Fashion News Alert: Karl Lagerfeld Gets a Medal, Versace’s Sales Plummet, US Store Closures Increase, and Jenny Meirens Transitions

Versace spring 2017 image courtesy of

Versace spring 2017 image courtesy of

In spite of opening 38 new stores in 2016 and 2017, starting an online channel, and a 3.7 increase in venue sales, according to Radiocor Versace closed the year with EBITDA margins shrinking to 6.6 percent from 12.5 percent in 2015 and a consolidated loss of 7.4 million euro (8.3 million dollars), against profit of 15.3 million euros (17.3 million dollars) last year.

Though this latest retail news may not be good news for Versace, there is a silver lining. Sales in Asia grew by 8.8 percent and sales in North America grew by 2.5 

Image courtesy of

Image courtesy of

Lagerfeld honored

On Tuesday, Karl Lagerfeld was awarded the Grand Vermeil Medal of City of Paris. Lagerfeld was awarded the medal after Chanel’s fall 2017 Couture show.

“Your genius permits you to take risks and to transport us into a universe in which you excel. You are an immense talent and a great person who has done so much for our city to make it even more creative, magical and beautiful,” said the Mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo.

“I’m a foreigner and proud of it. And we foreigners see how France really lives. And with the latest changes we have the impression that France has really changed. Everyone wants to come to Paris and live in France and start learning French again. And I find that formidable! When you are not French you see things clearly with an eye disengaged from nationalism and patriotism. And I really want to say Vive La France! Vive Paris! And may the Olympics of 2024 come to Paris!,” Lagerfeld responded.

Image courtesy of

Image courtesy of

More US store closings

According to the Fung Global Retail & Technology Weekly Tracker, US  store closings 218 percent compared to last year this time. That translates into 5,321 U.S. retail closings were confirmed from January 2017 up until June 23.

The leaders in these store closings have been Bebe, Payless, Inc., and RadioShack. One of the reasons for these store closings has been US consumers moving their dollars to online shopping.

According to Fung, Global Retail & Technology there is some good news. There was a 20% increase in store openings compared to this time last year and US consumers are switching to athleisure wear and beauty so many of the new store openings are reflecting this gravitation.

Image courtesy of

Image courtesy of

Bye, bye Jenny

Jenny Meirens, one of the co-founders of Maison Martin Margiela passed away on July 3. Meirens had a direct role in making Maison Martin Margiela a household name.

It was Meirens who suggested that Martin Margiela leave the label in the clothing blank, causing consumers to focus on the design of the clothes other than the designer or brand house. In 2003, Meirens left the brand after selling her stake in the brand to Renzo Rosso, founder of the OTB Group.

Maison Martin Margiela posted a tribute to Jenny Meirens on social media. “In memory of Jenny Meirens, commercial partner of Martin Margiela and one of the visionaries who worked behind the scenes.”

—William S. Gooch





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