MADE TO FRANCER: Istvan Francer’s tailored and luxuriously embroidered clothes will now be available on a custom-made basis only. “Francer’s collections are fantastic, sophisticated and precious, but they are difficult to place on the market,” said Gianluigi Facchini, chief executive of Fin.part, which, will continue to back Francer — he is creative director of another Fin.part property, Cerruti. “Research is important, but there must be some concreteness,” said Facchini, who decided to pull the plug on the Francer’s presentation in Milan and to start showing Cerruti there instead. “There’s creativity and innovation in Paris, but Milan is where you actually do business.”
CEO TO GO: Terry Lundgren hit the ground running in his first day as chief executive officer of Federated Department Stores. Literally. Just before noon on Wednesday, he was spotted running full-speed down 34th Street, just in front of the Macy’s Herald Square flagship, where he makes his offices. Possible explanations include him rushing to catch a one-day sale at Macy’s, scurrying to catch a train at Penn. Station or simply jumping for joy.
ALL IN THE FAMILY: Hervé Pierre Braillard, who was let go from Bill Blass along with Lars Nilsson recently, has landed on his feet as design director at Carolina Herrera, confirming a report in WWD. He replaces creative director Damiano Biella, who left to pursue other interests two weeks ago. Also joining the ranks of Carolina Herrera is the designer’s 28-year-old daughter Patricia, who will work as part of the existing three-person design team which reports to Braillard. She will also work on advertising, celebrity dressing and licensing, reporting to Mario Grauso, president. Perhaps it was the focus on the design of her wedding gown — Patricia was married in November — that prompted the career change? Whatever the case, fashion design runs in the family. Patricia’s older sister, Carolina Herrera Jr., plays a key role in the fragrance end of the business as well as the design of CH Carolina Herrera, a secondary line popular in Spain.
CLOSING TIME: There’s another nail in the coffin for SoHo retailers. Thursday night will mark the closing of yet another store — this time Vivienne Westwood’s boutique on Greene Street. The shop opened four years ago and was backed by Japanese company Itochu Corp. No word on who the next tenant might be.
LIKE FATHER LIKE SON: Following in his father’s footsteps, James Perse is becoming a retailer. The designer, who made his name cutting sumptuous T’s, is opening his first store this July in Los Angeles. The 2,700-square-foot space will be located on Melrose Avenue near Maxfield — which is owned by dad Tommy. The James Perse store will house his men’s, women’s and children’s lines, which include basic T’s, cashmeres, dresses, woven bottoms, jewelry and accessories, along with additional pieces which will be exclusive to the store. Perse describes the store’s planned decor as “Palm Springs modern meets California casual.” Does Dad approve?