NEW YORK — “The ropa vieja is excellent,” George Feldenkreis said authoritatively to the packed room of investors, Perry Ellis employees and friends Tuesday night.
Ropa vieja, he said, is a classic Cuban dish of shredded beef and translates literally as old clothes.
“I’m surprised — I’ve never had Cuban food so good and authentic in New York,” said Feldenkreis, chairman and chief executive officer of the Miami-based Perry Ellis International. “All day long has been a party.”
The morning started with Feldenkreis and his son, Oscar, who is chief operating officer, presiding over the market bell ringing at Nasdaq to celebrate the company’s 10th anniversary of its initial public offering, as reported. The day also marked the 101st anniversary of Cuba’s independence from Spain, and being that Feldenkreis immigrated from Cuba in 1961, the party that night was held at the West Village Cuban eatery Isla.
The crowd was a mix of creative meets business, including Perry Ellis men’s wear designer Jerry Kaye; women’s wear designer Patrick Robinson; Dan Shamdasani, president of Public Clothing Co., which holds the license for Perry Ellis women’s, Elissa Bromer, president of Perry Ellis women’s wear; and Chris Kolbe, brand manager for Original Penguin, a PEI brand.
As traditional Cuban music of guaguanco played and mojitos passed through the room, Feldenkreis spoke about his company’s rise in the business world since its formation in 1967 as an importer of Latin Guayabera shirts to a multibranded diversified firm today, projected to do $600 million after the acquisition of Salant Corp. in June.
“I came to the U.S. as a Cuban refugee and being recognized today on Nasdaq is a great accomplishment. After the merger with Salant, we’ll employ about 1,300 people in design, sales and merchandising,” Feldenkreis said. “And even though we’re a Miami-based company, we’ll have about 90,000 square feet in New York — more than our 70,000 in Miami.”
Oscar Feldenkreis said the day meant a lot to the company and his family, both on a personal and business level.
“We always believe in our heritage and the great thing is you can make your own life here [in the U.S.] and your own destiny.”Meanwhile, the company posted results on Wednesday, and reported strong sales led to solid earnings growth in the first quarter. PEI posted a profit gain of 18.1 percent to $5.6 million, or 80 cents a diluted share, versus $4.8 million, or 75 cents, a year ago. Total revenues for the period rose 27.8 percent to $108.3 million from $84.7 million last year.
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@maxmara’s classic 101801 coat was the cornerstone of its pre-fall 2018 collection. The design team expanded the traditional double-breasted, kimono-sleeved style into a trapeze coat, lean belted styles and a peacoat and presented them in monochromatic looks – like the camel one pictured here. #wwdfashion #prefall18 (📷: George Chinsee)
The @cfda has shifted the dates of #NYFW, with Men’s showing on February 5 through February 7, and Women’s will directly follow, running from February 8 through 14. The preliminary schedule will be released on the CFDA’s web site in the next few days, but Mark Beckham, VP of marketing for the CFDA, revealed that @rafsimons will be back to close the men’s-specific part of the week with a show on February 7 #wwdfashion (📷: Kelly Taub)
@ferragamo is introducing a new space dedicated to the development of women’s and men’s leather good samples. The laboratory, which is created eco-friendly materials and designed to reduce the environmental impact of the manufacturing processes, will allow the company to expand its accessories offering through traditional artisanal approaches. #wwdfashion (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
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“There is no formula. There is no guideline. I can watch Ted Talks all day, but there is no one who can advise me on exactly what it is I should be doing,” said @ronniefieg, CEO of @kith, in an interview with WWD’s @ariahughes at the brand’s new SoHo office in Manhattan. Head to WWD.com to see how Fieg went from hanging out in shoe stockrooms at 13 to building his own business. #wwdfashion (📷: @weston.wells)
@fearofgod and @maxfieldla have teamed up on a pop-up installation. The store, located in the gallery space across from Maxfield’s Melrose Ave location, is the site of the brand’s House of God pop-up in which Fear of God founder @jerrylorenzo has created a church-inspired installation. A dozen vintage church pews sit in front of an LED screen playing 90s gospel singers in an effort to re-create an environment akin to a Southern Baptist Church, Lorenzo explained. Read more about the pop-up on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: Jennifer Johnson)
Known for his sleek, sophisticated American glamour, Norman Norell is the subject of an upcoming exhibition at @fitnyc. “Norell: Dean of American Fashion,” which runs from February 9 through April 14, will feature approximately 100 ensembles and accessories. His best work is exemplified by the designer’s glittering “mermaid” gowns frosted with thousands of hand-sewn sequins – like the one pictured. (📷: William Helburn) #wwdfashion
For pre-fall 2018, @balmain didn’t let go of the glitz. A crystal embroidered baseball jacket priced at around $40,000 hangs in the “couture” section of the brand’s first men’s pre-collection. Sporting the words “Balmain Army” across the back, the item took around two months to make. “When it was completed, it was like Christmas, it was like, ‘It’s done, it’s exactly what I wanted,’” said Balmain’s creative director @olivier_rousteing during a tour of the collection in a Paris showroom on Monday. #wwdfashion