Capri Holdings

Fashion World Ramps Up Ukraine Relief Efforts

Fashion World Ramps Up Ukraine Relief Efforts

Forty days after Russia invaded Ukraine, representatives of the fashion industry are supporting or creating initiatives to try to help the country’s designers and people.A new e-commerce site that solely supports Ukrainian brands and designers quietly debuted Friday. Angelforfashion.com founder and chief executive officer and founder Jen Sidary became engrained in the Ukrainian fashion community while living in Kyiv during the pandemic. The Los Angeles-based executive presented the collections of six Ukrainian designers last month in New York that had been arranged prior to the Russian invasion through a grant from the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Competitive Economy Program.

In a matter of three weeks, Sidary created the e-commerce site that features more than 700 items from 30 prominent designers. Her previous work experience, overseeing Zappos’ couture business for more than seven years, helped her to create Angel For Fashion so swiftly. During that run at Zappos, couture sales boomed from $15 million to $100 million, she said.

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To humanize the Ukrainian designers behind the labels there is biographical information and photographs of each. Angel For Fashion is coordinating getting the assets of two brands, Syndicate and Riot Division, whose respective owners are defending Ukraine. One of the featured designers, Valery Kovalska, is temporarily staying with Sidary in Los Angeles.

Riot Division‘s founder Oleg Moroz is now defending Ukraine.
Courtesy of Jen Sidary

All of the Ukrainian designers are working to set up production outside of Ukraine and several of them have transported most of their merchandise from Kyiv to other parts of the country. “They are diligently carrying on even during the war, which is incredible,” Sidary said, adding that live inventory and select pre-sale items are being offered.
Developing a multibrand Ukrainian site was something that Sidary had been interested in doing since she first started exploring the sector in December 2020. Once orders are placed on Angel For Fashion, the brands will contact the consumers to let them know when the product will ship. A local shipper in Ukraine, Nova Poshta, is still handling ground shipments in the country and is coordinating deliveries to other countries with companies like DHL, FedEx or UPS.
Consumer interest is high for Ukrainian-made labels, according to a recent survey by Lovethesales.com. There has been an 809 percent surge in fashion demand for blue and yellow clothing and a 306 percent increase in searches for “Ukraine clothing,” as well as a 100 percent gain in fashion demand for camouflage printed clothing, based on the survey.
“The Ukrainian fashion industry is about 80 percent women. Most of the women are out of the country and it is a little bit easier to set up production outside of Ukraine. Since they were so well-established, they still have some money,” Sidary said. “Of course, it is running out quickly. I felt if people had an opportunity to support this industry directly, this would be the way to go.”
From her viewpoint, supporting designers and the Ukrainian fashion industry directly through purchases will strengthen their existing and future businesses, as well as their employees, “who are either still in the country or are refugees finding a new place to live in the world.”

Plans are going forward for the Kyiv Art and Fashion Days, which is scheduled for New York in September. The founders of six designer labels from Ukraine — Frolov, Gudu, Valery Kovalska, Elena Burenina, Lilia Litkovskaya and Lake Studio Situationist — will showcase their collections, gain industry advice, network and meet with media as a means to sustain their businesses. Fashion designer Keanan Duffty, who attended Kyiv Art and Fashion Days last fall in Ukraine, has conceptualized the New York event. Sofia Tchkonia, founder of the original festival, is overseeing the U.S. edition.
The three-day event will include a runway show at Sony Hall in partnership with Runway 7. Mastercard is providing its NYC Tech Hub space for a temporary showroom and the Council of Fashion Designers of America will feature the participating Ukrainian designers’ collections on its Runway360 site as part of the group’s official New York Fashion Week coverage.
Duffty and co-collaborator Mary Gehlhar are still working on a partnership with a Ukrainian aid organization to accept donations that will cover travel and hotel expenses for the designers. With the situation changing day-to-day, Duffty noted the disparate situations that the designers are facing at home and abroad. Frolov’s founder Ivan Frolov, for example, has been sort of drafted into the military, he said.
“We will go forward with this endeavor with the hope that these designers will be able to leave Ukraine and come to New York to stage this show. That depends on the outcome of this war and the freedom to travel that those designers may or may not have. But we’re going forward with the idea that this is providing a beacon of hope and all of the designers have said that,” Duffty said.
As for what people who haven’t traveled to Ukraine will be missing about the country, Duffty said, “There’s not really a concept of what Ukraine is. Obviously, people see the devastation and the loss of life, and what appears to be war crimes happening. It’s unbelievable that this is happening in the 21st century. But certainly from our standpoint in the U.S., it seems like it’s over there. Having been there, you have a very different perspective. We saw tremendous entrepreneurialism, creativity in expression. In the U.S., we kind of see Ukraine as part of that Soviet bloc. I really had the total opposite experience. I saw positivity and hope from creatives and designers, and a very defined Ukrainian culture with the heritage of that being utilized by designers in a very contemporary way.”

