Wolverine World Wide Names Tom Long Chairman

Wolverine World Wide Names Tom Long Chairman

Wolverine World Wide, which operates a large portfolio of lifestyle and brands, has named Tom Long its next chairman.
Long will move into the role on May 4, following the retirement of Wolverine’s current chairman Blake Krueger, who is also the former chief executive officer of Wolverine. 

Long currently serves as the board’s lead independent director.

The changes are occurring during a crucial period for the company as it undergoes turnaround efforts. Last quarter, the company fell deeper into the red; however, revenues grew significantly. Wolverine has been simplifying its business, reducing inventory, morphing into more of a direct-to-consumer business, and focusing on smarter investments.

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Last year, the company reorganized from its former Michigan and Boston brand groups to active, lifestyle and work groups to help clarify the business and achieve greater synergies. Recently, the company sold the Keds brand to Designer Brands Inc., the parent company of footwear retailer DSW.

Wolverine World Wide’s portfolio includes Merrell, Saucony, Sperry, Sweaty Betty, Hush Puppies and Wolverine, among other brands.

Krueger has been with Wolverine for about 30 years, through a series of executive roles culminating in his appointment as CEO and board member in 2007, then as CEO and chairman of the board in 2010. He retired as CEO at the end of 2021, and since then has continued to lead the board of directors as executive chairman in 2022 and as chairman this year. Brendan Hoffman serves as CEO.

Long joined Wolverine’s board in 2011 after a 30-year career that included serving as CEO of MillerCoors, LLC; CEO and chief marketing officer of Miller Brewing Company, and in several senior global and marketing roles at Coca-Cola. He was appointed lead independent director of Wolverine’s board in 2022, and previously served as chair of the compensation committee.

“On behalf of the board of directors, I would like to thank Blake for his many years of dedication and service to the company and its shareholders,” Long said. “During his long tenure the company transformed from a traditional footwear wholesaler into a consumer-focused, global organization with one of the world’s largest portfolios of footwear and lifestyle brands.”

Hoffman added: “I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to work closely with and learn from Blake since I joined the company in August 2020.

“It has been an absolute privilege and honor to have served Wolverine World Wide for the past 30 years, and to have played a role in the company’s successful 140-year history,” Krueger said.

The company also revealed the appointment of Stacia Andersen, Jodi Bricker and DeMonty Price to its board.

Andersen, 52, currently serves as the executive vice president and chief customer officer of PetSmart. Bricker, 55, is the CEO of Quay Australia, a global eyewear brand. Price, 61, recently retired after five years as the president and chief operating, service and values officer of RH.

Finally, David McCreight, a director since 2019, has revealed his resignation from the board of to devote his full attention to his role as executive chairman of Lulu’s Fashion Lounge Holdings Inc.

Storytelling, Color Stand Out at Paris Trade Shows

Storytelling, Color Stand Out at Paris Trade Shows

PARIS — The recent round of trade shows during Paris Fashion Week hailed the return of Asian buyers in force, returning to find shaken-up formats and an array of new and revamped brands. At Première Classe in the Tuileries gardens, footfall rose 57 percent on last March’s edition, to reach 10,736, with twice as many international visitors as a year ago. They accounted for 67 percent of footfall.
Numbers were at last back to pre-pandemic levels, said Frédéric Maus. show organizer WSN Développement’s general director. “The fashion community is back in Paris, and there’s a real sense of dynamism,” he said. “Wholesale is back, and online sales are slowing.”

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Inside the show, the organizer had shaken things up, with more mixing of categories between accessories, ready-to-wear and jewelry to encourage traffic through the space and an enhanced scenography. Some 400 brands were exhibiting, including 30 percent of newcomers.

“This edition is more interesting. The layout of the booths is different and has changed in a good way,” said Tomomi Asako, ready-to-wear brand director at United Arrows. “There are more ready-to-wear items than before, which I particularly like.”

Outside Première Classe / Credit: Kim Weber


Over at Tranoï, at the Bourse, some 155 designers were showing, and buyers were back — and remarking significant changes to the show’s format compared with three years ago. “We’ve had very strong feedback from major retail accounts. Visitors are adhering to the new concept and congratulating us for the changes,” said Tranoï chief executive officer Boris Provost. “People are writing orders, which was less the case in September; the business aspect is much stronger. It’s still complicated for young designers to get new retail accounts but less than it was six months ago; there is a place for creativity,” he added.

Hat designer Coco Bagtazo, showing at Tranoï for the first time, said business had been brisk. “Everyone’s buying for the future again, which is nice. People had been buying in-season, which was challenging for wholesale.”

Inside Tranoï / Credit: Mahdi Aridj Photography

Mahdi Aridj Photography

Color and storytelling were the name of the game, as buyers and stylists sought out standouts among the younger brands to complement core collections seen on the runway and in the showrooms. “I’m glad to see color is hitting in fall,” Bagtazo said. For jewelry, it was also statement pieces that caught the eye.

“We did most of our must-have buying in New York last week, we’re looking for something extra,” said Edie Caldwell, of Alice boutique in Nashville, Tennessee. Trends spotted at the Paris shows included pinstripes, corduroy and lots of color, she said.

“Emily in Paris” costume designer Marylin Fitoussi was among the visitors at Tranoï, and she praised the colorful collections, in contrast with the more subdued silhouettes she had seen on the runways. With the Netflix show’s success, she has made it her mission to promote young designers and as such the Paris trade shows offer a wealth of newcomers to discover, she said. But she was also shopping for new projects.

“I’m looking for emotion, to be surprised,” she said.

Her highlights at Tranoï included the African designer showcase with Creative Africa Nexus (Canex), as well as designers from South Korea showing under the Seoul Fashion Week initiative, where newcomers this season included Vegan Tiger and Kwak Hyun Joo.

“It’s clothes I love, not fashion. It’s rewarding to be able to give power and visibility to these young designers. I love their enthusiasm and passion,” Fitoussi said. She also picked out jewelry brands Stone Copenhagen, from Denmark, and MAM, from Spain, among favorites.

