Zac Posen’s brand sold

Zac Posen’s brand has been purchased by executives at Centric Brands. In November, the fashion designer announced he was abruptly shutting down his eponymous label, which he founded in 2001, after a sale fell through at the last minute. He revealed he…

Zac Posen’s brand has been purchased by executives at Centric Brands.

In November, the fashion designer announced he was abruptly shutting down his eponymous label, which he founded in 2001, after a sale fell through at the last minute. He revealed he had been in discussions with several potential buyers or investors and none came to fruition.

On Thursday, representatives for Centric Brands announced they had purchased the Zac Posen brand and all related property held by Posen’s business Z Spoke. As part of the deal, Centric executives have acquired all existing licenses and collaboration agreements and won’t be assuming any liabilities associated with the previous business. The value of the deal was not disclosed.

Posen, 39, will serve as a strategic adviser on matters relating to creative direction, marketing, and promotion of the branded business.

“I am so pleased that Centric Brands is committed to the Zac Posen brand and to building a new and relevant Zac Posen branded world,” said Posen, according to WWD. “I am looking forward to helping Jason (Rabin, chief executive officer of Centric) and the team continue to identify and execute on strategic licensing opportunities and selectively build the brand’s global distribution and omnichannel marketing strategy.

“Along with my role as strategic advisor to Centric Brands, I am looking forward to engaging in other projects, both in and outside of fashion, that have long intrigued me. It’s a very exciting time.”

Rabin added in a statement, “Zac is a talented and charismatic designer. The Zac Posen label is synonymous with exceptional craftsmanship and modern American glamour and is a red-carpet favourite among many of the world’s most famous celebrities. This acquisition adds a global, marquee designer brand to our portfolio of ready-to-wear women’s apparel and provides a platform to expand into new licensing categories, while supporting one of our strategies for growth.”

Centric’s portfolio includes labels such as Herve Leger, BCBG MaxAzria, and Hudson Jeans.

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Japanese star Naomi Watanabe lands Kate Spade campaign

Japanese star Naomi Watanabe is fronting a quirky new campaign for Kate Spade.The comedian, actress, and fashion designer, who became known as the “Japanese Beyonce” after she imitated Beyonce Knowles back in 2008, has been selected to headline the spr…

Japanese star Naomi Watanabe is fronting a quirky new campaign for Kate Spade.

The comedian, actress, and fashion designer, who became known as the “Japanese Beyonce” after she imitated Beyonce Knowles back in 2008, has been selected to headline the spring 2020 imagery for the fashion and accessories brand.

In addition, Kate Spade bosses have tapped Naomi to be the label’s global ambassador for the upcoming year.

“At Kate Spade New York, 2020 is about celebrating how women express their own spirit and personal style through our brand,” said Nicola Glass, creative director of Kate Spade New York. “To us, Naomi represents all women. Her humour and love of life perfectly align with our brand values, and she makes our product shine. Together, we hope to continue inspiring multi-generational self-styled and self-motivated women to live their lives with substance, sophistication and a smile.”

For debut gig, Naomi appears in the brand’s fun handbag campaign, which highlights new versions of the popular Margaux design. One image sees the 32-year-old clutching a striped version of the purse, while another sees her pretending to bite the handles.

“As the embodiment of confidence, joy, and originality, Naomi’s passion for life is inclusive – she encourages women to express their individuality every day,” a brand representative added.

As well as her Kate Spade campaign, Naomi is also starring alongside American actor Tommy Dorfman in Fendi’s new #BaguetteFriendsForever film, which promotes the Italian label’s famed Baguette bag.

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Top fashion firms donate to Australia’s bushfire relief efforts

Top global fashion firms have made large donations in aid of Australia’s bushfire relief efforts.Fires are continuing to rage in the nation, with the blazes killing at least 25 people and destroying thousands of homes in the states of New South Wales a…

Top global fashion firms have made large donations in aid of Australia’s bushfire relief efforts.

Fires are continuing to rage in the nation, with the blazes killing at least 25 people and destroying thousands of homes in the states of New South Wales and Victoria.

Many celebrities, including Ellen DeGeneres, Chris Hemsworth, and Elton John, have made generous donations towards helping the firefighters and saving the wildlife, and now, bosses at fashion conglomerates Kering, PVH Corp., and Tapestry, Inc. have all announced their contributions.

A representative for Kering, which is headed by Francois-Henri Pinault and is the parent company of Gucci, Saint Laurent, and Bottega Veneta, has confirmed the company will donate $685,000 (£525,00), the equivalent of AUD $1 million.

“These funds will be provided to the most appropriate local organisations selected by the group’s sustainability experts,” they said. “Additional initiatives will also be undertaken by various brands in solidarity with the Australian people. In the longer term, Kering plans to participate in future reforestation and biodiversity programmes.”

