Under Armour Names New Chief Product Officer, President of Americas – WWD

Estimated read time 4 min read

Stephanie Linnartz is continuing to build her team at Under Armour.

Just under one year since Linnartz took the helm of the Baltimore-based sports brand, the company has named Yassine Saidi chief product officer and Kara Trent president of the Americas.

Saidi will join the company on Jan. 29, and Trent, who is currently serving as the managing director of the company’s EMEA region, will assume her new role in February. Trent will succeed David Baxter, who will depart the company on Feb. 16. The position of chief product officer has been vacant since Lisa Collier exited last August.

Both will report to Linnartz, president and chief executive officer of Under Armour.

“In the past year, we have added incredible executive talent to Under Armour, and I am confident that Yassine’s and Kara’s demonstrated track records of leadership and expertise will further strengthen our ability to build an even more powerful brand,” Linnartz said. “We will continue to advance our growth strategies, driving greater demand for the brand through groundbreaking innovation and design.”

Saidi brings nearly 20 years of industry experience to his role including stints at Adidas and Puma where he worked closely in the sneaker market and also helped develop performance gear. As chief product officer, Saidi will be responsible for building product strategies across apparel, footwear and accessories and will manage the overall global product vision for the corporation.

“Under Armour has a long and rich heritage as an innovator in sports, driven to fuel athletic performance,” he said. “I see the massive opportunity to harness UA’s constant innovation and authenticity on-field with athletes to grow and evolve the business off-field. I am incredibly excited to join Under Armour at such a pivotal moment in its history.”

Kara Trent

Courtesy of Under Armour

Trent, who joined Under Armour in 2015, has been responsible for EMEA, the company’s second-largest market, since October 2021. During her tenure, she has built a performance-based culture and contributed to consistent, double-digit revenue growth, the company said. She has also strengthened Under Armour’s premium positioning in the region. Before overseeing EMEA, she had worked in a number of merchandising and planning positions for Under Armour’s North American business. She also worked at Puma for eight years and Reebok for five.

In addition to these key executives, over the past year, Under Armour has made a number of other senior appointments including Jim Dausch as chief customer officer; Shawn Curran as chief supply chain officer; John Varvatos as head of design, and Amanda Miller as chief communications officer.

The company is still searching for a chief marketing officer and senior vice president for footwear.

Linnartz spent 25 years at Marriott International before being named CEO of Under Armour last February. She has been working to better position the company for growth by building her team, improving the North American market and offering more premium product.

In the second quarter ended Sept. 30, Under Armour reported net income of $109.6 million, or 24 cents a share, up from $86.9 million, or 19 cents a share, in the prior year. Sales were flat year-over-year, coming in at $1.567 billion, down marginally from $1.574 billion a year ago.

North America, the company’s largest market, showed a sales decrease of 2 percent from the prior year to $991 million, while international revenue rose 5 percent to $573 million.

As a result, the company maintained its fiscal 2024 operating income and earnings-per-share outlook but lowered its sales expectations due in large part to continued challenges in North America.

Linnartz said at the time: “As we execute against our strategic priorities, we will continue to take a balanced approach to driving profitability in the near term while taking the necessary steps to invest in the talent, systems, and processes to drive the top-line growth that Under Armour is capable of over the long term.”


Reliance Jewels expands offering with Spring festival inspired line

Estimated read time 2 min read

Fine jewellery brand Reliance Jewels has expanded its product range and launched a line of laser-cut, gold designs. The collection is inspired by India’s diverse array of Spring festivals and bolsters the brand’s everyday wear segment. 

A Spring festival inspired necklace from Reliance Jewels’ new line – Reliance Jewels

Reliance Jewels’ new women’s jewellery line translates traditional Indian motifs into bold, modern pieces of light- and mid-weight jewellery, the brand announced in a press release. Earrings and necklaces feature graphic depictions of stars, the cosmos, and planets with colourful accents and geometric patterns. 
“Emphasising the harmony between tradition and contemporary design, Reliance Jewels’ latest collection offers an artistic blend of India’s varied cultural tapestries,” announced Reliance Jewels in a press release. “The brand invites its patrons to commemorate these festive moments with their exclusive collection, now available in all stores and on their website.”

