HELPING OUT: Fashion Girls for Japan’s recent two-day sample sale at The Bowery Hotel may have netted $270,000 for the relief effort, but the group’s not done yet. The organizers just launched a limited edition “I O NY” T-shirt and tote collection on fashiongirlsforjapan.com. Proceeds, of course, will go to the earthquake victims.
HITTING THE BULL’S-EYE: Target will be partnering with Dockers to bring the “quintessential khaki work pant” for men to its stores this fall. According to industry sources, the subbranded product will hit the chain in September. Levi Strauss & Co., Dockers’ parent, will also bring its Denizen brand to the U.S. this summer through a deal with Target. Dockers had no comment and Target did not return calls. On Wednesday, Dockers lost Jim Calhoun, head of the brand, to Nike where he will serve as chief executive officer of the Hurley brand.
WEB INVESTMENT: Diesel chief Renzo Rosso is now a shareholder of H-Farm, an Italian Silicon Valley-esque company that provides income and resources to Internet start-ups. Rosso, through his private investment holding, Red Circle Srl, participated in a capital increase in the Venice-based self-proclaimed “venture incubator,” calling it “a hothouse of ideas and innovation, which constantly stimulates my vision of the world and of the way to do business.” Rosso, who recently upped his share in e-tailer Yoox, stated his personal investment choices clearly demonstrate his growing fascination for the digital world.
TAKING A TOUR: Several Saks Fifth Avenue executives may seem absent from headquarters, the stores or the markets this week. But actually, in a first for the luxury chain, top management is taking a three-day field trip to Google, Microsoft and Facebook on the West Coast to learn about technology and take in some corporate culture from the outside. “The idea is to get exposed to cutting edge technology trends and learn about the potential applications and implications for Saks,” said Stephen I. Sadove, Saks’ chairman and chief executive officer. “I have no idea what we’ll see. We are going to learn.”
About 15 Saks officials, including members of the executive committee and other senior managers, are making the trip, which Sadove disclosed during a panel on retail leadership sponsored by New York University’s Stern School of Business and Herbert Mines Associates. His point: “Strong leaders ask questions, are willing and wanting to learn, and not just doing the day-to-day activities.”
The other panelists agreed that you have to look at what’s going on outside your own company to make it more innovative. Susan Davidson, ceo of Scoop, and Zac Posen, stressed “flexibility” as a key to success. “You have to be able to adapt to the changing landscape,” in addition to having “a strong vision, developing, communicating and executing a strategic plan.”
OPENING UP: Cynthia Rowley’s planting yet another flag on the shores of Long Island. On Memorial Day, she’ll unveil a new boutique in Southampton’s relaunched Capri Hotel, which will feature everything from her own designs to collaborative merchandise (Cynthia Rowley for Roxy wet suits; Mr. Powers men’s wear) to vacation miscellany: international newspapers, sun hats, beach towels, custom-made candy and board games. The designer, who also has a store in Montauk, is consulting on the hotel’s decor, too. She’s adding the Rowley touch to the Nobu outpost there, dubbed Nobu at the Beach; the poolside Bathing Club as well as the individual rooms. Actual design details are TBD, but Rowley let slip that she’ll be curating the art in the rooms — via her Exhibition A art retail Web site — and creating the graphic for the swimming pool floor.