Raf’s American Spirit
For the first Calvin Klein installation at Design Miami/Basel,
Raf Simons has envisioned an upcycled American barn with an assortment of limited-edition Cassina Feltri armchairs.
Dreamed up by the Italian designer Gaetano Pesce in 1987, the Feltri armchair is an ironic take on the royal throne. But Calvin Klein's chief creative officer selected upholstery for the patented Feltri, which has a soft backrest. Each of 100 numbered Feltri armchairs has a one-of-a-kind American heirloom quilt dating back to the 19th and 20th centuries, emblematic of American heritage and a homespun, handcrafted ethos of days gone by.
For an added Americana element, one of the barns built with reclaimed wood from the 19th century for the Calvin Klein 205W39NYC fall show will be reconstructed at the fair. As part of an ongoing alliance with the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, there are billboard-size images papered on the interior of the barn. Attendees at Design Miami/Basel, which gets underway Tuesday, will have first dibs on the first 50 chairs. The other 50 will go up for grabs at a later date.
The Warhol Foundation's director of licensing Michael Dayton Hermann said Monday, “The unique thing about this collabora- tion is that it is an ongoing story that goes across advertising, marketing, merchandising, art and of course the product itself.” (The nonprofit first joined forces with Simons for a project several years ago, during his Dior days.)
In addition to his art, Simons knows about the ins and outs of textiles design for home collections. In 2014, the designer teamed with Kvadrat to apply his sense of style to the home. Blending different colors and materials, Kvadrat/Raf Simons featured throws, cushions and upholstery.
As for the throne-like connotation of his Feltri collaboration, some might argue that Simons reigns over American fashion, having won his second consecutive Womenswear Designer of the Year award from the Council of Fashion Designers of America earlier this month.
— ROSEMARY FEITELBERG
In the ever-competitive athletic industry, global creative directors — like other top-tier executives — are only given so much time to prove themselves until the stopwatch stops. Time ran out for Reebok's creative director Thomas Steinbruck, who exited the company earlier this year, and Karen Reuther has now succeeded him as global creative director.
Earlier in her career, Reuther had a 12-year run at Nike that included serving as global creative director, where she headed up global design strategies for the brand across footwear, apparel and equipment. But she didn't have far to travel to join Reebok's downtown headquarters. Reuther was most recently creative director and brand psychologist at Cast Collective, a Boston-based group of consultants specializing in design, innovation and technology. There she worked with such clients including Puma, Vans, Timberland, Pantone, Piaggio Fast Forward, TJX Cos. Inc., Everybody Fights and Ideo.
Steinbruck, who held the post for 18 months, did not respond immediately to a request for comment Monday. Reuther was unavailable to comment Monday, according to a Reebok spokeswoman. Unlike Reuther, he brought to the sneaker giant more of a fashion sense, having served as Porsche Design Group's creative director, Eli Saab's vice president of collections and Kenneth Cole's vice president of design.
At Reebok, Reuther will provide “brand-defining and consumer-relevant creative leadership across all design disciplines, including brand identity and design implementation, across every brand and consumer touch point,” according to a statement issued by Reebok. — R.F.
Nine West Sold
Nine West Holdings Inc. has sold its Nine West and Bandolino footwear and handbag businesses at a court auction to Authentic Brands Group for $340 million. The brand management firm won the auction by bidding more than $140 million over its initial stalking horse bid.
Ralph Schipani, chief executive officer of Nine West, said, “We are pleased to have completed this important step in our restructuring and are now focused on moving forward with the reorganization of our remaining businesses with the support of our key stakeholder groups.” ABG chairman and ceo Jamie Salter said, “The addition of these two brands enhances ABG's growing lifestyle portfolio, while launching our global footwear platform. We see incredible opportunity to expand the brands beyond footwear and handbags, specifically in the apparel and home categories as well as in new markets around the world.” Once the sale is approved by a Manhattan bankruptcy court and the deal has closed, ABG will assume all the licensing partnerships and marketing initiatives for both brands. ABG named Marc Fisher Footwear as operator of the footwear businesses and Signal Products as operator of the handbag businesses. A court hearing is scheduled for June 18 and a closing date is slated for July 15.
Nick Woodhouse, president and chief marketing officer of ABG, said, “This purchase elevates ABG's footwear and accessories business to over $2 billion in global retail sales and brings our portfolio to nearly $8 billion.”
Nine West Holdings filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy court protection in April in a Manhattan bankruptcy court.
Nine West Holdings sold the two businesses so it can recapitalize its balance sheet. The sale will help the bankrupt firm restructure operations so it can focus on its profitable businesses — One Jeanswear Group, its Jewelry Group, the Kasper Group and its Anne Klein business. The company has said it plans to exit bankruptcy court proceedings around September. — VICKI M. YOUNG
Guess Inc.’s Guess Jeans USA revealed details of where its roving Farmers Market pop-up concept is set to go next.
The company in May launched the Farmers Market concept — a weekend-long force of exclusive streetwear drops and collaborations, skateboard demonstrations, food and live music — with Nicolai Marciano, who handles brand partnerships and specialty marketing for Guess, disclosing to WWD at the time the concept would indeed hit the road internationally, but didn't reveal much beyond that.
Guess said Monday the concept would be a mix of popups with exclusives also to be sold through some retailers this month and next. Exact dates have yet to be revealed.
The pop-up concept, which will be a scaled-down version of what was seen in Los Angeles, is set to make its way to Paris at Club 75, Selfridges in London, GR8 in Tokyo, Lessons in Perth and Dover Street Market in Singapore.
International retailers set to receive pieces from the capsule collection include Slamjam in Milan, Luisa Via Roma in Florence, Juice in Hong Kong and online via the Innersect App based out of China.
The idea for the Farmers Market was born out of Guess Jeans USA, which parent Guess calls its incubator division. It began as a collaboration between Guess Jeans and Sean Wotherspoon, the founder of the boutique Round Two, with the collection originally slated to launch at a traditional pop-up. The idea morphed into a farmers market-themed pop-up held on Lot 5 at Guess headquarters, featuring pop-ups and product from Darren Romanelli, Carrots by Anwar Carrots, Pleasures, Utmost, Chinatown Market, Cali Thornhill Dewitt, Fontaine Cards, Pintrill and Sandal Boyz.
“It's the community. It's an experience,” Marciano told WWD at the time of the Market's launch. “You sell something to a store, like a wholesale account and there's nothing special about that. It's very transactional. Here, you're creating a story around the clothing that's dropping and an experience that's happening and that's ultimately where our demographic and the youth wants to connect these days.”
— KARI HAMANAKA
The Guess Farmers Market in Los Angeles.
The Calvin Klein installation with a sampling of the limited edition Feltri armchairs.