For non-visitors to Ukraine, it would be hard to imagine the destruction, what has been obliterated and what Russian President Vladimir Putin is trying to obliterate, “which is the spirit and soul of the country,” Duffty said. “People are seeing this amazing vitality and strength of the [Ukrainian] people and the culture to resist this onslaught, it probably would have been in some ways easier to just lay down their arms and say, ‘OK, fine.’ But they didn’t do that. That courage of conviction was what I saw when I was there. There were designers doing something really great on par with Paris, London, New York. And very proud of their own culture and heritage.”
Faced with round-the-clock images and updates of how the ongoing conflict is impacting people in Ukraine, and in some instances has ravaged communities like Bucha and Mariupol, some fashion and design-leaning professionals are seeking to contribute in different ways. Kenneth Cole is among the brands donating a portion of its e-commerce profits to a humanitarian nonprofit, by using the ShoppingGives tech plug-in. Meanwhile, Capri — parent of Michael Kors, Versace and Jimmy Choo — this week revealed plans to donate over 1 million euros of essential clothing to those impacted by the war.
On April 2, the Brownstone Cowboys Apartment Stoop Sale was held on East 32nd Street in Manhattan with 100 percent of the proceeds going to Ukrainian refugees. Fifty to 60 people turned up, according to the event’s organizer Heathermary Jackson, who is founder of the magazine and vintage e-tailer Brownstone Cowboys and a stylist represented by The Wall Group.
The gathering was inspired by freelance photographer and TikTok-er Valeriia Shashenok, who had been chronicling the war in Ukraine until recently and continues to support her town of Chernihiv. When she decided to leave the country, Jackson bought her a $500 flight to Warsaw, then lined up bus transportation to Milan and for Shashenok to stay with Plan C’s founder.
Another inspiration for Saturday’s Brownstone Cowboys sale was a Ukrainian family now living in New York. After Jackson asked a few friends to donate vintage clothing for them, some over-generous ones like Michael Stipe provided an abundance of clothing, which led to last weekend’s sale. Nearly $3,000 was raised for relief efforts and a percentage of proceeds from Brownstone Cowboys merchandise are still being tallied. Photographer Myles Loftin, makeup artist Romy Soleimani, photographer and hair stylist Conrad Dornan donated items, too. Jo Rosenthal handled a bake sale, Alaric Flowers donated posey arrangements to sell, Gia Coppola provided some wine and a small distillery offered a whiskey drink.

