NEW YORK — There’s a fight at Foley’s and it’s over the former chairman, Mark J. Weikel.
Weikel has been offered a senior executive position at Victoria’s Secret Stores, reporting to Grace Nichols, the chief executive, and that’s got May Department Stores Co., parent of Foley’s, riled up.
May Co. removed Weikel from Foley’s and on Tuesday named Andrew T. Hall chairman. It could not be learned whether May Co. will try to sue Weikel for allegedly violating noncompete restrictions in his contract, which May Co. said runs through April 2005.
“We have made an offer and we do not believe it is any kind of violation,” said Anthony Hebron, a spokesman for Limited Brands, parent of Victoria’s Secret. “We do not believe May Co. or Foley’s is a competitor [to Victoria’s Secret Stores].”
Andrew P. Pickman continues as president and ceo of Foley’s, which operates 67 stores in five states and last year posted a volume of about $2 billion.
However, Sharon Bateman, a spokeswoman for May Co., said, “There is a dispute with [Weikel] with respect to his contract, and he is no longer serving as chairman.” It’s possible that May Co. will seek a temporary restraining order to block Weikel’s move to Victoria’s Secret, and then will sue Weikel for breach of noncompete contract, or The Limited for tortious interference. “The May Co. is litigious. They are big on noncompetes in St. Louis,” said one market observer. But May Co. also has a history of paying its executives well, helping to keep its executive turnover at lower rates than much of retailing.
Hall, 42, joined May in 1993 as director of financial reporting at the company’s corporate office in St. Louis, was promoted to senior positions at a few different divisions and last served as senior vice president and chief financial officer of Foley’s. Weikel is a veteran of the May Co.
“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