• PARSONS CONFIRMED: Michael Kors Inc. said Thursday that Joseph B. Parsons had been named executive vice president and chief financial officer, responsible for corporate financial and operation functions and reporting to John D. Idol, chief executive officer. Parsons, a longtime associate of Idol, was previously executive vice president and cfo of Kasper A.S.L. Ltd., and was widely expected to join Idol, previously Kasper’s ceo, in the move to Kors. Parsons had also worked with Idol at Donna Karan International, where he was chief financial and operations officer.

  • RISING SUN: Paris designer Martine Sitbon has signed a distribution deal with Mitsui & Co. and San Freres to shore up her business in Japan. Mitsui and San Freres, which already import and distribute such lines as Alberta Ferretti, Versace and Raf Simons, will have the exclusive distribution rights for Martine Sitbon in Japan, beginning with the coming fall season.

  • FOR THE BYRD’S: Trans-Atlantic trade tensions flared up again on Thursday when the European Union and several other countries asked the World Trade Organization for approval to levy sanctions against the U.S. The EU, Canada, Brazil, India and Mexico, among others, have requested the right to retaliate against a U.S. law known as the Byrd amendment, which stipulates that duties collected from antidumping or antisubsidy cases be distributed to the U.S. firms, mostly to steel producers, who file the cases. The WTO has deemed the law illegal and its dispute settlement body will hear the request at a special session on Jan. 26. The U.S. said Thursday it objected to the proposed retaliation, which will likely send the case to arbitration and could delay any decision on the sanctions for 60 days. U.S. trade officials said they would continue to work with Congress to comply with the WTO ruling this year. The EU and others did not announce a figure on the sanctions they are seeking, nor a list of U.S. products.

  • DOWN, NOT OUT: Crucial “first-day motions” for Factory 2-U Stores Inc.’s Chapter 11 filing gained approval from the United States Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Del. The court authorized Factory 2-U to borrow up to $3 million of its $45 million debtor-in-possession financing that had been committed by CIT Group and GB Retail Funding. The company is scheduled to seek approval of the remaining DIP facility at a hearing on Feb. 2. The court also granted authorization for the company to pay suppliers, vendors and employees, as well as honor gift cards, layaways and refunds.