African designers are on the rise, Tranoï’s organizers highlighted during a conference just before the show to highlight the initiative, which was put in place by the African Export-Import Bank to support the continent’s creative industries.

It was the second time for the initiative but this time, with 17 designers showing in a larger, dedicated space, buyers were paying attention. “Last time, it felt like an exhibition. This time, it feels like we’re here to do business,” said Judy Anderson, founder of her eponymous label.

Emiko Kataoka, executive director at Japanese retailer Anayi, visiting Première Classe, was happy to be back after three years away and noticed the changes to both format and offer. Despite the weak yen, she was keen to shop for something new, with Japan’s mask mandates set to be lifted fully from April, expected to be a strong driver at retail. “People are going out again and events like weddings are back on, as well as back-to-school season in April, with lots of ceremonies, so they are looking for occasionwear and to dress up again,” she said.

Nevertheless, she said, the weak yen means the retailer is mindful of budgets. “It’s 1.5 times more expensive than before the pandemic so we need to be careful.” The Japanese buyer highlighted trends including colorful collections and hair accessories at Première Classe. “Accessories are big rather than small,” she said.

Over at Woman, which retained a scaled-back showroom format in the Marais, director Antoine Floch reiterated that sentiment, saying that despite being glad to be back, international buyers were feeling the pressure – not just on collection budgets but on travel, with hotel and restaurant prices having skyrocketed in Paris.

“Things are getting back to normal, but brands and retailers are being really careful. Flights are crazy, and people aren’t staying over the weekend,” he said. “But we need to connect and try to get through things together. A lot of us are independent businesses, and we’re all in the same boat.”

Highlights at the Paris trade shows

Looks from Judy Sanderson. / Credit: Courtesy of Judy Sanderson

Judy Sanderson

Showing at: Tranoï

Category: Ready-to-wear

Story: Judy Sanderson pays tribute to the elders of her homeland, South Africa, and her adopted country, Portugal, with her tailored wardrobe, using deadstock and working with older tailors and patternmakers close to her studio. Known for her structured shoulders and outerwear, each color in her collection has a meaning in Zulu culture.

Price range: 69 to 686 euros (retail)

A look from Dimension Cachée. / Credit: Courtesy of Dimension Cachée

Dimension Cachée

Showing at: Tranoï

Category: Rtw

Story: Self-taught designer Marie V. was among the newbies at Tranoï, with a collection combining statement pieces in dévoré silk velvet with workwear basics in shades of blue, écru and black. Highlights included a kimono dress and a miniskirt with press-stud fittings that revealed shimmering cycling shorts underneath.

Price range: 90 to 1,195 euros (retail)

A design from Sabina Savage. / Credit: Courtesy of Sabina Savage

Sabina Savage

Showing at: Première Classe

Category: Rtw and accessories

Story: U.K.-based Esmod alum Sabina Savage only started drawing after working as a print designer at Alexander McQueen. She has made her intricate graphics into a signature, first launching scarves based on her sketches in 2014 and more recently luxury ready-to-wear, including striking reversible padded jackets in her fall collection inspired by Tibet, for which she worked with historians and experts to ensure accuracy.

Price range: 40 to 600 British pounds (wholesale)

Jewelry by Capucine Huguet. / Credit: Patrice Maurein

(c)Patrice Maurein

Capucine Huguet

Showing at: Première Classe

Category: Jewelry

Story: After interning for some of the main Place Vendôme jewelry brands, Hyères accessories prizewinner Capucine Huguet chose to go it alone, turning her conviction for environmental preservation projects into a brand concept. Inspiration for her fine jewelry pieces made from 18-karat gold and diamonds, both recycled, includes marine plankton and the melting glaciers, for which she traveled to the North Pole on a research trip. Part of her profits go to a carbon capture project.

Average price: 1,700 euros (retail)

Designs from Luise Zücker. / Credit: Kristina Kast

Luise Zücker

Showing at: Première Classe

Category: Jewelry

Story: Berlin-based Luise Zücker specializes in “empowering jewelry,” in her own words. Starting out with futuristic laser-cut metal headpieces, worn by artists on stage, she has branched out into jewelry with a range of galvanized brass earrings and gold plated and silver rings inspired by the shape of a vulva, as spotted recently on Cara Delevingne.

Price range: 30 to 300 euros for jewelry, 300 to 1,500 euros for a headpiece (direct-to-consumer).

A design from Nilau. / Credit: courtesy of Nilau


Showing at: Première Classe

Category: Leather goods

Story: Marie Veyron grew up on an ostrich farm, her family raising the lofty birds for meat. With the idea of using their skin, a byproduct, her brand was born. The skins are treated at the only tannery in France to work with delicate ostrich leather, less than 20 kilometers from the farm in the southeast of France. Veyron launched Nilau two years ago and uses every part of the animal’s skin on her bags, as well as materials like linen. Her bestseller is based on an eminently personal motif — her grandfather’s binocular case.

Price range: 700 to 2,000 euros (retail)

A design from Linking Dotz. / Credit: courtesy of Linking Dotz


Linking Dotz

Showing at: Première Classe

Category: Footwear

Story: Rodrigo Doxandabarat, originally from Argentina, is a real multitasker. A globetrotter, former model and executive for several of fashion’s majors in Latin America, he created his Linking Dotz footwear brand in 2016. The sustainably minded, handmade, vegan shoes, mainly colorful loafer styles, are crafted with production leftovers and feature a range of tassels for personalization. Each pair comes with switchable insoles for summer and winter wear.

Price range: 225 euros (retail)

Ahdid / Credit: Courtesy of Ahdiid



Showing at: Première Classe

Category: Footwear

Story: Italian designer Mario Pini comes from a family of jewelers but his real passion is shoes. For his latest project, named Ahdiid, he has created a puffer sandal shape, offered in vibrant colorways or with snow boot type strapping for a statement look. With this, his second collection, he added closed velvet designs and fur insoles for winter. Soles are made by Italian specialist Vibram.

