NEIMAN'S RATES DOWN: Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said it will lower its corporate credit rating on Neiman Marcus Group Inc. to "B+" from "BBB" after the $5.1 billion leveraged buyout of the firm by Texas Pacific Group and Warburg Pincus is completed. The ratings are currently on credit watch with negative implications, but all ratings will be given a stable outlook and removed from credit watch following the transaction completion, which is expected in October. At that time, a "B+" rating and a recovery rating of "2" will be assigned to a new $1 billion term loan. In addition, the rating on an existing $125 million of senior notes due 2028 will be lowered to "B+" and a "B+" rating will be assigned to a new issue of $850 million in senior secured notes, the ratings agency said. Further, a "B-" rating will be given to a new issue of $750 million senior unsecured notes as well as to a new issue of $575 million in senior subordinated notes. While the prospective credit rating actions reflect concern over the deterioration of Neiman's financial profile, S&P said its analysis shows that the company is well positioned in the upscale retail sector.
REEBOK'S REAL WORLD: Reebok's latest marketing initiative is bringing the brand to reality TV. The firm has partnered with ESPN for a new show called "Bound for Glory," which depicts the struggles of the Montour High School team from Montour, Pa., as it attempts to win a championship. Former National Football League star Dick Butkus will train the high school team, and other Reebok-sponsored football players will make guest appearances during the show, which debuts tonight. Reebok, the apparel sponsor of the NFL, will also run ads during the program and will launch a Montour High School apparel collection exclusively at Dick's Sporting Goods. The show runs for an hour, and there are eight episodes.
RUSSELL TUMBLES: Russell Corp.'s shares plunged nearly 16 percent to $15.12 in trading Monday on the New York Stock Exchange after the firm lowered its earnings forecast for the quarter and the year. Russell blamed the shortfall on delayed passage of the Central American Free Trade Agreement and the impact of Hurricane Katrina, as well as operational issues. Earnings for the third quarter are now expected to come in at 50 cents to 60 cents a share, down from 62 cents to 70 cents a share, while full-year estimates were lowered to $1.25 to $1.35, from $1.40 to $1.48. These projections do not include an additional 16 cents to 20 cents a share from Katrina disruptions. The storm disrupted Russell's primary entry for finished goods in Gulfport, Miss., and more than 40 containers of product were lost or damaged, the company said.
“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