The Black lives Matter movement has spurred activists to call on major retailers to support blank owned business. Designer Aurora James from Brother Vellies created the 15 Percent Pledge in June 2020. The pledge calls for retailers to commit 15% of their buying to Black owned businesses. citing: “We represent 15% of the population and we need to represent 15% of your shelf space.”
Retailer’s such as Rent The Runway and Sephora have taken the pledge. time will tell how many other major retailers will sign on. Nordstrom plans to sell roughly $5 million of Black/Latino business brands products online.
Famed fashion designer Alexander Wang has been hit with charges of sexual assault from a slew of male and trans models, claiming that the fashion designer has grouped/raped them (or tried to), after the designer insisted that they drink bottles of water (Molly Water) while on route to after parties, without their knowledge or consent.
Talk of this type of behavior by Alexander Wang goes back as far as 2016, with musician Florence Welch stating that his favorite “party trick” was to offer someone a glass of water, which was really straight vodka. Another musician Azealia Banks posted “anonymous accounts” of Wang groping trans women on Instagram in 2019. Most recently on December 28th 2020 @ShitModelMgmt(a modeling watchdog account) posted on it’s site that Wang was a “alleged sexual predator” after posting several anonymous DM messages which detailed accounts of Wang raping/groping and or drugging them. The most recent allegations are drawing more attention from the fashion industry after recent coverage of this story from The New York Times, Business of Fashion and the Guardian.
Alexander Wang has denied all accusations, and released a statement to Vouge Magazine: “Firstly, I’d like to take the opportunity to connect directly with the people who have helped me grow this brand into what it is today and address the recent false, fabricated, and mostly anonymous accusations against me. While I have always been active in my social life, frequently attending various industry gatherings, parties, and concerts where drugs and alcohol were present—contrary to what has been said, I have never taken advantage of others in a sexual manner or forced anything on anyone without consent. I also have never abused my status or fame for my own benefit. These baseless allegations were started on social media by sites which repeatedly disregarded the value and importance of evidence or fact-checking. It’s my priority to prove these accusations are untrue and are fueled by solely opportunistic motives. It is important for people to speak up and be heard, but there is a need to ensure accusations are credible, so that we don’t harm these important causes. Our team is doing everything in its power to investigate these claims and we promise to remain honest and transparent throughout that process. We are fortunate to have received an overwhelming amount of support over the last few days and are thankful to our staff, clients, and industry peers for standing by our side at this time.” The people that are accusing Wang are preparing for possible legal action against him. We will keep you updated as this story unfolds.
2020 has been a year of loss on many levels for everyone. On Tuesday iconic fashion designer to the famous (and not so famous) Pierre Cardin passed away at the age of 98, leaving a gaping hole in the fashion world.
Known for his futuristic fashion designs and marketing genius, the French designer got his start in fashion as a apprentice tailor at 14 years old, and in 1946 created the costumes for the film Beauty & the Beast and helped create the “New Look” for Christen Dior’s fashion house.
In 1950 he created the House of Cardin which focused on costumes for theater and film productions. In 1953 the French designer debuted his women’s collection which adorned the likes of Brigitte Bardot, Liz Taylor, first lady (former) Jackie Kennedy and Rita Hayworth. Cardin started to design men’s clothes and showcased them at a boutique called Adam. In 2009 he told the France Press Agency “Before me, no designer made clothes for men, only tailors did”. He created the Nehru collarless suits worn by the Beatles (which became their trademark look). His other male clients included Mick Jagger, Rex Harrison and Gregory Peck.
The groundbreaking designer was the first to offer haute couture, ready to wear (off the rack) in 1959. During the 1960’s he designed clothes modelled after spacesuits. In 1969 he said “The dresses I prefer are those I invent for a life that does not yet exist”.
He licensed his name from everything from cookware to cars. A visionary always looking far ahead into the future said, “I design for tomorrow. I never look backward.”
After being saved from bankruptcy by Authentic Brands Group and Simon Property Group for $325 million the owners have hired Michael Bastian as creative director (formally the men’s fashion director of Bergdorf Goodman) who launched his own fashion line in 2006.
Bastian most recently held the position as creative director for Ted Baker.
LVMH’s on again, off again buyout deal is on once again on to acquire Tiffany & Co. After lawsuit’s and counter lawsuits the two companies have agreed to move forward on the deal at a slightly lower price.
The original price: $16. Billion or $135.00 a share was lowered to $15.8 Billion, or $131.50 a share. LVMH’s Bernard Arnault is set to receive an almost $430 Million discount on the new terms of the deal. The deal is set to close in the first quarter of 2021.