Price range: 100 to 170 euros (wholesale)

Hat designs from Batazo. / Credits: Photo by Richie Ramirez Jr. Wardrobe styling by Tashie Bock


Showing at: Tranoï

Category: Hats

Story: Now based in New York, Tranoï first-timer Coco Bagtazo grew up in a small beach town in California and worked in a boutique that made custom swimming trunks. From there, her love of design was born and she spent more than 20 years as a product designer before creating her own accessories label in 2014. More recently she has centered on hats, offering original shapes and colors in felt and straw, hand sewn and hand blocked, with felts sourced from the Czech Republic.

Price range: 89 to 600 euros (retail)

Designs from Stone Copenhagen. / Credit: Courtesy of Stone Copenhagen

Stone Copenhagen

Showing at: Tranoï

Category: Jewelry

Story: From a family of jewelers, high-end fashion distribution specialist Charlotte Balling had always wanted to create her own brand. Inspired by her Icelandic heritage, she created Stone Copenhagen during the pandemic and was showing in Paris for the first time. Inspired by memories, her sterling silver and gold-plated pieces set with zirconium were cited by buyers among the standouts at Tranoï.

Price range: 111 to 2,000 euros (wholesale)

Designs by MAM. / Credit: courtesy of MAM


Showing at: Tranoï

Category: Jewelry

Story: Barcelona-based Anthya Tirado, originally from the Dominican Republic, was among the buyer favorites at Tranoï. Her statement jewelry pieces in silver and gold-plated brass and stainless steel — including headpieces, ear cuffs, nail rings and anklets — have garnered a strong celebrity following, featuring in a recent video by Beyoncé, for example. The six-year-old brand was a first-time exhibitor, opening up wholesale for the first time.

Price range: 150 to 3,000 euros (retail)

Looks from Après Surf. / Credit: Courtesy of Après Surf

Après Surf

Showing at: Tranoï

Category: Rtw

Story: Retailers in the Italian coastal town of La Spezia, Nicola Rossi and Demis Scalabrin decided to create their own brand in 2017, offering hoodies and sporty silhouettes channeling the surfer lifestyle. Printed texts can be personalized, with a retailer’s name or location, for example. They have chosen not to distribute online, only working with retailers in selected locations to foster demand and promote wholesale. Their collection featured colorful serape and bandana patchwork details.

Price range: 100 to 110 euros (average wholesale)

A design from Adele Dejak. / Credit: courtesy of Adele Dejak

Adele Dejak

Showing at: Tranoï

Category: Jewelry

Story: Within the Canex space, Nairobi-based jewelry designer Adele Dejak grew up in the U.K. and studied typography at the London College of Printing. She created her brand in tribute to her grandmother, with whom jewelry was a way of communicating without a shared language. She puts a contemporary spin on tribal motifs in her 24-karat gold-plated pieces made from recycled base metals, some set with semiprecious stones like unakite for their healing properties.

Price range: $40 to $500 (retail)

A design from Yan Jiang Studio. / Credit: courtesy of Yan Jiang Studio

Yan Jiang Studio

Showing at: Woman

Category: Jewelry

Story: Yan Jiang worked as a product designer in her native China before moving to Switzerland, where she worked for watchmakers including Panerai. Looking for a creative outlet, she decided to launch her own jewelry brand just before the pandemic and was showing it in Paris for the first time. Her intriguing designs include pieces made with resin and silver or gold plate intended to evoke bubble wrap.

Price range: 200 to 400 euros (retail)

A look from Magnlens. / Credit: Courtesy of Magnlens


Showing at: Woman

Category: Rtw

Story: Three-year-old Magnlens, based out of Santa Monica, California, offers modular activewear-inspired styles designed to transition throughout the day. Owned by a fabric mill, the vertically integrated label’s womenswear is designed by Kate Lindstrom, formerly of The Row. It was the label’s first Paris trade show as it opens up to wholesale for its women’s collection.

Price range: $80 (T-shirt), $150 (pants).

P.E. Nation, Asics Team Up for Activewear Capsule

P.E. Nation, Asics Team Up for Activewear Capsule

P.E. Nation, the active streetwear brand, is teaming up with Asics for an activewear line that launches Thursday.

The 13-piece capsule capsule runs the gamut from sports bras, leggings and bike shorts, to T-shirts, fleece tops, jackets, caps and footwear. Retail prices range from $35 for a cap to $180 for a jacket. The size range is 2XS to 3XL.

In July, P. E. Nation And Asics introduced a sneaker collaboration, creating a capsule that encapsulated the styles of both brands, as reported. The brands reimagined the GEL-1130 in two colorways — the cream and black, and the cream and paper bag — that retailed $140. The cream and black, for example, was layered with P.E. Nation’s signature pops of fluorescent yellow and pink with an additional decorative lace and rivet rigging.

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A campaign image from the P.E. Nation x Asics capsule.

The new activewear capsule, which is manufactured in China, will be available on and The collaboration is ongoing.

Georgia Fowler, a native New Zealand model, is the face of the retro-sports capsule.

“We are excited to further expand our product offering with Asics by creating our first technical apparel collection alongside the performance footwear, creating a true head-to-toe look. This capsule brings to the forefront the pinnacle of performance,” said Pip Edwards and Claire Tregoning, P.E. Nation’s cofounders in a statement.

P.E. Nation, which was established in Sydney, Australia, launched in 2016. Its products run the gamut from technical activewear, retro-inspired streetwear and footwear to eyewear and accessories.

Sustainability a Hot Topic at Lineapelle

Sustainability a Hot Topic at Lineapelle

MILAN — Building strong connections and a focus on a new industrial culture drove the three-day leather trade show Lineapelle.
With more than 1,100 exhibitors, compared with 725 in the September edition last year, the show ended with an optimistic mood. Lineapelle attracted more than 16,000 visitors, 47 percent up compared with last September, with visitors from the U.S., India, Mexico and Turkey, but also France, the United Kingdom, Portugal and Spain.

A driving force of this restart was the simultaneous presence of other fairs connected to the fashion industry like Micam, the footwear trade show, and Mipel, the bags and accessories exhibition. Lineapelle closed Sept. 22.,

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That was the best way to celebrate the 100th edition of Lineapelle, according to chief executive officer Fulvia Bacchi, who said buyers did not attend only to get a sense of the trends but also to find partners. This goes hand in hand with the industry reporting an increase of 3.7 percent in production volume and 11.2 percent in turnover during the first six months of the year, compared to the corresponding period last year.

