TIME CHANGE: The date is finally set. Nicolas Hayek, the colorful Swiss entrepreneur who founded Swatch Group, has revealed that he will entrust the 18-brand business to his son Nicolas Hayek Jr. on Jan. 1. The senior Hayek, 74, largely credited for saving the troubled Swiss watch industry in the early Eighties, has made no secret of his intention to slowly turn over the business to his son. But he had never provided a firm date. In an interview published Wednesday in Swiss daily Finanz und Wirtschaft, he did just that. He added that he would continue in an “active” role as chairman of the board of directors and president of the Breguet luxury watch brand. Hayek Jr., 48, joined Swatch Group some seven years ago after flirting with a career in film.
FAST FUND: Acquisition targets take notice: There’s a new fund in town. Ferrari chief executive Luca Cordero di Montezemolo and a group of investors including Tod’s ceo Diego Della Valle are launching “Charme,” a fund targeting various consumer-related industries in Europe including luxury goods and specialty retail. The fund has a starting capital of $110 million but that figure is expected to swell to $150 million in the short term. Other investors include Deutsche Bank, Unicredito Italiano and Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena.
ELASTERELL PASSES FTC TEST: A DuPont stretch fiber has been granted generic status by the Federal Trade Commission, a key step in making the fiber a household name, like nylon or polyester. The FTC dubbed the fiber elasterell and the name can now be carried on garment content labels. In granting the generic status, the agency determined that its composition and its low-to-moderate stretch are unique. DuPont has been using the fiber under a temporary name, T-400, and will it continue to be marketed under its Lycra brand.
This story first appeared in the December 5, 2002 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.