On September 28th LVMH files a countersuit against Tiffany & Co citing: “The notable absence of a pandemic carveout in the definition of a Material Adverse Effect in the Tiffany Merger Agreement is clear. It was common before COVID-19 for transactions to contain a pandemic carveout. In the course of the negotiation, Tiffany sought and received carveouts for highly specific events, such as “cyberattacks”, the “Yellow Vest” movement and the “Hong-Kong Protests”. Yet Tiffany did not obtain a carveout for public health crises or pandemics. In contrast, hundreds of other merger agreements executed in the decade preceding the Merger Agreement contained express pandemic or epidemic carveouts. The pandemic, whose effects are devastating and lasting on Tiffany, has irrefutably caused a Material Adverse Effect. This clause alone would be enough to prevent the closing”.
Among other things LVMH said: “Tiffany’s mismanagement of its business constitutes a blatant breach of its obligation to operate in the ordinary course. For instance, Tiffany paid the highest possible dividends while the company was burning cash and reporting losses. No other luxury company in the world did so during this crisis. There are many examples of mismanagement detailed in the filing, including slashing capital and marketing investments and taking on additional debt.” Today Tiffany’s and LVMH are in talks to renegotiate the price of the deal, according to people close to the matter.
Brooks Brothers ditched it’s bankruptcy auction in favor of the “Stalking Horse” buying offer of $305 million, and shortly after increased the buyout offer to $325 million from Sparc Group LLC, a partnership between mall owner Simon Property Group and brand-licensing firm Authentic Brands Group.
Sparc Group whose portfolio also includes the Aéropostale and Nautica apparel brands, plans to to keep at least 125 Brooks Brothers stores open and “preserve the iconic Brooks Brothers brand,” the retailer said.
On Wednesday July 8th, the famed and over 200 year old men’s luxury retailer filed for bankruptcy protection as they seek a buyer. Brooks Brother’s has also closed some of it’s stores as well as getting ready to close their U.S. factories. The famous company was founded in 1818, and has dressed many U.S. presidents being a major men’s luxury U.S. company.
Globally operating 500 stores (half of them in the U.S.) the company has defined the dressy and “preppy” classic style of American gentleman. From 1988 to 2001 it was owned by Marks & Spenser, which after it was acquired by Claudio Del Vecchio who’s family founded Luxottica.
Brooks Brothers has been struggling in the industry from online competition and the advent of casual attire in the office become more popular. Before the pandemic they were already in the process of looking for a buyer, Covid-19 simply expedited it and lead to a chapter 19 filing.
Assets and debts they reported is between 500 million and 1 billion dollars. The company stated that it is determined to survive as it said that it will close 51 stores in the U.S.
Joining the ranks of other majors retail brands like Barney’s, J Crew and Neiman Marcus which Covid-19 has toppled, the future looks very uncertain as the U.S. fights from under the heel of the pandemic.
Renown Inc. in Tokyo Japan filed for bankruptcy on Friday, which is part of the Chinese fashion empire Shandong Ruyi (they own about 53% of the company) carrying roughly 13.9 billion yen ($130 million) in debt. The century old company is the largest profile fashion retailer to buckle under the Covid-19 infused retail apocalypse in Japan.
Renown Inc. The former owner of Aquacutum the British clothier, has been in a financial decline for years. Shandong Ruyi has become the majority shareholder from a decade ago, which Renown said is having much difficulty in collecting over 5 billion yen ($45.2 million) in debts from it’s Chinese parent company who is the major shareholder according to Reuters. “It was the first bankruptcy of a listed company in Japan since January 2019″, according to the Japan Times.
The Covid-19 pandemic was cited as the company fall, but the company was suffering from lagging sales and emerging competition from other younger brands like Uniqlo (Fast Retailing Company) for some time now. Renown, the maker of D’urban suits was founded in 1902.
On Friday the largest American Retail chain JC Penny filed for Chapter 11 as the current casualty of the Covid-19 empowered Retail Apocalypse, which so far has toppled Neiman Marcus, J Crew, John Varvatos , Gap Inc, and Aldo Group Inc.
While JC Penney blamed the bankruptcy (which was highly anticipated) filing on the Covid-19 store closures, it failed to cite a 10 year mismanagement streak and declining sales.
The company obtained from the chapter 11 filing $900 million in debtor in possession financing with $450 million of new cash to help during the restructuring process, but could end up in a third party sale or liquidation to satisfy creditors.
The company plans to permanently close stores, but gave no details of which locations (and how many) stores will be shuttered. JC Penney has been around for almost 120 years, but some question if the retail mall anchor should continue to operate.