Having a number of fairs taking place at the same time was a key factor also for Chiara Mastrotto, president of Gruppo Mastrotto, as they attract foreign visitors. “The U.S. market held up well, while Japan and Korea showed good signs of a restart,” she said. “The European market is always vital to our business, even if it is severely affected by the geopolitical situation, particularly in the mass market sector.”

The company, which has sales of 330 million euros, featured a fall-winter 2023-2024 collection focused on the duo leather and technology, following a path started years ago to reach a more sustainable production.

At the heart of this work was “Reviva,” a patent-pending material born out of leather processing waste. “We are aiming at a real circular economy that allows us to use each single piece of our materials,” Mastrotto added. “Reviva is also extremely flexible and can be customized to meet all of our high-end fashion clients.”

Gruppo Mastrotto is fairly balanced in terms of business areas. “We gave shape to an industrial plan based on a business diversification to reduce our industrial risks,” the president explained. Accordingly, the company is present in major international markets and sells to sectors ranging from shoes to furniture.

Considering the current geopolitical situation and the latest Italian general elections, Mastrotto said that a crucial point to be seriously approached should be energy investments and a strong commitment to find a solution to the energy crisis.

Costantino Karazissis, founder and CEO of Italian Converter, agreed. “Increased costs may weaken the market in the most serious way,” he said.

Exports account for 40 percent of Italian Converter’s sales. “Our core markets are in Europe, with France at the forefront followed by the United Kingdom” and Italy.  Karazissis explained that “this is due to our kind of customers, which are mainly positioned in the high-end range.”

The core business of the company, which is based near Pavia, Italy, is the footwear market, but now the management is planning to expand into other sectors, starting with furniture and then apparel. During Milan Design Week in June, Italian Converter showcased a line in partnership with architect Simone Micheli.

The stand of Italian Converter at Lineapelle.

Sustainability is another issue Karazissis feels strongly about. The goal is to reach a sustainable production “for real,” as he underscored, which means going slow but sure to convert all industrial processes and materials.

“We use bottle-recycled polyester, organic cotton and natural fibers which are all biodegradable, but it is not that easy to meet partners who share our same vision, as a real sustainable process means investments.”

With this in mind, Italian Converter will shortly sign an agreement with ItalConcia in Tuscany to produce material made of a mix of leather called Bio Based Lather and fabric, establishing a circular economy process.

The key to change this situation lies also in a new industrial culture, which involves professional training, too. During Lineapelle there were students from Milanese schools, while the Mipel Lab area hosted the partnership between Assopellettieri and Aslam, an institute that offers a range of courses including training in the leather industry.

“Qualified labor is getting hard to find and we want to buck this trend by investing in professional training,” confirmed Franco Gabbrielli, president of Mipel Lab. “We have to work to create a cultural revolution and let the youngest understand that an artisan’s craft work is as creative and noble as a designer’s.”

Mipel Lab gathered 13 Italian companies from the industry. “We want to expand our influence abroad, especially in the U.S., where we are looking for new partnerships,” Gabbrielli added.

In sync with this strategy is the partnership with Impersive, a company that specializes in augmented reality, showing at accessories show Mipel. Through the use of a 3D Oculus, visitors could find themselves in the leather production process, enabling them to better understand the combination of technology and handcraft.

“Our sector boasts salaries which are often higher than the country’s average, it is our duty to study a better communication and present ourselves as a system,” said Stefano Giacomelli, CEO of Tivoli Group, one of the Mipel Lab companies. Giacomelli added that the next step for Mipel Lab should be to develop close relationships with the main international fashion associations, starting with focusing on the U.S. and France.

Regarding Tivoli, its CEO underscored how important the North American market is for the group, while Europe has showed signs of a revival in the last few months. “We are now working with an increasing number of international contemporary brands: we represent the Made in Italy branch for them.” After a difficult 2020, the Tuscan company saw a slight growth in turnover, reaching 52 million euros.

Antonio Quirici, president of Consorzio Cuoio di Toscana, the Tuscan cowhide consortium, said: “We are betting on a circular, sustainable production and on collaboration with young designers, to raise awareness about our industrial sector among the new generations.” Quirici is also president of the Bonistalli & Stefanelli tannery.

The consortium supported emerging brands Act N.1 and Cormio during the September Milan Fashion Week by supplying the companies with vegetable tanned sole leather free of charge. The goal is to go further along this path, from the next Milan Fashion Week to Pitti Uomo, in Florence. Quirici confirmed that in the first six months of the year Europe, North America and Asia were the markets recovering best, while high-end customers represent most of its companies’ business, including brands like Chanel, Dior and Ferragamo.

Signs of a market recovery also were seen by Tuscan Conceria Superior, 43.65 percent of whose share capital has just been acquired by Prada Group.  “We can be optimistic but keeping in mind that autumn will be crucial,” said creative director Massimiliano Schiavini, although an “air of uncertainty” is reigning because of increasing costs and the geopolitical situation. “December and January will be key months and after that we will be able to understand if the global market is recovering for real.”

Tommy Hilfiger Opens Virtual Tommy Play Store on Roblox

Tommy Hilfiger Opens Virtual Tommy Play Store on Roblox

Tommy Hilfiger is opening a virtual Tommy Play store on Roblox.
Hilfiger got involved with Roblox last December with eight digital fashion designers from the Roblox community creating the Tommy X Roblox Creators collection. The collaboration expanded to include Tommy Play, which launched in June, and is an immersive social space with ongoing content updates for the Roblox community.
“We’re excited to announce this next phase of our Roblox collaboration,” said Tommy Hilfiger. “Sharing these fun and unique aspects of our brand with the Roblox users is an innovative way to engage with the digital consumer. There are so many possibilities in the metaverse and this is just one more offering that we’ve created together.”

The store displays large stone animal statues inspired by the Bronx Zoo and features tags from local street artists, paying homage to the Bronx’s iconic imagery.

Tommy Play metaverse store opens on Roblox.

