Monday Fashion News: Human Resources Edition

GlennmurphyGap has finally found a new CEO in Canadian Glenn Murphy who comes from a drugstore and supermarket background, but is said to have much needed expertise in turning around ailing businesses. The move surprised the industry, who generally expected the retail giant to choose a strong apparel merchant, especially since the last guy who screwed up royally there held the position came from Disney. but potential candidates those resumes couldn't be swayed from their current positions. Frankly, it's not an enticing position unless you are looking for a huge challenge, or you are hungry to impress people. Murphy will be in charge of all Gap, Banana Republic, and Old Navy business, which each need varying degrees of revamp.
Gap Picks a Canadian Retailer as Its New Chief (NYTimes)
Gap Inc. Taps Glenn Murphy to Be CEO (WWD)

Som ◊ Also newly hired, Peter Som , who will take over creative direction at Bill Blass after Michael Vollbracht's departure earlier this year. In a surprising move, the brand also named up-and-coming menswear Michael Bastian in the same position for menswear. Both designers will oversee all products including licensees in their respective divisions. Som, who had been an assistant to Mr. Blass earlier in his career, will begin to make his influence visible for the Pre-Fall '08 collection. Bastian, a current finalist for the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund and former Men's Fashion Director at Bergdorf Goodman who launched his eponymous line last fall, will be in charge of launching a new designer-level men's collection at Blass as well as managing existing lines. While the label is know known as a more moderate Men's resource, it was actually one of the first American designer men's lines, and was highly influential in the 1960s and '70s. Bastian's debut collection for Blass will happen sometime after Som's, and both will continue to design for the labels which bear their own names.Kateandyspade
◊ Kate and Andy Spade will be exiting the label that bears their name as the terms of its sale to Liz Claiborne Inc. are fulfilled. Kate, in particular, has been such a public face for the brand that one would have thought the folks at Liz would have wanted to hang on to her in some capacity, but with the company in a state of flux, new management may have its own ideas about what to do with the Kate Spade brand which has been at a critical point in its growth, and those ideas evidently don't include the Spades.
The Spades Bow Out (Vogue UK)
Alaia ◊ Tunisian-born designer Azzedine Alaïa has bought his own label back from Prada. Financial details of the deal have not been disclosed. Choosing to focus on their core labels as they prepare for the IPO we have been hearing about for 15 years, Prada has mostly pared away the brands they purchased in the 1990's when they were attempting to become a luxury conglomerate. Paris-based Alaïa was the only designer not driven out by disagreements with management after selling to them, and the only one to have experienced significant growth under their stewardship. This is not surprising since before Prada's involvement, Alaïa refrained from following any set fashion calendar choosing to produce collections pretty much whenever he felt like it, often frustrating retailers who were used to a steadier flow of goods. For their part, Prada will continue to develop and produce Alaïa's shoe and accessory collections, but otherwise the diminutive man with the cultlike following will be on his own again.
Alaïa Buys Back Prada’s Stake in his House (FWD)

Prada's Online Auction - Beats a Sampe Sale?


Well, it beats standing in line and fighting over the last handbag, but we suspect the discount won't be as steep. Rather than throw their odds and ends in a sample sale, Prada is running an online auction of 24 prototype items from the fall 2007 collection. Each item is one of a kind, made in colors and fabrics that were never put into full production, so you won't see them at Bergdorf's or Barneys, or even a Prada boutique. Three items will be auctioned off every Monday, Wednesday and Friday until July 24 with bidding open for seven days per item. A countdown will tick away on the site. The profits will benefit Fondazione San Raffaele, one of Italy's premier research hospitals.
The prices appear to be in Euros, so keep your eyes on the exchange rates, and, sadly, the clothing items appear to be in sample sizes, though the auction includes shoes and accessories.
It's certainly a way to keep shopping without having to slog through the deadly Summer humidity.
Happy bidding!

Prada Goes Animé

Anime_prada_3 Miuccia Prada has designed her first film costumes, and they are animated.
She is one designer who is always ready to throw us a curve. The film is a Japanese animated feature to be released this fall called "Appleseed: Ex Machina", directed by Shinji Aramaki, a sequel to 2004's "Appleseed", in which humans and their clones are at war in the future.
Leave it to Miuccia to make her film debut in a low-key, offbeat manner.
Turns out the designer may be something of an animation buff. She was attracted to the project as a fan of the first film.
Now, when will she design some costumes for an actual live action movie?
Prada to Design Costumes for Japanese Animated Film (WWD)

Disturbing Runway Trend: Prada's Stirrup Pants

Pradastirrup1Everybody has one or two fashion "don'ts" that they can't help holding a soft spot for. The Shophound still believes that harem pants can look sensational on the right girl, for example, just not most girls. And yet we have a hard time finding any love anywhere for stirrup pants. It seems clear that the slim trouser will be with us for a while, as men slowly wean themselves from heavily distressed, flared jeans. The stirrup pant, however, is a Pradastirrup2_1 garment that hardly anyone of either gender wears well, unless they are skiing or performing some sort of acrobatics. And yet that didn't stop Miuccia Prada from including them in every single outfit of her men's runway show. We feel confident that this is a look we will never see walking down the street. As if to pile one absurdity upon another, several models wore their stirrup pants paired with shaggy tunics for a kind of mod, Edie-Sedgewick-as-a-guy look.
We have always noticed that however ridiculous a Prada show looks, there is always great stuff in the boutiques to buy. Let's hope that remains the case next  Fall.

Trend Warning: Prada & Yves Saint Laurent Go German Tourist or Do Not Try This At Home

00270m00160m_1 Well It's that time of year when we rush every morning to look at to see what has been sent down the runways of Milan and Paris. It's always good to know what's coming, and be able to anticipate the continuing fashion evolution. But here's a little warning to you kids out there who might be unused to separating runway theatrics from something you should actually wear in public. No, it is not suddenly OK to wear socks with your sandals. While we know that Miuccia Prada is a goddess of style, and we are big fans Stefano Pilati''s transformation of Yves Saint Laurent, it is very important to know when to take notes, and when to giggle and ignore.

More after the jump

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