With this collection, Reliance Jewels taps into the growing demand for lightweight, everyday jewellery which is increasingly purchased by women for themselves. Designed to be paired with traditional, fusion, or western wear, the collection aims to celebrate India’s unity in diversity, according to Reliance Jewels. 
Reliance Jewels is run by Reliance Retail Limited and counts over 400 stores in showrooms and shop-in-shops in over 200 Indian cities. The brand also retails through its direct to customer e-commerce store which has certain designs available to purchase online while others are described as showroom only products. 

Copyright © 2024 All rights reserved.…


Burberry Warns on Full Year Profit as Luxury Slowdown Hits Sales – WWD

Estimated read time 2 min read

LONDON – Burberry issued a profit warning on Friday as the worldwide slowdown in luxury demand continues to dent sales.   

In an earlier-than-expected trading update, Burberry said it anticipates adjusted operating profit for the financial year ending March 30 to be around 410 million pounds to 460 million pounds, below previous guidance.

Burberry had originally planned to update on fiscal third quarter sales on Jan. 19.

The company added that, based on foreign exchange rates effective as of Dec. 29, it is also expecting a currency headwind of around 120 million to the full-year revenue figure, and approximately 60 million to adjusted operating profit.

The company’s shares were down 7 percent at 12.65 pounds following the announcement.

Jonathan Akeroyd, chief executive officer, said: “We are continuing to deliver the transition to our new modern British luxury creative expression for Burberry, which started appearing in our stores in early autumn. We are still in the early stages of executing on this, which has become more challenging against the backdrop of slowing luxury demand. 

“We experienced a further deceleration in our key December trading period and we now expect our full year results to be below our previous guidance. We remain confident in our strategy to realize Burberry’s potential.”

He added that Burberry is committed to achieving its 4 billion pounds revenue ambition in the medium term.

In the 13 weeks to Dec. 30, Burberry said that retail revenue was down 7 percent at reported rates and down 2 percent at constant exchange to 706 million pounds. 

Comparable store sales in the three-month period were down 4 percent. In Asia-Pacific they gained 3 percent, due chiefly to gains in Mainland China. They were were down 5 percent in the EMEIA region, while in the Americas they fell 15 percent.

The company had already alerted the markets in November that sales and profits would be at the lower end of its previously stated range. 

Burberry had been expecting low-double-digit growth for the full fiscal year, and adjusted operating profit between 552 million pounds to 668 million pounds. Adjusted operating profit could land at the “lower end” of the consensus range, the company said at the time.

“This is a challenging macro environment coming from all regions, and it’s quite unique,” said Burberry’s chief executive officer Jonathan Akeroyd. “Historically, you’d get a softness in one region, and you’d be able” to compensate for it somewhere else.”


Pitti Uomo celebrates print media and independent magazines with a unique kiosk

Estimated read time 2 min read

Translated by



Jan 12, 2024

Painted entirely in blue, placed on a lush grass carpet, complete with its lamppost and Pittimags sign, it stands out unmistakably. Prominently positioned in the middle of an aisle amid stands in the Sala delle Nazioni pavilion, a genuine newsstand breathes life into this season’s Pitti Uomo. This remarkable kiosk offers visitors the chance to exclusively purchase independent magazines, considered among the world’s finest, not typically found within the regular press circuit. 

Frab’s Magazine’s unique kiosk at Pitti Uomo – ph DM

The project, conceived by the specialized portal Frab’s Magazines, seems to resonate well with visitors to the men’s fashion show, who eagerly rush to acquire the latest issues of these elusive titles. These include Viscose Journal, which undergoes a format change with each release, with its latest issue dedicated to retail, The Craft of Fashions, exploring the craftsmanship at the origin of fashion, and Merde, the Parisian satirical fashion magazine.

“There is an extraordinary world behind this reality. This initiative was born to precisely draw attention to this sector. For us, it’s the beginning of a journey; we are working on a broader project,” confided Raffaello Napoleone, head of the Florentine salon.

Close to 150 magazines from around the world are available in this kiosk, carefully selected in the realms of fashion, and also spanning art, design, beauty, and culture.

“In recent years, we have witnessed the ascendance of niche and high-quality print media. There is a renewed interest from the younger audience. We are also witnessing the revival of kiosks, taking the form of exhibition spaces,” explained Anna Frabotta, who, along with Dario Gaspari, established the e-shop Frab’s Magazines in 2019, quickly becoming the sole European distributor for various Asian publications, particularly from Taiwan and Singapore.

“In 2020, it was mainly magazines with extensive advertisements that closed down, while independent journals demonstrated resilience, and several new titles emerged during that period. Today, English is the most prevalent language for this type of publication,” concluded Frabotta.