“It just ended up being a really lovely day. It really felt that people were there for the reason that we did it to raise money for the Ukrainians,” Jackson said. “It just felt like a real community, family affair,” Jackson said.
On track to raise $5,000 in total, an online auction is being considered as part of future events that will raise awareness about refugees and other social justice issues. The aim is for Shashenok to use her viral fame for a wider audience perhaps through the United Nations HCR, which Jackson’s friend Helena Christensen is involved with. The idea “is to have Valeriia be more of a face of someone, who is going to fight for all refugees,” Jackson said.
The hope is to do monthly events focused on helping specific groups such as the transgender community.
Meanwhile, Lutz Morris is donating $10 for every bag sold to support the estimated 80,000 women in Ukraine who are expected to give birth in the next three months. The Berlin-brand is coordinating with the Christy Turlington-founded nonprofit Every Mother Counts.
Separately, the U.S.-based, Ukrainian-born designer Nataliya Nova is selling original paintings and designs from her signature label’s scarves to help raise money for the people of Ukraine. The designer said she is trying to link up with a couple of stylists and celebrities to start fundraising with their help.
Representatives for Ukrainian brands like J’amemme, Kulakovsky, Marianna Senchina, Lake Studio, Gudu, Ienki Ienki and Santa Brands are working to raise awareness and boost production. Despite the Russian invasion, Kachorovska and Kseniaschnaider launched collaborative ankle boots as planned late last month. The campaign for it shows a woman on the road and at home. “How accurate it looks now, when the only thing every Ukrainian woman wants is to return home,” a company spokeswoman said.

Kachorovska and Kseniaschnaider launched their collaborative ankle boots as planned last month, despite the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Courtesy Photo

Another Ukrainian label, Norba, recently unveiled its spring collection — a month later than planned — but the brand is hopeful for a steady return to production and global sales.

Joshua Schulman Named CEO of Michael Kors Brand, Will Succeed John Idol in September 2022 as CEO of Capri Holdings

Joshua Schulman Named CEO of Michael Kors Brand, Will Succeed John Idol in September 2022 as CEO of Capri Holdings

Joshua Schulman has been named chief executive officer of the Michael Kors brand effective today, and will succeed John D. Idol as chief executive officer of Capri Holdings in September 2022 when Idol will step up to executive chairman.Initially, Schulman, 50, will be responsible for all aspects of the Michael Kors brand globally, reporting directly to Idol, the 62-year-old chairman and CEO of Capri Holdings.
Rumors were swirling last November that Schulman might make the jump to Capri after his non-compete expired, as reported in WWD.
Schulman had previously been president and CEO of the Coach brand from 2017 to 2020. Earlier, he was with Neiman Marcus Group as president of Bergdorf Goodman from 2012 to 2017, and had assumed additional responsibility for NMG International with the acquisition of Mytheresa.com in 2014. From 2007 to 2012, Schulman was CEO of Jimmy Choo. Previously, he held senior posts in global fashion and luxury brands including Yves Saint Laurent and Gucci.

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“I am thrilled to have Josh join Capri Holdings as CEO of the Michael Kors brand. Josh is an outstanding leader with brand retail experience, industry depth and a proven track record of successfully operating and growing luxury brands,” Idol said.
“I am delighted to join Capri as CEO of Michael Kors,” Schulman said. “I have long admired Michael’s design vision and how the brand creates timeless fashion and embodies jet set glamour. I look forward to working closely with him and the talented Michael Kors management team to build upon the long-standing success of the brand.”
In September 2022, Schulman will also be appointed to the Capri Holdings’ board of directors. Upon Schulman’s appointment as CEO of Capri Holdings, Idol will work closely with Schulman to transition the role of CEO and continue to provide overall leadership to the board of directors.

Joshua Schulman and John Idol
Matteo Prandoni/BFA.com

According to Idol, “Josh’s appointment is part of a thoughtfully planned leadership succession. Over the course of the next year, Josh will immerse himself in the Michael Kors brand.” In September, 2022, he steps up to ceo of Capri.  “The board and I are confident in Josh’s unique abilities to lead Capri Holdings. His results driven leadership style and passion for building consumer-centric global brands will be instrumental in maximizing the full potential of our three luxury fashion houses,” said Idol.
“We believe our plan will allow for a smooth CEO transition next fall. I look forward to partnering with Josh on the overall strategic direction for the group as well as on potential strategic acquisitions,” said Idol.
“I am honored and excited to assume the role of CEO of Capri Holdings next year,” added Schulman. “Capri Holdings has uniquely positioned itself as a leading global fashion luxury group. I have tremendous respect of what the teams have accomplished across the three founder-led brands. I believe in the strategic vision for Capri Holdings and I look forward to partnering with Jon and the board in leading Capri Holdings through its next phase of growth.”
Capri, whose brands include Kors, Versace and Jimmy Choo, generated revenues of $4.1 billion for the year ended March 27 and revenues of $5.6 billion in the year just before the pandemic.