Meanwhile, officials at PVH, which oversee brands like Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger, are donating $68,000 (£52,000) to the Australian Red Cross Disaster and Recovery Fund, as are bosses at Tapestry, the owner of Coach, Kate Spade, and Stuart Weitzman.

“Our hearts go out to the countless number of people affected by the bushfires,” said Jide Zeitlin, Tapestry’s chairman and chief executive officer. “While what has been lost cannot be replaced, we want to help the affected communities repair and rebuild in the wake of this disaster.”

Closer to home, Australian designer Alex Perry will donate 100 per cent of sales online and in-store for the next seven days to the NSW Rural Fire Service, while New Zealand-based fashion star Karen Walker is supporting charities including Wildlife Victoria, the RSPCA, and Red Cross.

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Kate Spade’s husband shares poignant mental health message to mark her birthday

Kate Spade’s husband Andy marked what would have been the designer’s birthday on Tuesday by posting a powerful message about mental health on Instagram. The late designer, who co-founded Kate Spade New York with her husband in 1993, committed suicide …

Kate Spade’s husband Andy marked what would have been the designer’s birthday on Tuesday by posting a powerful message about mental health on Instagram.

The late designer, who co-founded Kate Spade New York with her husband in 1993, committed suicide in June 2018 at the age of 55.

After her death, Andy revealed she had been battling depression and anxiety for years and had been “actively seeking help”.

To mark what would have been her 57th birthday on Christmas Eve, Andy shared a throwback photo of their daughter Frances, now 14, holding a lollipop and wrote a lengthy caption in which he implored followers to be kind to one another and have no shame in reaching out and asking for help.

“I will never forget the love Kate had for our beautiful, bright and charming Frances Bea. On the date of Katherine Noel Brosnahan Spades (sic) birthdate I hope that we can all be kind to one another and look for signs of private problems,” he wrote. “Some of us are too embarrassed or prideful to admit we have flaws. Please don’t hide from them. There is no shame in having flaws. I have many. As do some of my best friends, mentors and idols. We should take pride in admitting our humanity. Perfection isn’t the goal – honesty is.

“Please seek help if you are feeling helpless or lost. Ask friends and relatives if they are okay. This is truly important. Sometimes they won’t tell you how they are feeling but nudge them to find out. Happy holidays and best wishes to all.”

Following the designer’s death, officials at the fashion and accessories brand chose to honour Spade’s memory by donating $1 million (£768,000) to various charitable causes concerned with mental health issues.

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Kate Spade boss Anna Bakst departing brand

Kate Spade boss Anna Bakst is exiting her role at the fashion brand.Leaders at Tapestry, Inc. – the parent company of Kate Spade, Coach, and Stuart Weitzman – announced on Thursday that Bakst will be leaving the company at the end of the year. The busi…

Kate Spade boss Anna Bakst is exiting her role at the fashion brand.

Leaders at Tapestry, Inc. – the parent company of Kate Spade, Coach, and Stuart Weitzman – announced on Thursday that Bakst will be leaving the company at the end of the year.

The businesswoman served as chief executive officer and brand president at the label since April 2018.

“We thank Anna for the passion and commitment she has brought to her work at Kate Spade,” said Jide Zeitlin, chairman and chief executive officer of Tapestry, Inc. “We are moving ahead quickly with a search process. Our strong Kate Spade leadership team, working with Joanne, will take the business forward aligned with (designer) Nicola Glass’s creative vision.”

Tapestry executives have already started searching for Bakst’s successor. In the interim, Joanne Crevoiserat, Tapestry’s chief financial officer, will have direct oversight of Kate Spade’s strategy and operations, working closely with the brand’s senior leadership team.

And in spite of the upheaval within management, Zeitlin is pleased with how the brand is tracking.

“Quarter-to-date, Kate Spade’s performance is on track and we are confident in our ability to meet our holiday season goals. We look forward to providing details about our second quarter results during our upcoming earnings call in February,” he added.

Previously, Bakst worked as group president of Michael Kors for five years and as an executive at Donna Karan. She has not yet shared any of her future plans.

Designer Kate Spade, who founded the label in 1993, began selling her shares in the company in the late 1990s, with the brand later acquired by the Neiman Marcus Group and then Tapestry executives in July 2017.

Spade was found dead in her apartment in June 2018. Her death was ruled a suicide.

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Kate Spade biography in the works – report

Fashion critic Vanessa Friedman is reportedly penning a biography of the late designer Kate Spade.The 55-year-old committed suicide in June 2018, after suffering from depression and anxiety for years. According to the New York Post’s Page Six column, t…

Fashion critic Vanessa Friedman is reportedly penning a biography of the late designer Kate Spade.

