Seven years into its sales slump, Levi Strauss & Co. turned its focus in 2004 from looking for revenue growth to simply stabilizing the bottom line. In December 2003, the San Francisco-based jeansmaker hired turnaround experts Alvarez & Marsal...
Seven years into its sales slump, Levi Strauss & Co. turned its focus in 2004 from looking for revenue growth to simply stabilizing the bottom line. In December 2003, the San Francisco-based jeansmaker hired turnaround experts Alvarez & Marsal to help put its house in order, and when the company reported 2003 financials in December, it became clear how disordered Levi’s had become — it took a $349 million net loss for the year.
Through the course of this year, the company unveiled a string of small changes:
In January, the firm began rolling out its Levi Strauss Signature brand to all Target Stores. This marked the mass market line’s first distribution outside of Wal-Mart and offered proof that Levi’s turnaround plans weren’t pinned too tightly on the Bentonville, Ark., behemoth.
In April, Levi’s disclosed it was pursuing a more aggressive licensing agenda, including deals with sourcing powerhouse Li & Fung Ltd.
In May, the company put its $1 billion Dockers brand on the block, saying that a sale could put a hefty dent in Levi’s $2 billion debt load. Five months later, the firm decided to keep the line, saying no one had bid what the company thought Dockers was worth. While Levi’s executives didn’t disclose their target price, sources in the financial community said they thought Levi’s was holding out for $800 million to $900 million.
In October, the company disclosed its focus on cost-cutting — and A&M suggestions — had allowed it to quietly cut its head count by more than 20 percent this year, to 9,500.
“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