Courtesy Photo

The store is a hub for the Tommy Jeans Pop collection, that features puffers, windbreakers, hoodies and accessories, such as a logoed bucket hat and bumbag. Alongside the retail space, the main attraction is parkour, where the community can enter a spray paint area to create their own tags and unlock street dancing.
Roblox users can also work toward getting into a secret space, complete with a DJ booth for hosting parties. Once achieved, users will find favorite tokens such as a hot dog backpack and the chicken, which is now a main character in this map.
Several of the original user-generated content creators from the December 2021 launch helped design the futuristic store, and some new creators joined to help stock and design the digital store. The creators are @StrapCode, @Mahalo, @Blizzei, @missmudmaam, @Martin–Rblx2, @Polarcub–art, and @RynityRift.

Huda Beauty’s Mona Kattan on The Luxury Closet’s Global Ambition

Huda Beauty’s Mona Kattan on The Luxury Closet’s Global Ambition

The Luxury Closet, a leading resale platform in the Middle East, is launching in the U.K. on Tuesday, as it looks to expand its footprint in Europe.Mona Kattan, an investor in The Luxury Closet alongside her sisters Huda and Alya, believes the platform’s VIP concierge service would do well in the U.K., as many affluent Middle Easterners flock to London year-round, residing in areas including Knightsbridge, Belgravia and Edgware Road.
The Kattan sisters are among the principal shareholders of The Luxury Closet, alongside Middle East Venture Partners, GMP Capital, Wamda Capital, Knuru Capital and Precinct Partners. They took a stake in 2020 via their private office Huda Beauty Investment.

The company has raised a total of $32 million since launching in 2012.
Kattan, the cofounder and global president of Huda Beauty, recalled in an interview how Kunal Kapoor, chief executive officer and founder of The Luxury Closet, was talking passionately about how he wanted to make fashion more accessible.

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“That’s something I relate to because, growing up, I couldn’t afford luxury things,” she said. “Even in university when I got my first job, it took me a while to be able to afford a Chanel bag. So for me, what The Luxury Closet stands for is not only sustainability, it’s also accessibility.
“I’m all about inclusivity. Like our beauty brand, and everything that we touch, it’s about making people feel included. Fashion is one of the most exclusive industries there is, and I hate that part of it. It’s 2022. Everyone should be going into stores and feeling good about themselves, but it’s still not the case,” she said.
“Platforms like The Luxury Closet are giving people an opportunity to feel they’re part of a brand. I also love that they’re big on making sure things are authentic because I used to go shopping in vintage stores, and I bought things that were counterfeit by mistake,” Kattan added.
Kattan said she recently purchased an Hermès classic Togo leather 25 black Birkin with gold hardware from the site.
“I actually stopped buying so much from the Hermès stores after investing in The Luxury Closet because I can get exactly what I want. Yes, I’m paying a premium, but I don’t have to buy a saddle, which I don’t even know where I’m gonna put in my house,” she said.
Kattan was referring to the brand’s habit of encouraging customers to buy other items alongside their big-ticket, in-demand bags. Hermès has said it does not endorse such a policy.

Landing page of The Luxury Closet.

Having established itself as the leading player in the booming luxury resale market in the Middle East, the company is now looking to expand to other markets.
“We’re really focusing on the U.K. and Europe right now. And we do have an appetite to go into the U.S. because I am an Arab American. For me, the U.S. has always been an important market,” Kattan said.
She added that the company picked the U.K. as the launch pad because there is a big overlap between those who go to the U.K. and Dubai, and the talent pool for luxury e-commerce is much bigger in London.
The platform offers the concierge service for home pick-up when the seller is listing more than five items and takes a commission from each sale. With certain items, the site will also buy items if they have a strong resale value, such as the Chanel Classic Flap, and Van Cleef & Arpels Alhambra bracelets.

While global expansion is on the agenda, Kattan thinks Dubai is still the best place to have the business headquartered because “the inventory the platform gets is next level because people there don’t hoard what they have. When they’re done with it, they pass it on and they’re ready to let go versus other markets.”
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An Innovative Platform for Philanthropy

An Innovative Platform for Philanthropy

April is National Volunteer Month and Centric Brands has embraced the spirit.A brand-building company with an extensive portfolio of licenses, Centric on Monday launches a new kind of philanthropic program, called Centric Cares. It’s geared for associates and partners to get more engaged with philanthropic causes.
The initiative includes monetary and in-kind donations, a soon-to-launch employee donation matching program, employee volunteer opportunities and a “Creators for a Cause” series for associates “to harness their creative skills to give back to the communities where they live and work,” the company noted in a statement Friday.
The new philanthropic approach extends Centric Brands’ support of nonprofits including the National Alliance on Mental Illness, Dress for Success, American Red Cross, Learning Ally, Haitian Americans United for Progress, Delivering Good, Save the Children, the UN Refugee Agency and others. All told, Centric Cares works with more than 40 local partners in New York; Montreal; Greensboro, N.C., and Los Angeles.

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Jason Rabin, chief executive officer of Centric Brands, said the company’s social impact efforts are “centered around our commitment to serve and uplift the communities where we live and do business” and that the Centric Cares program provides “many ways to get involved and make a difference.”
Alana Weinroth, senior development officer for Covenant House, said Centric “is such a committed organization that supports us from the top down. They have done everything from donating personal funds, raising funds, donating corporate dollars, to doing gift drives and volunteering their time.”
Centric has a “Be Giving” committee of volunteer associates fostering the philanthropic efforts. In addition to identifying causes important to support, the committee works to form stronger relationships with partner organizations, create volunteer opportunities and develop a Centric Cares hub on its intranet. The hub has a volunteer portal that lists all volunteering events across each office and includes a sign-up link to participate and an in-kind donation form so it’s easy for divisions to donate excess product to partners in need.  
In addition, Centric will launch “Creators for a Cause,” an internal product series tapping creative and design teams in support of timely issues. They will design limited-edition products for purchase exclusively by Centric associates. All proceeds from Creators for a Cause will be donated to a partner organization connected to the issue at the center of the product. For the rest of April, associates will be able to purchase a variety of handcrafted stuffed animals made of deadstock denim in support of Earth Day designed and handmade by members of the marketing/creative team. Proceeds will be donated to
Also, to support Pride Month, which is June, a colorful canvas tote bag with the stylized words “Say Gay,” was designed by a designer from the accessories division. Proceeds from the tote will be donated to the It Gets Better Project.
Centric designs, sources, markets and sells  products in the apparel, accessories, beauty and entertainment categories.