The 55-year-old committed suicide in June 2018, after suffering from depression and anxiety for years.

According to the New York Post’s Page Six column, the biography will mark the first solo book by Friedman, the New York Times’ fashion director and chief fashion critic, following her contributions to several fashion books, including one about designer Emilio Pucci.

Spade’s widower Andy Spade reportedly has a good relationship with Friedman and is aware of the project and anxious about it.

Two days after his estranged wife’s death, Andy, the brother of actor David Spade, issued a lengthy statement to Friedman paying tribute to his “best friend for 35 years”.

“My daughter and I are devastated by her loss, and can’t even begin to fathom life without her,” he continued. “We are deeply heartbroken and miss her already.”

Andy also revealed Kate had been a longtime depression sufferer but had been “actively seeking help and working closely with her doctors to treat her disease”.

“There was no indication and no warning that she would do this,” he added. “It was a complete shock. And it clearly wasn’t her. There were personal demons she was battling.”

Freidman paid her own tribute to her friend when news broke of the designer’s death, and said she “solved the problem” of how to dress women “without elitism.”

“She represented not just a terrific talent who built an idea about handbags into what became a billion dollar brand, but a critical figure in the continuum of women who have defined fashion in the United States,” Freidman wrote.

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Kate Spade New York fulfils pledge to mental health organisations

Executives at Kate Spade New York have fulfilled a pledge to mental health organisations following the death of the designer.Spade, who founded her fashion and accessories brand in 1993, committed suicide in June 2018. She was aged 55. In light of her …

Executives at Kate Spade New York have fulfilled a pledge to mental health organisations following the death of the designer.

Spade, who founded her fashion and accessories brand in 1993, committed suicide in June 2018. She was aged 55.

In light of her death, leaders at her namesake brand, owned by Coach’s Tapestry, Inc. since 2017, chose to honour Spade’s memory by donating $1 million to various charitable causes, and a year later, it has been confirmed that the target had been reached.

“The Jed Foundation, Fountain House and the Didi Hirsch Foundation are the newest grantees of our $1 million pledge to mental health organisations in honour of Kate Spade, our company founder. From June 5th through 12th, 2019, we’ll also match public donations made to The Jed foundation, up to $100,000. To make your donation, visit jedfoundation.org/katespade. Thank you from all of us for your generosity and support,” a brand spokesperson wrote on Instagram.

The Jed Foundation is a New York-based non-profit which seeks to protect the emotional health of teenagers and young adults, while Fountain House is dedicated to the recovery of men and women with mental illness, and Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services has provided free mental health, substance use disorder and suicide prevention services since 1942.

In addition, Anna Bakst, brand president and chief executive officer of Kate Spade New York, added that the company plans to continue with the initiative.

“Kate Spade brought so much beauty and joy into the world, and now more than ever, we are committed to carrying on her legacy,” she said in a statement. “Through our continued support of mental wellness organisations, we hope to encourage more conversation, education, and research around mental health to help those suffering.”

On the first anniversary of Spade’s death, a number of her friends and family members honoured her memory.

Her niece, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel actress Rachel Brosnahan took to Instagram to write, “Missing Katy B today,” while her brother-in-law David Spade posted a snap of the star at an event in February 2006 along with a red heart emoji.

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June Ambrose apologises for Kate Spade flub at 2019 CFDA Awards

June Ambrose has apologised for asking a guest if the late Kate Spade was attending the 2019 Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) Awards.The stylist and costume designer hosted the red carpet live stream for the star-studded event at the Broo…

June Ambrose has apologised for asking a guest if the late Kate Spade was attending the 2019 Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) Awards.

The stylist and costume designer hosted the red carpet live stream for the star-studded event at the Brooklyn Museum on Monday night, and during a chat with influencer Hannah Bronfman, asked about her pastel floral-print dress from the Kate Spade New York label and whether the designer, who committed suicide at the age of 55 in June 2018, was present.

Accordingly, Ambrose has now taken to Twitter to issue an apology over her words.

“I want to address an error I made last night while hosting the CFDA red carpet,” she wrote. “I sincerely apologise to the family and friends of the late Kate Spade, in addition to the team at Kate Spade for having misspoken. I made a mistake and I’m sorry to those I offended.”

While speaking to Bronfman, Ambrose asked her whether Spade was at the venue and if the designer had “skipped by me?”

A stunned Bronfman then replied, “Well, the team from Kate is here, we’re four,” and referred to Kate Spade New York creative director Nicola Glass.

While Ambrose’s comments were quickly criticised by many Twitter users, a number of people have also shown her a lot of support.

“A mistake, it happens! Not intentionally done. You rock! Keep moving forward being human and sincere. Much love!” one user wrote, while another commented, “You did your best. Those who know you, know your spirit – and we know between nerves and the need to get things done, mistakes happen. Thank you for lifting our spirits daily, Queen.”