In an analyst meeting last June, Capri executives laid out some ambitious plans such as growing the accessories business to about 50 percent of total revenues across the portfolio an opening more stores.
“We are an accessories-led company first,” Idol said, pointing out that while ready-to-wear  ill continue to be an important part of Capri’s growth strategy, the company will focus on small leather goods and handbags, as well as brick-and-mortar real estate.
Analysts applauded the passing of the baton to Schulman, who enjoys a good reputation in the industry and has long been seen as building up to one of the coveted spots as a public company ceo in fashion.
Ike Boruchow, Wells Fargo analyst, wrote in a research note, “Given Mr. Schulman’s strong track record (particularly as the president of Coach) and a Michael Kors business that has been somewhat volatile through the years, we believe investors will view the announcement as a positive to the CPRI [Capri Holdings Ltd.] story. Mr. Schulman was instrumental in Coach’s turnaround and is an admired and respected leader within the fashion industry, and we believe he is the ideal candidate to lead CPRI into the next stage of growth.”
Boruchow noted that prior to Schulman’s arrival at Coach, the brand had been struggling and revenues had been shrinking for several years. “However, shortly after his arrival, the brand began to positively inflect – bringing the brand back to positive comps (primarily in the full-price channel) and market share gains. Further we believe much of Coach’s current success goes back to the strategies and changes that Mr. Schulman implemented during his tenure, including a focus on digital and improving brand health.”
According to Boruchow, “CPRI business  (and the stock’s multiple) has clearly been pressured over the years; however the recent turnaround efforts, now combined with fresh leadership, will add more duration to the ball thesis here. Lastly, Mr. Schulman’s experience and success at luxury brands/retailers aligns well with CPRI’s strategy to focus growth on its luxury assets, Versace and Jimmy Choo.”
According to a research note from BMO Capital Markets, “We see this as a strong positive as Josh applies his successful tenure to CPRI’s already impressive momentum. We reiterate  CPRI as one of our top ideas and expect Josh to begin an exciting next chapter building off of John’s already compelling trajectory.”

The note stated that Idol passes the mantle to Schulman “from a clear position of strength, with Michael Kors stabilizing as (still) one of the largest brands in history, sitting alongside an increasingly exciting luxury story as Versace propels and Jimmy Choo works its way up.”
“Mr. Idol deserves clear credit for creating one of history’s largest and most profitable brands, then assembling a portfolio of quality brands. Through a strategic focus on channel (DTC, wholesale and notably  licensing)  product and geographic diversification, he built CPRI from the ground up and passes the baton to a very well-respected leader at an exciting time,” according to BMO Capital Markets.

FOR MORE STORIES:
Joshua Schulman Heading to Capri? Speculation Swirls
Versace Is One of Capri Holdings’  Best Assets, CEO John Idol Says
John Idol’s Pandemic Pay Cut

Michael Kors, Versace Parent Turns $121M Profit for First Gain in 3 Quarters

Michael Kors, Versace Parent Turns $121M Profit for First Gain in 3 Quarters

Capri Holdings Ltd.’s recovery cheered Wall Street during Thursday’s early morning hours after the retailer revealed better-than-expected quarterly earnings. 
The fashion group — parent company to the Michael Kors, Versace and Jimmy Choo brands — beat quarterly sales estimates and increased profits. Company shares rose more than 7 percent during Thursday’s session as a result.
“Our performance demonstrates the power and desirability of the Versace, Jimmy Choo and Michael Kors brands,” John D. Idol, Capri’s chairman and chief executive officer, said in a statement. “Through creativity and innovation, our luxury houses inspire excitement and passion, creating an emotional connection with our consumers. We are also attracting new consumers to each of our luxury houses as evidenced by the double-digit increase in our consumer databases.”

