Fashion News Alert: Century 21 Stages a Comeback, Ella Emhoff Makes NYFW Runway Debut, and Valentino Sued for Back Rent

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Being in the right place at the right time could work wonders for a career, particularly if you happened to be related to the Vice President Kamala Harris and you are wearing a very stylish Miu Miu coat at the 46th Presidential Inauguration. Also having a huge social media following helps.

Ella Emhoff, VP Harris’ stepdaughter, has been signed to IMG Models and for New York Fashion Week appeared in the Proenza Schouler fall 2021 runway show. All this happened just three weeks after the presidential inauguration.

For fall 2021 Proenza Schouler produced a knitwear-heavy collection with an emphasis on comfort and practicality. “A return to a form of dressing that emphasizes ease and practicality without ever abandoning a sense of luxury and sensual, tactile pleasure,” explained the design duo in show notes.

This new direction for co-creators Jack McCullough and Lazaro Hernandez demonstrates that these co-creators can pivot easily to what consumers are currently in the market for. Other designers/brands should take note!!

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Century 21 returns

For those who are pining away that the Century 21 stores are no more, put away your salty tears. Century21 stores are returning, but it will make its comeback in South Korea, opening a store in Busan this year, a new nine-story, 100,000 square-foot store, in fact. There are plans for a return of Century 21 stores to New York City, but not for a while.

“We believe a New York City flagship is important,” Raymond Gindi told WWD. “It could be on 34th Street or in Times Square. But we are not working on that now. I don’t think the U.S. is ready for it.”

The Gindi family launched Century 21 stores in 1961 and with a silent partner has brought back Century 21’s intellectual property after the retail chain filed for bankruptcy in 2020. In 2020, Century 21 closed its 13 stores in New York City, New Jersey, Florida, and Pennsylvania.

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Valentino sued

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, fashion is experiencing some very strange occurrences. Who would have thought that an iconic brand like Valentino would be sued for not paying rent?

Well, it has happened. Valentino SpA is being sued for breaking the lease on its flagship Fifth Avenue store. The landlord of the flagship store contends that the Valentino SpA broke the lease and left the store in disrepair. This lawsuit follows a January 27th dismissal of a lawsuit filed by Valentino SpA seeking to void the 16-year lease on its flagship store on Fifth Avenue.

According the landlord of the flagship store, Valentino SpA owes rent through 2029, as well as $12.9 million in repairs to the store. “The building owner tried to work with Valentino during the pandemic with the understanding that these are difficult times,” the landlord’s lawyer Robert Cyruli said, as reported in “We look forward to presenting our case for damages in court.”

Valentino SpA is seeking to appeal the January 27th court decision made by Justice Andrew Borrok of the Manhattan Supreme Court.

—William S. Gooch

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