NEW YORK — Domenico De Sole has given up one board seat and gained another.
De Sole on Friday resigned as a director of Procter & Gamble Co. to avoid any appearance of conflict of interest arising from the beauty deal that he and Tom Ford made Tuesday with rival Estée Lauder Cos. Meanwhile, he has joined the board of Italian men’s wear brand Ermenegildo Zegna SpA.
De Sole, 61, has been a P&G director for four years. A spokeswoman for De Sole stressed that he decided on his own that it would be prudent to resign, rather than risk even the appearance of a conflict. She added that De Sole had informed the board in advance of business partner Tom Ford’s plans to make a deal with Lauder, and he kept the board apprised.
“I have greatly enjoyed my work as a P&G director over the past four years,” De Sole stated Friday.
“I am stepping off the board so I can focus additional time on a variety of businesses, including my new venture with Tom Ford and Estée Lauder. It has been an honor to serve this great company and I remain confident about its future successes.”
De Sole and Ford formed a luxury design house, called Tom Ford, with De Sole serving as chairman. Several weeks ago, reports were circulating that the partners had first been in talks with P&G about the possibility of doing a Ford beauty brand. Ford, P&G and De Sole’s spokeswoman all have declined comment.
However, P&G accepted De Sole’s resignation Friday afternoon, effective immediately. “Domenico De Sole has made important contributions to the company and to the work of P&G’s board, for which we are thankful,” said A.G. Lafley, P&G chairman and chief executive officer. “We have benefitted greatly from his wisdom and experience and wish him continued success.”
Meanwhile, Zegna sees De Sole as key to its plans to evolve from a men’s wear leader to a preeminent global brand.
In an exclusive interview at the company’s offices here last week, Zegna co-ceo Gildo Zegna put months of speculation to rest when he simultaneously confirmed the official addition of De Sole to the Zegna board and squelched rumors the De Sole connection would eventually lead to a Zegna-produced Tom Ford men’s collection.“The Zegna family wants to create more value to the Zegna brand and Domenico will help us do that,” said Zegna. “My responsibility is to Zegna and to utilize De Sole as a partner….He will make us better managers and thus a better brand so that we can maintain [market] leadership.”
As reported, De Sole has been spotted for the past couple of months at Zegna headquarters in Italy and was initially said to be advising the company on its activities in Asia. However, Zegna said De Sole’s role as a board member, which started in an official capacity on March 1, was wide-ranging and that his input would encompass all Zegna initiatives and strategies.
His addition to the board brings its membership to seven and its non-family representation to three.
Over the past five years Zegna has taken aggressive steps to increase its revenue and visibility by developing product extensions, such as its footwear collection, produced through a joint venture with Ferragamo; the launch of the trendier Z Zegna line, and most recently an eyewear license with Italian manufacturer De Rigo.
Yet, according to Zegna, there is still much to be done: “De Sole will help us speed up strategy so that we have quicker results that will bring us further growth, whether in accessories, emerging markets or retail.”
Growth is a top priority for Zegna and his cousin, co-ceo Paolo Zegna.
The company reported that 2004 net profits climbed 14.4 percent to 44.5 million euros, or $55.2 million, from 39 million euros, or $44.1 million, in the previous year.
Consolidated revenues advanced 5.5 percent to 634 million euros, or $786.2 million, from 601 million euros, or $679.1 million, in 2003. Dollar figures are converted from the euro at average exchange.
At the end of the year, there were 408 Zegna stores, 167 of them directly owned by the firm. A year earlier there were 388 units, 141 owned by the firm.
There'll be no rest for those headed to Europe for men's, as Paris just closed the gap with Milan. According to a provisional calendar released by the Chambre Syndicale, Paris Men's Week will now open a day earlier on January 16. See new highlights on the official lineup on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)
BREAKING: Jonathan Saunders is leaving @DVF. The designer has resigned from his position as chief creative officer of Diane von Furstenberg, the company said in a statement on Friday. At the time of his hire, von Furstenberg said Saunders’ arrival symbolized and facilitated her stepping back from the day-to-day duties that occupy the work of a full-time creative director. The British designer joined DVF in May 2016 and was in charge of all product categories. #wwdnews
For @versace_official’s spring ad campaign, the brand emphasized the archival prints from the spring tribute collection dedicated to the late Gianni Versace. Closing out the show were five of Gianni’s favorite models: Cindy, Naomi, Carla, Helena, and Claudia. Bowing on December 18, the new campaign is yet another tribute to supermodel-dom as the images by Steven Meisel are fronted by @iamnaomicampbell, @cturlington, @gisele and more. #wwdfashion
Four-time Oscar-nominated actress Annette Bening has been waiting 20 years to play Gloria Graham in "Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool," which will be released on December 29. The movie about Graham – a Hollywood star known for her controversial relationship with a younger Englishman named Peter Turner – is based off a memoir Turned wrote. "She felt vulnerable to him, because she loved him, she really did love him. And anyone that we really truly are in love with, we re vulnerable to in a very deep way," said Bening. Read our full interview with the modern icon of an actress on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @ninebagatelles; Styled by @cristinaehrlich)
The crisp white button down: a staple that can be dressed up or down and accessorized throughout the decades. Here, on a Art Basel-goer in 2017 on the left and on the iconic Audrey Hepburn in “Roman Holiday” in 1953 on the right. #tbt #wwdfashion (📷: Andrew Morales)
Known for her work with @victoriassecret, 25-year-old model @georgiafowler is raising her profile in Hollywood. Fowler stars in @vincecamuto’s holiday campaign, which launched in partnership with “Pitch Perfect 3.” “Almost every shoot with Vince Camuto, I’ve had to face a fear…It was definitely a challenge. I’m so grateful for it, though. I’ve always wanted to be a pop star, so that was the perfect chance,” Fowler said. Head to WWD.com to read about Fowler’s experience modeling, including at the #VSFashionShow, and her relationship with Nick Jonas. #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
EXCLUSIVE: Huda Kattan just became the first beauty influencer to land a major beauty deal. Kattan's business, @hudabeauty, has received a minority investment from private equity firm TSG Consumer Partners. The brand, which industry sources say is on track to do $200 million in retail sales for 2017, will receive support on product, retail and geographic expansion through the deal. Get all the details on the deal and read @_a_collins' interview with Kattan on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: @jgreenery) #wwdbeauty #wwdnews
Peruvian model @juanaburga_official – who is known for walking the runways of @rodarte, @viviennewestwood and @torybuch – is making the move to the big screen with drama “Los Últimos.” The film premiered in Argentina in November and arrives in the U.S. and Europe in 2018. On making the switch from modeling to acting, Burga told WWD: “It’s a completely different thing – a lot of people think it’s similar or try to connect things, especially like getting used to the camera or being looked at all the time or playing these different characrers, but film is a completely different story.” #wwdeye (📷: @jgreenery)
London’s newly opened @designmuseum will look back on the life and work of Azzedine Alaïa in a show that the designer helped to curate before he died of heart failure last month. The retrospective, which Alaïa had worked on with Mark Wilson, chief curator of the @groningermuseum, will look at the impact of his work worldwide. The show, “Azzedine Alaïa: The Couturier,” will run from May 10 to October 7. Read more about the exhibit on WWD.com #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @zefashioninsider)