LAYOFFS AT VALENTINO: Valentino downsized its New York office on Monday, diminishing its U.S. infrastructure for public relations and men’s wear. Director of communications Garine Zerounian, who oversaw U.S. communications for the Valentino brand as well as M Missoni, was laid off, leaving her responsibilities to Judy Bassaly, senior manager of marketing. Men’s sales director Paul Jacobsen and his assistant were laid off, as was a member of the store development team. (A store at Houston’s Galleria was just completed.) Calls to Valentino’s New York office were unanswered on Monday.

This story first appeared in the February 24, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

PUFF DADDY: Paris-based designer Alexis Mabille has been tapped as artistic director of a new premium outerwear line for the French down bedding and activewear specialist Pyrenex. Having signed on for three years, according to a spokeswoman for Pyrenex, Mabille’s debut collection of 20 unisex urban down jackets will hit stores in July, comprising a feather-filled trench, cape and aviator jacket. Characteristically humorous flourishes include sequins, mink trims and crystal zips.

L.A. CONFIDENTIAL: The doyenne of French chic, Isabel Marant, is eyeing an American address. The designer said she plans to open her first U.S. store in Los Angeles this winter, followed by a second in New York. Los Angeles is the ideal location, Marant said, as it’s home to her biggest American customer base plus the Hollywood starlets increasingly sporting her brand of pared-down elegance.


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