MILAN — The Canali family is standing behind their 84-year-old namesake men’s wear company.With a view to further expanding its collections, from formal to sportier looks and accessories, Canali has tapped Hyun-Wook Lee as its exclusive in-house designer.“This is a very important step for us as it’s the first time we single out one designer to oversee all categories, and evolve the offer,” general manager Stefano Canali said Friday at the company’s showroom in Milan, ahead of the brand’s presentation on Saturday. Given Lee's recent arrival at the company, his first collection for Canali will bow during Milan Men’s Fashion Week in June.Born in Seoul in 1973, Lee comes to Canali with 17 years of experience in fashion, having worked at Berluti in Paris and contributed to its foray into men’s apparel. He previously worked at Ermenegildo Zegna, Versace and Gianfranco Ferré. Lee graduated in design and fine arts from the University of Chung-Ang in Seoul and has a background in art. He has created sculptures in wood and metal, designed jewelry and painted fabrics. In 2000, he specialized in fashion design at Milan’s Istituto Marangoni.“He will add style to all the categories, offer a softer tailoring and develop our potential,” said Elisabetta Canali, global communications director at the family-owned company.The Canalis alluded to the possible expansion of licenses but declined to elaborate. The first such sign is the launch of the brand’s first eyewear line at Milan’s eyewear trade show MIDO in February. As reported in September, Canali SpA inked a five-year licensing agreement with L’Amy America, part of International Luxury Group, to produce and distribute a luxury collection of sunglasses and ophthalmic frames. The collection will be rolled out globally starting in March.The designer’s arrival and plans for the future signal the ongoing commitment of the Canalis, after denying media speculation in November that they were looking to sell the company, as reported.A month earlier, the company had begun the dismissal procedure of 134 employees working in the label’s factory in Carate Brianza, a one-hour drive from Milan. Dedicated to the manufacturing of jackets, the plant, which was one of the company’s seven production centers, had to be shut down as a consequence of the market contraction that took place in 2009, Stefano Canali explained on Friday.“The situation was mystified and there was a lot of misinformation,” he said. “Over the past nine years, we as a family invested to find a solution and maintain the jobs, but our efforts did not have the effect we hoped for and nobody gave us credit for this. It was a painful decision. If the company had been owned by a private equity fund, the plant would have closed eight years ago.”His sister Elisabetta added: “The most unpleasant part was all the critics. We respect the work of people, and the whole issue was politically manipulated.” The “gratuitous publicity” for some parties came ahead of general elections in the country, scheduled for March 4, she said.The siblings underscored that all Canali’s production is in Italy, which is “an onerous choice.”While Italy is still weighed down by a lackluster economy, Stefano Canali expressed confidence in the performance of other countries.The company is expected to close 2017 with revenues in line with the previous year, totaling 216 million euros, and the executive said there are “good signals” for 2018 based on the orders for spring 2018. “We expect single-digit growth in 2018,” he said. “In such a complicated context, it’s comforting and these positive results are even more valuable.”Canali has seen a single-digit growth in the Americas, which includes the U.S., Canada and Central America. “It’s an important area for us and it will continue to reward us,” he noted.Russia and the U.K. have been increasing at a double-digit pace, while Asia-Pacific is “stable” with growth in China and South Korea.Speaking of Lee, Canali said the designer “understands the concept of timeless elegance of the brand, with details that are not shouted, and harmonious proportions.”Lee praised Canali’s “solid history and high-end sartorial designs. We can raise this level even more and expand in different categories. It can become very interesting, while avoiding the fashion-oriented trends.”Prior to Lee, designer Andrea Pompilio was tapped in March 2014 as a creative consultant and he remained until April 2016, when he and the company mutually agreed to not renew their partnership beyond four collections.During his tenure, Pompilio refreshed the image of the brand via collections where Canali’s signature sartorial look was updated with a more contemporary attitude, high-tech fabrics and pops of bold colors.Stefano Canali said the company plans to further invest in digital commerce after launching its e-store in Europe and the U.S. “The goal is to be available globally and in an omnichannel way in a year and a half.”That said, the company plans to also develop its retail network in 2018, with the addition of 10 new boutiques in China, the U.S., Ukraine, Vietnam and the United Arab Emirates.
In honor the @CFDA’s announcement of @iamnaomicampbell receiving the Fashion Icon Award at the 2018 #CFDAAwards, which will take place on June 4, here’s a #tbt of the supermodel on @michaelkors’ runway in 1991. #wwdfashion #wwdarchive (📷: George Chinsee)
“I was making the guacamole when my scout saw me,” says model @stuckinteenage on being discovered just six months ago while working at @chipotlemexicangrill. Since then Williams has signed with @dnamodels, walked in her first show at @calvinklein and landed on the cover of @vogueitalia – a high point of any model’s career. To read @lisajlockwood’s full interview with the model on her experiences thus far, head to WWD.com – link in bio. (📷: George Chinsee)
“I love the idea of dialogue, period. It’s where I’ve always gotten my inspiration from: hearing other women speak, their journeys and their paths,” said @hereisgina, who delivered the keynote speech during @sxsw for @createcultivate in partnership with @fossil. For her two panels, Rodriguez chose female empowering, female-led and female entrepreneurs to focus on. Head to WWD.com to read more about her thoughts on Time’s Up, growing up in a family of women and why we “need a girls’ club.” #wwdeye #sxsw (📷: @jgreenery)
Leading luxury brand are shaking things up to keep up with streetwear. Case in point: the arrival of @mrkimjones as artistic director of @diorhomme. Jones, who succeeds @Kris_Van_Assche, is seen as one of the handful of designers who can actually straddle the luxury and streetwear worlds — which could lead to even more changes at established brands. What could this mean for the rest of the menswear landscape? Head to WWD.com to find out what experts predict #wwdfashion (📷: @franckmura)
“It’s like buying groceries. You’re going to buy the best mango, the best mozzarella, the best things. You have to, or others are going to take it all,” said @gabrielahearst on why she uses only the finest fabrics. Last week, Hearst received her first @cfda nomination for Womenswear Designer of the Year, and earlier this month she opened a permanent showroom in Paris. To read @jessiredale’s interview with the designer and find out why this is shaping up to be a big year for her, head to WWD.com. #wwdfashion (📷: @francoisgoize)
“It’s an interesting thing, playing a younger version of your mother. It’s an interesting concept. I adore my mom and love her in every capacity, but it was just something that had never crossed my mind,” says @anniemstarke on playing a young Joan Castleman in “The Wife.” The same role will be played by her mother Glenn Close. Read more about her growing up in the film industry as the daughter of producer John H. Starke and Close and what she has planned for the future #wwdeye (📷: @nataliamantini)
@asics is launching a new streetwear sneaker inspired by its latest ambassador, @steveaoki. The Hyper-Kenzen x Aoki, which will launch at @footlocker stores exclusively tomorrow, is a slip-on style that incorporates the brand’s proprietary Gel technology through beads integrated into the midsole for comfort and endurance. Read the full story on WWD.com.