The portfolio includes licenses for more than 100 brands, including Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, Nautica, Spyder and Under Armour in the kidswear; Joe’s Jeans, Buffalo, Hervé Léger and Izod in the men’s and women’s apparel category; Coach, Kate Spade, Michael Kors, AllSaints, Frye, Timberland, Hunter and Jessica Simpson in the accessories category, and in the entertainment category, Disney, Marvel, Nickelodeon and Warner Bros., among many others.
The company also owns and operates Zac Posen, Hudson, Robert Graham, Avirex, Fiorelli, and Taste Beauty and operates a joint venture brand, Favorite Daughter, with Sara and Erin Foster.

The North Face Names Nicole Otto Global Brand President

The North Face Names Nicole Otto Global Brand President

Nicole Otto has been named global brand president of The North Face, a division of VF Outdoor LLC .The 16-year Nike veteran succeeds Steve Murray, who is retiring and returning to the U.K. The appointment is effective in June.
Otto will report to Steve Rendle, VF Corp.’s chairman, chief executive officer and president, and will serve on VF’s executive leadership team.
Most recently, Otto was vice president of Nike Direct North America. In that role, which she held from 2018 through May 2021, she oversaw Nike’s digital experiences and full fleet of inline and factory stores throughout the North American region. Under her leadership, Nike launched new flagship and Nike Live experiences in New York City and Los Angeles and started its expansion of owned retail across the U.S.

“Nicole is the right leader who brings the right capabilities to The North Face brand at the right time,” Rendle said. “Her global industry experience and deep understanding of consumer engagement strategies — through both physical retail and digital commerce — make her ideally suited to take the helm of this iconic brand and accelerate growth through even more compelling direct connections with consumers worldwide. Nicole is a proven innovator and future-focused leader who will further strengthen The North Face brand’s exceptional global executive team. We’re excited to welcome her to the VF family.”

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At Nike, Otto was also a key architect of the company’s digital consumer-facing technology platforms over the past 10 years. Before joining Nike’s North America team, she held several regional and global leadership roles within the company’s digital business. She was vice president and general manager of digital commerce in EMEA, during which time she led the launch of the Nike app and the Snkrs app. Earlier, she was vice president and general manager of global store, vice president of global digital commerce operations and vice president of consumer digital tech. She began her career at Nike in 2005 after working in information technology at Charles Schwab in San Francisco.
“Few brands in the world have earned truly iconic status like The North Face and I couldn’t be more excited to be joining the brand at this time,” Otto said. “I look forward to working closely with The North Face leadership team in addition to VF leadership to drive the next phase of growth for this beloved global brand and all that it represents.”
Otto’s appointment is part of VF’s succession plan in response to Murray’s planned retirement this year. He was appointed global brand president of The North Face in September 2020. Earlier, he served as executive vice president and group president for VF’s Americas region and previously was president of VF’s Action Sports Coalition and global brand president of Vans.
“We appointed Steve to lead The North Face brand knowing that his retirement was on the horizon but also recognizing that we could leverage his incredible 30-plus years of industry experience to strengthen the brand’s proposition with consumers,” Rendle said. “During his tenure, Steve further enhanced the brand’s outdoor credentials; turbo charged its apparel, accessories and equipment product engines; introduced innovative technologies such as FutureLight, built a successful footwear business and refined its channel and segmentation strategies, among many other accomplishments. Steve will leave The North Face brand in an incredibly strong position for Nicole to build on as she advances our direct-to-consumer and digital transformation.”

NorthFace continues to be on the move. As reported last month, the latest assortment from The North Face x Gucci collaboration features jackets, ready-to-wear, backpacks, bomber jackets, vests, hiking boots, luggage and shoes for women and men. This month, pop-up shops will open in select winter cities. From Jan. 11 through Jan. 25, there will be outposts in Aspen, Colo., Chicago and Toronto.

The North Face x Gucci Plans Pop-up Shops
How The North Face Plans to Engage Customers on Its Sustainability Journey
The North Face Nuptse Jacket Is the Hottest Item Online, Says Lyst

Les Benjamins Expands Eastward

Les Benjamins Expands Eastward

Growing up in a small town in Germany, Bunyamin Aydin, the grandson of Turkish immigrants, said he felt like he never fit in.Ten years ago, at the age of 21, he launched his brand, Les Benjamins, in Istanbul. “Even going back there, I was seen as an outsider.” That struggle with identity and acceptance fueled his entire hybrid design philosophy. “I realized after many years, this duality is my DNA. I don’t need to be accepted in any one place.”
Les Benjamins captures eastern heritage in a modern, street style-inspired brand, a product of his own obsession with fitting in. His clothes merge culture and comfort through textures and digital prints that are inspired by his heritage. “For me, the east is the nostalgia. The west is my tools. There is always this tension between east and west, even when you look at East Berlin versus west, the east side of New York compared to the west,” Aydin said.

