MORE BAD NEWS FOR BOSS: Orders for Hugo Boss’ spring 2003 collection are down 4 percent on the year so far, confirmed a spokesman for Marzotto, which owns the German fashion house. Boss is seeing hard times in its two biggest markets, with orders in Germany and North America down 10 percent and 5 percent, respectively. Nonetheless, he said Hugo Boss should still make its 2002 net profit target of $69.8 million. (Dollar figure is converted from the euro at current exchange rates.) As reported, Boss has been plagued with financial and legal problems this year, including several profit warnings and a shareholder lawsuit filed in Manhattan federal court against the company and two former key executives of its U.S. unit, Marty Staff, and Vincent Ottomanelli, alleging securities law violations.
WORKSHOP DISMISSES DIRECTOR: Hortensia de Hutten, executive director of the boutique-style Workshop NY trade show and the show of a similar format in Paris, has been dismissed, but a spokeswoman for the show, scheduled for Sept. 22-25 at Chelsea Market, confirmed Wednesday that it will go on. “The show will be the same for September, same format, with lots of hip and cool designers,” the spokeswoman said. But in an e-mail sent to WWD by de Hutten on Wednesday, the former executive director said she was “suddenly fired” and wrote: “Some of the exhibitors who knew me and my work are a bit worried about what will happen. Also, for 10 years, the image of Workshop, which I founded, has been built on my name and professional reputation.” Calls to Workshop’s press office in Paris were unreturned Wednesday.
ILO NAMES MYANMAR LIAISON: As part of its effort to end the use of forced labor in Myanmar, the International Labour Organization on Wednesday named Hông-Trang Perret-Nguyen as its liaison officer to the country. The ILO said that in March the Myanmar government agreed to work with their liaison officer, whose job will be “to establish strategies to effectively address the root causes of the forced labor situation in Myanmar.” The government of Myanmar, has been accused of forcing its citizens to toil on building infrastructure improvements like roads and power plants, causing some groups to call for a boycott of its goods. Perret-Nguyen, director of the ILO’s industrial relations department in Geneva, will start in her new role in October.
LANDS’ END FIT: Landsend.com is expanding its custom-fit offerings from chinos and jeans to include tailored shirts and additional pants styles and fabrics. “No longer are shoppers pushed into a prefabricated bucket of ‘size 10’ or ‘32-34,’” said Bill Bass, senior vice president of e-commerce at Lands’ End. The Dodgeville, Wis.-based company plans to roll out additional custom-fit clothing categories in the next year.