Copyright © 2024 All rights reserved.…


Linda Farrow Launches Black Series Line, Collection, Newsletter – WWD

Estimated read time 3 min read

LONDONSimon Jablon, owner and creative director of the Linda Farrow brand that his mother set up in the ‘70s, is pushing the brand into its next stage with a new men’s eyewear line called Black Series.

The new line includes a 26-piece collection of sunglasses and opticals, as well as the launch of a newsletter and Instagram page under the same name.

“Although we already had a menswear collection, Linda Farrow is predominantly renowned for women’s luxury eyewear and so I wanted to create a whole new collection that primarily speaks to the modern man. The Black Series collection isn’t a break from Linda Farrow, but more of an extension of our brand as a whole,” said Jablon in an interview. “The designs are a reflection of my personal style — minimalist with a focus on quality and craftsmanship in a black color palette and the name Black Series reflects this in its simplicity.”

Simon Jablon

Courtesy of LINDA FARROW

The men’s category has been steadily growing year-on-year over the past five years and makes up 30 percent of the brand’s sales, while women’s makes up the remaining 70 percent.

The Black Series collection will be sold in stores, online and at Linda Farrow’s wholesale partners including Ssense, Net-a-porter and Neiman Marcus.

The idea to introduce a new arm to the business came to Jablon after he was quietly observing the shopping habits of his male friendship group.

“​​I love taking on new challenges and I wanted to design an entirely new collection that was more steered towards men like me and my friends. In my circle we’re happy to mix contemporary clothing with high-end items but when we do invest in something luxury we want it to be very special,” he said, explaining that the prices range from 310 pounds to 1,165 pounds. 

Black Series from Linda Farrow

Black Series from Linda Farrow.

Linda Farrow Social

Jablon isn’t shy nor afraid of making uber luxury pieces linking Linda Farrow’s eyewear to Patek Philippe watches.

All of the brand’s eyewear pieces are handmade in Japan.

The Black Series newsletter will be a separate universe for Linda Farrow’s male customers featuring an informative editorial element that will incorporate lifestyle news stories across the arts, business and fashion.

“We see Black Series as a long-term venture that with time will be fully established as a brand within its own right. We’re planning various global marketing activities for the first drop including a dinner in London and Paris,” said Jablon, adding that the next drop will be in the summer.


Chairish Comes Back to Bergdorf Goodman for Second Collaboration – WWD

Estimated read time 1 min read

The Chairish Art Gallery in partnership with Bergdorf Goodman is back for a second year.

The gallery, which opened Thursday and will remain until April 8, is located on the seventh floor of Bergdorf’s Fifth Avenue flagship. This year’s gallery features a special collection of more than 300 original artworks from 30 artists across five themed galleries.

The original artworks were expressly created by Bergdorf’s and are only available in-store, including limited-edition artworks using Bergdorf’s signature shopping bags. Similar works and prints/editions are shoppable on

The 300 original artworks range from painting and illustration to ceramics and textiles. For example, the tennis pavillion-inspired gallery features artists serving up paintings and sculptures that capture the allure of the game. Artists include Kate Schelter, Ron Giusti, Shaun Ellison and Virginia Chamlee.

Those artists who have created limited-edition artworks using Bergdorf’s shopping bags are Alice Ford, Manuel Santelices, Jenny Walton and Euan Roberts.

Trophy portraits of favorite designer shoes and handbags were created by Tug Rice, Bernie Kaminski, Erika Lee Sears, Paule de Roussy de Sales and Tess Ramirez.


Safilo and Hugo Boss extend eyewear licensing deal to 2030

Estimated read time 2 min read

Italian eyewear maker Safilo on Thursday announced the renewal of its licensing deal with German fashion house Hugo Boss until the end of 2030.

Boss – Spring-Summer2023 – Womenswear – Miami

The partnership covers the manufacturing and distribution of the luxury firm’s Boss and Hugo brands’ glasses and sunglasses for the next seven years.

“We are delighted to early renew our partnership with Hugo Boss, a highly valued partner for Safilo, and representing an exceptional asset in our portfolio. I am glad that in just a few years we will celebrate the 20th anniversary of our partnership which began back in 2006,” said Angelo Trocchia, CEO of Safilo Group.

“The remarkable rebranding of Boss and Hugo in the last two years, fully embraced and executed by Safilo in the eyewear collections, paves the way for a bright and successful future of the brands in all our markets and distribution channels.”