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This month, the 32-year-old opens the doors to his first flagship store outside of Istanbul. Situated in one of the world’s busiest malls, next to Hermès, his new location blends those two worlds while also incorporating the subcultures that have inspired him.
The store’s hallmark is its sand-colored pillars and archways, an ode to old Istanbul. “I wanted to give a nod to our heritage, but in a contemporary setting, so we used concrete to connect with steel, giving it a balance between old and new. It’s about the juxtaposition of both ideas,” Aydin said. At the center is a community table, which can be used as a coworking space or to host talks and roundtable discussions. There is also a turntable with a selection from Aydin’s personal vinyl collection and a sound set up designed by Devon Ojas.
Aydin commissioned architect Dong-Ping Wong of Food New York, who also did Yeezy’s Calabasas, Calif., studio, to bring his vision to life. “Les Benjamins Dubai is about contrasts: old and new, open and intimate, gleaming and earthen. We used a traditional plaster technique most directly seen around the souks and structures of Old Dubai to balance out the classic luxury, glossy materials of both the mall and new Dubai as a whole,” Dong said. “It’s a material with history, depth and texture, interspersed with reflective, graphic and neon details.”
Aydin sees his retail stores as meeting places. The designer has spent more than a decade building his creative community. Their stories, cultures, traditions and rituals have been his central inspiration, he said. “For me, Les Benjamins represents creatives with an eastern background all around the world.” He describes his community as “DJs, rappers, people into skate culture, basketball culture, hip-hop culture, but within that if you go more niche, it’s Turkish hip-hop culture. I’m actually collecting vinyls right now from Turkish, young, hip-hop artists.”
After successful international collaborations with Nike and Puma under his belt, as well as dressing celebrities from Justin Bieber to Jay-Z, Aydin is very focused on growing and supporting his community. “There was time when I was obsessed with dressing celebrities. And while that is still a huge honor, now I would say I’m very focused on my niche. I know the subculture that influences and inspires me and I also want to contribute and grow that.”

Les Benjamins is expanding existing categories and moving into new ones. Aydin’s wife, Lamia AlOtaishan Aydin, is his creative collaborator, leading women’s wear as well as designing handbags and small leather goods, which are debuting in the Dubai flagship. Dubai will also have a multibrand sneaker area and kids’ wear.

Bunyamin Aydin

Aydin, who also maintains a home in Dubai, said it’s been a natural extension for the brand to have their first global flagship store here. “We’ve always had a warm welcome from the region, especially as we’re unified in our vision of spreading a progressive Eastern movement. I’m always interested in amplifying the voices of the youth in the Middle East.”
Asked about his growth in western markets, Aydin said he is eager to increase his footprint. During Art Basel in Miami, the brand hosted a successful pop-up at the The Webster. “I love unfolding stories from the East that are untold and redefining culture by moving it forward. It’s like giving an update on culture. I feel like designers from the East are misunderstood.”

Paris Lauds Return of IRL Trade Shows

Paris Lauds Return of IRL Trade Shows

PARIS — Despite smaller footprints and a continued decrease in visitors from outside Europe, especially Asia, the mood was upbeat at the recent fashion and accessories trade shows in Paris, with visitors keen to discover new brands and designers once more.“It was a real pleasure to see the products again and meet with the brands,” said Victoria Dartigues, senior merchandising manager for fashion and accessories at La Samaritaine. “Our understanding of a brand is a lot more natural and simpler when we are directly connected with the creative director and their products. I believe that the buyer’s eye is much sharper in a real-life context than from behind a screen.”
Tranoï at the Palais de Tokyo hosted around 50 designers, with a focus on emerging talents selected in partnership with the Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode, as well as contemporary and resort collections.

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“I thought Tranoï was really well conceived, with brands grouped together by universe and category. The offer was much more curated and more qualitative,” Dartigues said.
Tranoï highlighted silhouettes by a selection of international labels from its digital platform, Tranoï Link. It also showcased the work of Alphonse Maîtrepierre, winner last month of the Grand Prix de la Création de la Ville de Paris for emerging designers, and an installation by Céline Shen, a finalist for last year’s Hyères prize.
“There’s a real desire for newness,” said Tranoï managing director Boris Provost. “But it’s a season of transition, and clearly some of the department stores don’t have big budgets.”
At accessories show Première Classe, which also showcased a small selection of labels from the Man/Woman trade show stable for the second time, 225 brands were present — around half the number of pre-pandemic editions.
While neither event disclosed visitor numbers, “Given the context, it has been better than we expected,” said Frédéric Maus, general director of WSN Développement, which organizes Première Classe.
International buyers were also still largely absent, however. “Première Classe would traditionally have around 75 percent international visitors, and we’re at 35 percent, so just mechanically, footfall is down by between 25 and 30 percent,” Maus said. “The buyers who are in town have come, and people are writing orders,” he continued. “They have been playing it safe for the past 18 months, with brands and models that they knew would sell,” Maus said. “There is a lot of creativity, and there is renewed interest in the wholesale model, which had not been the priority in recent years. Many players who had launched their own retail in recent years are questioning that model, and thinking about going back to more selective distribution, and that’s good for our business. Brands can only go so far with just a d-to-c model.”
Among highlights at Première Classe was a display featuring the work of 10 African designers selected for a new accelerator program co-created by specialist investment fund Birimian and the Institut Français de la Mode, starting this month.

Birimian founder Laureen Kouassi-Olsson with designs from her accelerator for African designers with IFM.
Kim Weber / Courtesy of Première Classe

A bigger selection of ready-to-wear labels broadened the offer at Première Classe. Several multibrand showrooms chose to show there for the first time to tap buyer traffic in one place, rather than renting spaces elsewhere in the city.

There was also a new crop of career-change designers, for some of whom the pandemic had been an opportunity to take stock and launch a new, more creative career. At Première Classe, there were around 70 new exhibitors — around twice the proportion there normally would be, Maus said.
Looking ahead, the Paris trade shows are all looking to hone their models based on the experience of the past 18 months.
“The context has meant we have had to evolve, especially in how we accompany brands,” Provost said. “In terms of solidarity, it’s important to show that we are all in the same boat.”
“What’s expected of us has evolved, we need to offer more advisory services, to support our brands year-round,” said Man/Woman cofounder and director Antoine Floch. “We are all facing the same issues, and we want to put Paris on the move again together. It was important to stage this event together [with Première Classe] to show that we’re not in competition.”
Tranoï hopes to host a larger edition at the Palais de Tokyo in March, and is awaiting space confirmation to determine its size. (It will also host men’s and women’s pre-collections at the same venue in January.) A question mark remains, however, on plans to return to the larger Bourse venue in March, Provost said.
WSN’s fashion event Who’s Next, along with sister events Traffic, Impact and Bijorhca, will return in January, Première Classe in March, and new business-to-consumer event Drop — delayed for a year due to the pandemic — in June next year, Maus said.
Man/Woman also plans to return to a separate show in March, at Place Vendôme, Floch said, but with a smaller footprint.
“I asked all of our brand partners for constructive criticism of the show format pre-pandemic, and the main complaint was that we had got too big,” Floch said. “We are going to come back with a smaller model, with around 75 brands.”
Designers to Watch From the Paris Trade Shows

