NYGARD’S GATE-CRASHERS: A trio of masked robbers broke into Peter Nygård’s private compound in the Bahamas last week and robbed the Canadian fashion mogul at gunpoint during a party he was hosting. According to wire-service reports, the thieves escaped with an undisclosed amount of cash they obtained by forcing the chairman and owner of the namesake company to open his safe. Pamela Erickson, Nygård’s director of marketing, confirmed the information and said no one was hurt, but declined further comment because local police are still investigating. Reportedly, police believe the men, who were dressed as security guards, entered through a high-security peninsula — called Nygård Cay — by sea and also escaped that way.

BURANI TAKES HALF OF LEZARD: Mariella Burani Fashion Group said Tuesday it bought a 50 percent stake in René Lezard Mode GmbH, the German women’s and men’s luxury ready-to-wear manufacturer, for $11.5 million. The rest of the firm remains with Thomas Schaefer, a founder of the company created in 1978. René Lezard posted sales of $71 million last year. Burani said the purchase was made to "expand its presence in Europe and to improve its sales mix." The Burani group owns the Mila Schön and Stephen Fairchild brands and accessories firms Baldinini and Braccialini.

VANDEVELDE TO LAUNCH FUND: Luc Vandevelde, the chairman of Marks & Spencer who piloted the successful turnaround of the U.K. clothing, supermarket and home goods chain, plans to launch a private equity fund unconnected to the store. As of Jan. 1, Vandevelde will also become part-time chairman of M&S — as planned. Vandevelde stepped down as chief executive of M&S, and was succeeded by Roger Holmes. Vandevelde is starting the new fund with three partners, with an initial $470 investment from France’s Halley family. The fund will launch at the end of January, focusing on buyouts of small to midsized European firms in consumer industries.

NRF HIRE: The National Retail Federation has hired David Hogan 3rd as its senior vice president and chief information officer. Starting on Jan. 6, Hogan’s responsibilities will include managing the company’s external and internal technology needs, as well as leading its CIO Council.

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