closed down 3.01 percent Wednesday at $71, or 61.20 euros. Dollar figures have been converted from the euro at current exchange rates.
Also on the beauty front, Goldman Sachs downgraded its rating on the cosmetics sector to “cautious” from “neutral” in a separate note, saying: “We believe the market will be disappointed when second-quarter/first-half reporting gets under way for the cosmetics sector.”
— Jennifer Weil
TRADING PLACES: Philippe Villemus, formerly Helena Rubinstein’s international general manager, has left L’Oréal, WWD has learned. His replacement has not yet been named.
In other L’Oréal news, Catherine Fulconis will succeed Dimitri Katsachnias as director of strategic development at the end of June. Fulconis, an 18-year L’Oréal veteran, has most recently been the director of European development at Shu Uemura and Kiehl’s.
Katsachnias, Tho-Van Tran and Patrice Haddad have jointly formed Garden and Partners, a company that creates, redefines and manages brands’ added value. Tran is also a partner and the creative director at Air advertising agency. Haddad is the owner of Premiere Heure production company.
@tradesy is turning the concept of a showroom upside down with its new space in Santa Monica. Here, the company plans to hold events, art exhibits and a showcase rare fashion pieces like this Louis Vuitton boxing set. Get all the details on Tradesy’s first showroom on WWD.com. #wwdnews
Spotted last night at the @erdem x @hm launch event: Kate Bosworth, Rashida Jones, Kirsten Dunst and Selma Blair. The party, which took place in LA, also marked the opening of their pop-up shop. “I was interested in creating a collection that wasn’t in any way disposable. It was about pieces you’d create and keep forever, things that have a permanence to it,” designer Erdem Moralioglu said. #wwdeye (📷: Katie Jones)
Renee Zellweger in yellow in 2001 and again in 2017. Chosen as one of the 12 @pantone Leading Spring Colors (and dubbed “Meadowlark”), it only makes sense that the bright hue stands the test of time and is making a resurgence this season, seen already on stars like @blakelively and @gigihadid. (📷: Donato Sardello & @rexfeatures) #wwdfashion #tbt
Dior’s 70th anniversary celebration continues with a new exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. “Christian Dior,” which is scheduled to run through March 18, takes a look at the founders tenure from 1947 to 1057 and feature 40 designs. Pictured here is an evening gown from the Ailée, fall 1948-49 haute couture collection. #wwdfashion (📷: Brian Boyle)
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