A look from Façon Jacmin
Courtesy of Façon Jacmin

Façon Jacmin (Tranoï)
Created in 2016 by twin sisters Alexandra (the designer, who previously worked at Maison Margiela) and Ségolène Jacmin (an entrepreneur), Belgian label Façon Jacmin aims to revisit denim by giving it a seductive makeover. The collection contrasted mini and oversize proportions, and its signature pieces include denim jackets with contrasting tailored collars. Façon Jacmin has its own boutiques in Antwerp and Brussels, as well as e-commerce, and is just starting to open up to wholesale, for which its average price is around 90 euros.

A look from Armine Ohanyan Paris
Courtesy of Armine Ohanyan Paris

Armine Ohanyan Paris (Tranoï)
Armenia-born designer Armine Ohanyan, who created her demi-couture label four years ago, describes her designs as “techno-couture” and prioritizes sustainable fabrics and techniques. Her collection was based on natural materials like denim and cotton canvas, and highlighted the pattern-making process, including raw canvas designs splashed with the graphic artworks of Kiichiro Ogawa, and the “Bâti” capsule based on a skirt co-created with Sophie Fontanel, with outsized black tacking details.

A look from Frant Isaksson
Courtesy of Frant Isaksson

Frant Isaksson (Tranoï)
It was Marie Mallet-Frant’s and Asa Isaksson’s shared love of luxurious fabrics that drove them to launch their own brand in September last year. The label specializes in minimalist pieces in which the textile is the star, including super-soft brushed cashmere sweaters, slinky shifts made with Lyon silk and Calais lace, and leather pieces sourced in the Pyrenees. As such, providing a physical avenue for allowing buyers to discover the collection was essential, said Mallet-Frant, and reception at the show had been extremely positive. Currently available online only, retail prices for the collection range from 180 to 1,350 euros.

A look from Zhiggie
Courtesy of Zhiggie

Zhiggie (Tranoï)
Newbie Claire Hirsch — a former communications and marketing executive in pharmaceuticals — was showing off her inaugural collection, a range of resortwear pieces in all-natural fabrics with a breezy charm. Her floaty skirts, dresses and tops in silk crêpe gingham came in colors that popped, and were priced from 80 to 230 euros wholesale.

Jewelry from Nu Atelier
Courtesy of Nu Atelier

Nu Atelier (Première Classe)
Former Sephora marketing executive Claire Roche decided on a career change and her desire to be creative inspired her to train in jewelry making and launch her sustainable, genderless brand last year. Made in France with solid silver and recycled gold in a sustainably certified workshop, the graphic, minimalist designs currently sell at and in the department store’s new Boulevard Haussmann sustainable brand department, with an average retail price of 450 euros.

Arthur Cerica

Cabirol (Première Classe)
Jewelry is in the family for Diane Morin — her father designed for Chaumet for many years. With her Cabirol brand, she aims to give a modern spin on the traditional signet ring, offering pieces in silver, gold and vermeil with lacquer or precious stones. She is just starting up wholesale after launching the brand on Instagram two years ago. Her simplest designs start at 145 euros, with fine jewelry pieces priced up to 2,200 euros.

Courtesy of Verwicht

Verwicht (Première Classe)
One of the young designers showing among a selection of finalists and winners from last year’s Hyères prize, Ecole Duperré and HEAD Geneva alum Eva Verwicht, who cut her teeth at Isabel Marant and Dior Homme, create leather accessories inspired by sea creatures. The brand showed a selection of bucket bags that subtly evoked the form of jellyfish or sea anemones in colors like purple and olive green. Handmade in Paris, her designs retail for between 650 and 900 euros.

Verbena Madrid
Courtesy of Verbena Madrid

Verbena Madrid (Première Classe)
The Spanish label, founded in 2017, aims to resurrect lesser-used craft techniques with its range of accessories, including headpieces, jewelry and bags. Expanding its offer for spring 2022, the brand added bags resembling tea urns made from Thai containers traditionally used for rice, covered in hand-painted leather, alongside its floral crowns and colorful raffia earrings. With retailers including Ikram, the brand’s wholesale prices range from 30 to 300 euros. “We’ve had a lot of people interested,” said cofounder Carmen Garcia. “This product is kind of festive with a happy mood, and people want something really colorful.”

Phi 1.618
Courtesy of Phi 1.618

Phi 1.618 (Première Classe)
After working in international law and the media for many years, Juliette Angeletti retrained in leather work in order to launch her Phi 1.618 label in 2018. Using deadstock skins from suppliers working with the major luxury houses, she crafts limited-edition bags and accessories with the Golden Ratio as the common thread in her designs. New for spring 2022 was an origami pleated bag in super-soft skin, its body made from a single piece of leather. The label has its own store on Rue du Bac on the Left Bank, and its retail prices range from 80 euros for a bracelet to 1,800 euros for the pleated design, the most elaborate in the collection.

Courtesy of Sy&Vie

Sy&Vie (Première Classe)
Brazilian luxury handbag brand Sy&Vie, created by Sylvie Quartara, highlights artisanal techniques like wood carving and marquetry with its fun and visually striking clutches. For spring 2022, the collection includes a black purse featuring a cat’s face in marquetry — down to the incredibly fine whiskers, models carved with scenes from nature, and more subtle designs encrusted with real leaves. Wholesale prices for the collection range from 300 to 450 euros.


Myssy (Man/Woman @ Première Classe)
With its tag line “Knitted by grannies,” Finnish label Myssy offers a quirky take on traditional woolen headwear. Founded in 2009, the company now employs 80 women to hand-make its products with super-soft wool from Finn sheep. The brand has been instrumental in creating new demand for wool production in its homeland. As well as traditional beanies, Myssy was showing several designs with wired brims for wear beyond winter. Retail prices range from 89 to 99 euros.

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