NEW YORK — Melissa Parker-Lilly, currently president of the Italian luxury knit firm Agnona, has been named president of the Donna Karan New York Collection brand.
She is the latest key executive to join the Donna Karan team since Fred Wilson took over as chief executive in September and moved to restructure the company by brand, rather than between women’s and men’s divisions. Her appointment follows those of Mary Wang as president of DKNY and Carol Sharpe as president of retail.
Parker-Lilly oversaw the U.S. launch and operations of Agnona after the label was acquired by Ermenegildo Zegna four years ago, and previously had rebuilt Loro Piana’s business in the U.S. as senior vice president. Before that, she was executive vice president at Hermès.
Agnona has been cited by several retailers as a fast-growing luxury ready-to-wear label recently, with notable gains at Bergdorf Goodman, which launched a 500-square-foot Agnona shop last year. Its fall trunk show at the store garnered sales of $900,000, putting the label in the leagues of Oscar de la Renta and Akris.
In the new position at DKI, Parker-Lilly will be responsible for women’s, men’s, shoes and accessories under the Donna Karan New York label and will join the company on Jan. 6.
"We created this position in order to strengthen the brand focus," Wilson said. "Her expertise in product development and brand building will be crucial in the repositioning of the Donna Karan New York brand."
While the position is new because of the restructuring, DKI has operated without a head for its collection business for several months. Under the previous corporate structure, Carol Kerner, who resigned in May, was president of the Donna Karan and DKNY women’s lines.
“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