UNITED COLORS OF PROFIT: Benetton said cost-cutting and its decision to sell its money-losing sporting goods business lifted its first-quarter net profit 28.9 percent to $28.8 million from $21.9 million. Sales fell 0.7 percent to $512.2 million from $515.6 million. The company said sales from its casual-clothing business in the first three months of the year, excluding currency impact, rose 3.8 percent to 351 million euros, which at Monday’s historically high exchange rate of $1.16 per euro translated to $405.7 million. Benetton wrote down the value of its sporting goods business last year, forcing it to post a full-year loss. Benetton has sealed deals to sell all of its sports brands, including Rollerblade, Prince and Nordica.
UNITE, BRYLANE INK DEAL: UNITE and Brylane LP said Monday they had reached a three-year contract for employees at the catalog retailer’s Indianapolis distribution center. The agreement calls for a 9 percent wage increase over its term and includes a “strong benefit package” according to a joint statement from the union and the company. This comes a little more than three months after the roughly more than 700 workers at the facility voted in favor of the union. That vote followed a 15-month organizing campaign in which the union targeted Brylane and other fashion companies in which Brylane’s parent, Pinault-Printemps-Redoute, holds an ownership position.
GETTING FIT: French retail giant Pinault-Printemps-Redoute said Monday it would fund a $460 million capital increase for Rexel, its electronics parts subsidiary, to strengthen the group’s profits and market position. Dollar figures are converted from euros at current exchange. The capital increase is viewed as another step in PPR’s plans to shed its business-to-business activities to focus on retail and luxury. However, it set no timetable to sell Rexel. Last week, PPR said it would sell three companies specializing in the distribution of electronic security equipment. It has already shed its Guilbert office supplies division, Pinault Boix & Materiaux wood and construction supplies division and Finaref and Facet consumer credit units. PPR controls 63.28 percent of Italy’s Gucci group and is committed to buying all Gucci shares it doesn’t own next spring.
@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