Total company revenues for the three-month period ending Sept. 26 declined 23 percent to $1.1 billion, down from $1.4 billion the same time last year. But Capri still managed to widen its profits to $121 million, compared with $73 million a year ago. A noticeable improvement from a company that lost a combined $731 million in the last two quarters. 
In the most recent quarter, Michael Kors, Capri’s largest business, had top-line sales of $793 million, down from more than $1 billion a year ago. The brand pulled in a profit of $190 million, down from $222 million last year. Versace, which the company bought in December 2018, had revenues of $195 million, compared with $228 million a year ago. Profits were $20 million, up from just $9 million last year. At Jimmy Choo, revenues were $122 million, compared with $125 million last year. The luxury footwear brand managed to break even, compared with a loss of $10 million a year ago. 

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While things like travel retail may be on the decline for the foreseeable future, Idol told analysts on Thursday morning’s conference call that luxury is making a comeback. 
“Consumers are spending at higher rates on luxury products as there has been reduced spending on experiences due to travel restrictions,” Idol said.
“Luxury is enduring, as it creates an emotional connection with consumers, inspiring excitement and passion in those who value design, innovation, as well as exceptional quality,” he continued. “The industry has proven resilient with sales, historically recovering rapidly following economic downturns and global health crises.”
By category, Versace showed strength in men’s wear and fashion athletic footwear, along with the Barocco V pattern, while Jimmy Choo sold out of its $5,500 Jimmy Choo x Timberland Swarovski crystal-studded boots almost immediately. The company expects the brands’ revenues to grow to $1 billion and $500 million, respectively, over the next several years.
At Michael Kors, large handbags and footwear, in addition to men’s accessories and outerwear, performed well during the quarter. 
“It’s really nice to see big backpacks selling again,” Idol said. “We see the greatest softness in women’s ready-to-wear and men’s ready-to-wear and that’s really across the group.”
Meanwhile, total company e-commerce sales increased 60 percent during the quarter, year-over-year. Other bright spots included positive sales in Mainland China during the last three months. (Idol said the fastest recovery is happening in Asia.)

“We continue to see opportunity in [Capri] and expect upward revisions on already inexpensive valuation to prove compelling,” Simeon Siegel, managing director and senior retail analyst at BMO Capital Markets, wrote in a note. “Notably, the Americas sales for Versace and Jimmy Choo were both up [year-over-year] as we continue to expect high-end consumers to help luxury spending in the absence of travel. Additionally, management highlighted positive global retail sales at Versace. We expect revenue to continue its improving trajectory.”
The company ended the quarter with $1.5 billion in long-term debt and $238 million in cash and equivalents. Capri has 1,261 brick-and-mortar units around the globe, including 828 Michael Kors stores, 227 Jimmy Choo stores and 206 Versace stores. Idol said the company plans on reducing its overall store count by closing unprofitable Michael Kors locations.
Capri is not providing forward-looking guidance, but Thomas Edwards, executive vice president, chief financial officer and chief operating officer of Capri, said on the call that the company expects revenues to decline by approximately 30 percent for the year.
“An improvement versus our prior expectations,” Edwards said. 
The fashion group also plans to reduce its exposure to wholesale — from about 30 percent of overall company revenues in 2019 to approximately 20 percent over the next few years — as the company continues to open Versace and Jimmy Choo stores and grow its e-commerce businesses.
“Our feeling is that in North America, digital will represent at a point in time over the next couple of years between 40 percent and 50 percent of the overall revenues for the brands in North America,” Idol said on the call. “[In] Europe, we don’t see that type of trajectory. We see something that will probably get us to a 30 percent level over the next few years. And in Asia, as you know, it’s a much smaller piece of the business today, low single digits. But we do think that that will kind of be in that 10 percent to 15 percent range again, over the next few years.
“The COVID-19 pandemic continues to profoundly impact the entire world,” Idol continued. “As the world continues to emerge from this crisis, we are increasingly optimistic about the outlook for the fashion luxury industry and Capri Holdings. We have an incredible portfolio of luxury houses, each with their rich heritage, exclusive DNA and strong brand loyalty. We are uniquely positioned to drive multiple years of strong growth as we continue to execute on our strategic initiatives.”
Shares of Capri Holdings are down nearly 32 percent year-over-year.

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