A third added: “We know you know June. Happens to all of us! You did a wonderful job and you looked stunning. Rock on!”

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June Ambrose slammed for Kate Spade flub at 2019 CFDA Awards

June Ambrose has been slammed online for asking if the late Kate Spade was attending the 2019 Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) Awards on Monday night.The stylist and costume designer hosted the red carpet live stream for the star-studded …

June Ambrose has been slammed online for asking if the late Kate Spade was attending the 2019 Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) Awards on Monday night.

The stylist and costume designer hosted the red carpet live stream for the star-studded event held at the Brooklyn Museum, and during a chat with influencer Hannah Bronfman, asked about her pastel floral-print dress from the Kate Spade New York label and whether the designer was present.

“Are you here with Kate? Is she here?” asked Ambrose, proceeding to look around the venue for Spade. “Did you come before her or did she skip by me?”

A stunned Bronfman then replied, “Well, the team from Kate is here, we’re four,” and referred to Kate Spade New York creative director Nicola Glass.

Spade, who founded her fashion and accessories brand in 1993, committed suicide in June 2018. She was aged 55.

Accordingly, several viewers quickly took to Twitter to criticise Ambrose for her flub and insensitive comments.

“This girl is hosting the CFDA live stream needs to be fired. How do you not know kate spade passed away like whattttt and she knows nothing about these people,” one user wrote, while another noted, “@juneAmbrose did you just ask Hannah if Kate Spade was present? What were you thinking!?”

A third added: “June asked Hannah if Kate Spade was coming to the #CFDAAwards – Maybe it slipped her mind in the moment?”

Representatives for Ambrose and the CFDA have not yet commented on the error. However, the host appeared to refer to the mistake during her sign-off at the conclusion of the live stream.

“It has been my honour and pleasure to host, screw up and cause chaos tonight on this carpet for you,” she stated. “I hope you enjoyed and learned as much as I did.”

Glass also outfitted Beanie Feldstein, Sadie Sink, and Molly Gordon for the event.

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Rachel Brosnahan becomes new face of late aunt’s Frances Valentine brand

Actress Rachel Brosnahan has signed on as the face of tragic fashion icon Kate Spade’s Frances Valentine brand to honour her late aunt’s memory. Creatives at the label, named after Spade’s daughter, have unveiled the new Love, Katy line in tribute to …

Actress Rachel Brosnahan has signed on as the face of tragic fashion icon Kate Spade’s Frances Valentine brand to honour her late aunt’s memory.

Creatives at the label, named after Spade’s daughter, have unveiled the new Love, Katy line in tribute to the groundbreaking designer, and her company co-founder and best friend, Elyce Arons, thought The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel star would be the perfect fit for the campaign.

“When Elyce asked it just seemed like the most natural fit,” Rachel told U.S. breakfast show Today of her new role.

“I think when you lose someone you love very, very much, you spend a lot of time trying to think about how to keep their spirit alive, how they can live on through you, and that’s through memories, but also, in Katy’s case, there is so much of her left behind.”

She continued, “This was an opportunity for us to celebrate her life and her legacy and how much she meant, not only to us, but to so many other people and the impact that she’s had on the fashion industry. It was a really special experience and the collection is just beautiful.”

The Love, Katy range, which features colourful bags and floral patterns, is described as “vintage modern” and is aimed at keeping Spade’s “designs and creativity and spirit alive,” according to Arons.

Many of the pieces also reminded Rachel of her late grandmother, as it was her sense of style which provided inspiration for Spade, born Katherine Brosnahan, from the very start of her career.

“I know Katy always talked about being inspired by my grandmother, June, her mother, ripping things straight out of her closet and I feel like that spirit still lives on as well,” the Golden Globe winner shared. “So it’s really lovely to see those special pieces of our family reflected through this collection and the ones before.”

Spade committed suicide last June (18), aged 55. Her death sent shockwaves through the fashion world, and Rachel was among the first of her loved ones to pay tribute online, calling Kate “insanely talented, funny as heck and one of the most generous people I have ever known”.

Reflecting on the loss seven months later, Rachel admits she and her relatives were “so touched” to hear how Spade had impacted so many people’s lives with her work in the wake of the “unthinkable tragedy”.

“It was something that really meant a lot to us and still does,” she added.

And Rachel urges anyone suffering from mental illness to seek help before it’s too late: “I know that it can be so difficult to reach up out of the darkness, but you are absolutely never, ever alone,” she said. “And please do reach out. And everyone else, reach out to the people that you love and remind them that you love them.”

Spade, who left her namesake label in 2006, co-founded Frances Valentine with Arons, husband Andy Spade, and another business partner, Paola Venturi, in 2016.

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