NEW YORK — Jerald Politzer has joined the Filene’s Basement unit of Value City Department Stores as executive vice president of merchandising.
In this new post, Politzer reports to Heywood Wilansky, who, as reported, joined the 20-store, off-price retail chain as president and chief executive officer in February.
In an interview, Wilansky said that Politzer will play a "critical role" as Filene’s Basement repositions itself to focus more on better and designer apparel and distance itself from the moderate selections of TJX Cos., the nation’s largest off-price retailer of apparel.
"We’re gearing up for an expansion, moving more upscale and to the higher end of the off-price spectrum, into greater emphasis on better, bridge and designer," Wilansky said. "Having Jerry on board will definitely help us fulfill that mission."
Politzer’s entrance at the Woburn, Mass.-based Filene’s Basement marks his return to retailing after a six-year hiatus. Most recently, he was the ceo of Secure Connections, a firm that utilizes high technology to ensure the security of children; before that, he was managing director of business development at the executive search firm of Kirk Palmer & Associates.
He was chairman and ceo of Salant Corp., a men’s wear firm that is being acquired by Perry Ellis International, between 1997 and 1999 following seven years as executive vice president of Melville Corp., where, at various times, the Marshalls, Wilson’s Leather, Bob’s Stores and Thom McAn Shoes divisions had reported to him. Marshalls is now part of TJX.
Like Wilansky, Politzer spent much of his career working in department stores and was president and ceo of The May Department Stores Co.’s G. Fox & Co. division before moving to Melville. He and Wilansky’s careers overlapped at May Co.’s Hecht Co. unit.
Providing further details about a new Atlanta store he discussed at the time of his appointment as ceo, Wilansky said that the store, the 21st in the Filene’s Basement chain, will open May 22 with 49,000 square feet of space. He said the larger footprint is indicative of the direction FB will take with new stores as it looks to incorporate a "wider array of merchandise," including a greater representation of better goods."Most of our stores will be in the 40,000- to 50,000-square-foot range from here on in, and some will be even larger," he said, noting that most major competitors in the off-price arena tend to average about 30,000 square feet per store.
“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