A visual of the Agent Provocateur spring 2017 ad campaign.
SYDNEY — Agent Provocateur is shutting up shop in Australia.The Australian arm of the troubled luxury lingerie brand entered administration last month, with three of four remaining stores that were open at the time of administration closing quietly in recent weeks, it emerged Monday.Rahul Goyal and David Winterbottom of Sydney-based advisory and investment firm KordaMentha were appointed administrators of Agent Provocateur Holdings on March 8 — less than a week after Agent Provocateur’s U.K. parent was placed in administration and almost immediately sold to London-based fashion and retail distribution company Four Holdings.RELATED STORY: Four Holdings Buys Ailing Agent Provocateur >>Shuttered last month were two concessions within Australian department store chain David Jones, which opened in February 2013, and a freestanding store for the L’Agent diffusion line in new Melbourne development St. Collins Lane, which opened in May 2016. The Westfield Sydney store, which opened in December 2014, is due to stay upon until May or until stock lasts.Two other David Jones concessions opened in Brisbane and Perth in late 2013; however, at the time of writing neither KordaMentha spokesman Mike Smith nor David Jones was able to clarify when those concessions closed.According to Smith, Agent Provocateur’s Australian business had sales of 5 million to 10 million Australian dollars, or $3.8 million or $7.6 million at current exchange, employed 20 people and was not carrying any bank debt, with the operation financed out of the U.K.“This is a strategy by the new owners in the U.K. — the directors have asked KordaMentha to do the wind-down,” said Smith. “Australians will still be able to buy the stuff online, they’ll be directed to the British web site. We can’t speak for the new owners in England, but they’ve obviously got a plan that doesn't involve Australia.”RELATED STORY: Agent Provocateur to Downsize Stores, Staff >>In November, following revelations of accounting irregularities at the U.K. parent, Agent Provocateur’s former majority owner, the London-based 3i private equity group, revealed plans to shutter 30 percent of the company’s retail network.Store closures were to primarily focus on the U.S. and Europe, with the footprint in Asia to be ramped up.At the time Agent Provocateur boasted 111 stores in 29 countries.RELATED STORY: Australian Chains Marcs and David Lawrence Enter Administration >>Agent Provocateur joins a raft of store and brand closures in Australia, primarily from local operators, including high-profile names such as Collette Dinnigan and Easton Pearson. High rents, poor cash flow and dramatically increased competition since 2011 have been cited as key contributing factors.However, the move seems unusual for an international brand at a time when international retailers continue to open in Australia at breakneck pace, with both fast-fashion chains and luxury brands reporting double-digit — in the case of H&M near triple-digit — sales growth down under.
As one of the most recognizable models in the world, Christy Turlington Burns has an insider’s view of the fashion industry and the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around it. “I can say that harassment and mistreatment have always been widely known and tolerated in the industry. The industry is surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experiences at some point in our careers,” Turlington told WWD, along with her suggestions for how the modeling world should protect younger women and men. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: Tony Palmieri) #wwdnews
@asics America has tapped a new brand ambassador: famed DJ/record producer @steveaoki. This initiative is intended to set the tone for the new brand identity and philosophy and will include partnerships with influencers and in-store and off-line activations that will continue into next year. This is Asics’ most significant marketing effort in two decades, and is expected to attract younger consumers to the brand. #wwdfashion
24-year-old Jean Prounis is redefining the rules of jewelry. Formerly a studio assistant to Jemima Kirke and a design apprentice at Ghuran, she focuses on handcrafted subtleties and ancient goldsmithing techniques. “There was a really sterile feel in the environment and I wanted to have jewelry with character that shapes how you wear it everyday,” Prounis said. Each piece is hand made in New York, either by Prounis or three other jewelers in the district. #wwdfashion
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews
“Stranger Things” is getting a new cast member for season 2. Meet @sadiesink_, the 15-year-old who will be joining the Netflix series for its new season. You may recognize her from “The Glass Castle” with Brie Larson and Woody Harrelson, but the Texas native’s next role goes in an entirely different direction. She describes her character, Max, as “a rough and tumble skater girl [who] becomes friends with the boys at school.” The second season debuts on October 27. (📷: @jgreenery) #wwdeye
Amid the Harvey Weinstein controversy, there’s another sector that’s being put under the spotlight for sexual abuse: the modeling industry. While rumors about abuse and sexual harassment of female and male models — and the photographers, agents and others who perpetrated it — have circulated within the fashion world for years, model @cameronrussell started posting stories from models on Instagram last week about abusive situations they’ve encountered — from sexual harassment and molestation to attempted rape. Over 75 have weighed in so far. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews
To celebrate its 16th anniversary, @dylanscandybar tapped designers and celebrities to create mosaics out of candy. The mosaics will be auctioned off to support the philanthropic cause of each participant’s choice. Pictured here is the mural created by @aliceandolivia's Stacey Bendet. For a first look at some of the other artwork being unveiled tonight, go to WWD.com. #wwdeye
The annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in Pacific Palisades this weekend drew Kate Hudson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Laura Dern and more. See pictures of the star-studded event on WWD.com. (📷: @chelsealaurenla) #wwdeye
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye