Monday Fashion News: Human Resources Edition
July 30, 2007
◊ Gap 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)
◊ 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.
◊ 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)
◊ 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)