Safilo Group recorded net revenues for 1.08 billion euros in 2022. Its portfolio includes Carrera, Polaroid, Smith, Blenders, Privé Revaux and Seventh Street with licenses for Banana Republic, Carolina Herrera, Dsquared2, Etro, Eyewear by David Beckham, Isabel Marant, Juicy Couture, Tommy Hilfiger, and more.

​”Our Claim 5 growth strategy is broad-based. We want to grow across all regions, touchpoints, and brands, as well as in all product areas,” said Daniel Grieder, CEO of Hugo Boss AG.

“Safilo perfectly supports our growth in the eyewear segment and is a key player in the industry with high quality standards and a strong distribution network worldwide. We are excited to continue the successful and long-term partnership with Safilo and are convinced that we have the right partner at our side to leverage the full potential of Boss and Hugo in the global eyewear business.”

In its most recent trading update in November, Hugo Boss reported sales that beat analysts’ expectations, noting revenue rose 15% at constant exchange rates in the third quarter.

Copyright © 2024 All rights reserved.…


Microsoft Touts New AI Tools for Retail – WWD

Estimated read time 6 min read

Microsoft, maker of the world’s most used PC software, wants its AI to similarly dominate the retail world. On Thursday, the Windows maker revealed a new set of artificial intelligence offerings aimed at enhancing the shopping experience, both behind the scenes and for customers, with generative AI.

Copilot, billed as “your everyday AI companion,” is the umbrella banner of Microsoft’s expansive AI initiative that spans consumers at home on Windows PCs and employees in workplace settings. Now four new offerings under that umbrella are taking up multiple aspects of retail, from helping store associates to AI-driven personalization for customers.

Microsoft’s Cloud for Retail is previewing a new template that enables personalized shopping using natural language. Although it’s a pre-made Copilot template on Azure OpenAI Service, it doesn’t force a rigid conversational structure, like the previous generation of customer service chatbots. Think smarter bots capable of chatting with shoppers about their needs and offering options, as though a person was behind the keyboard.

In one example, an online shopper tells an adventure store’s chatbot that he’s looking for camping gear for a trip to Yosemite National Park. The bot knows the time of year and destination, so it suggests a sleeping bag and tent for colder weather, plus a lightweight backpack, and recommends a few bestsellers at the store.

The tech titan isn’t alone in promising more humanistic AI, but there’s a key difference, according to one of its promo videos: The template allows partners to offer a “more intuitive, personalized and enjoyable retail experience, all on the retailer’s existing technology platforms.”

Indeed Microsoft’s computer software is the most widely used operating system in the world, with Windows broadly accounting for 64.3 percent share of the market across desktops, tablets and consoles. Its computer software also dominates the retail sector. Even a small adjustment can create waves of change at that scale.

But the company has more in mind that just better customer service bots. Other new features focus on internal communication, store operations, data analytics and marketing.

The company introduced AI-based suggestions in Microsoft Teams for conversation starters, prompts and images to improve exchanges from corporate down to the store level, among other tools to support associates on the frontlines. In another example from Microsoft, a store employee wonders what to do about broken items found inside a display. “The store operations Copilot template automatically interprets the intent and rephrases the question, then provides an answer,” the narration said, as it searched for “the procedure for damaged inventory in a promotional display.” The bot then automatically started a replacement request through a voice interaction.

New offerings connect retail data to its Fabric analytics platform and enable additional insights, such as “frequently bought together.” For marketers, updates in Copilot in Dynamics 365 Customer Insights promise to simplify campaign management and boost effectiveness.

All of these moves and others comprise Microsoft’s bid to “modernize the in-store experience,” which it plans to showcase in a few days’ time at NRF 2024 in New York City.

The tech company has made its goal of becoming retail’s go-to AI provider rather plain — if not with these announcements, then certainly earlier this week, when chief executive officer Satya Nadella showed up at Walmart’s CES keynote in Las Vegas. Microsoft’s considerable work to advance its generative AI capabilities is foundational to the retail chain’s new genAI product search feature.

These moves and others make for an intense AI race, and not just for the tech makers. According to Google Cloud data, 81 percent of decision-makers in the American retail sectors urgently want to adopt generative AI. That may help explain why the Microsoft rival Google Cloud unleashed its own flurry of tools on Thursday that beef up searches tuned to each retailer, enhanced customer service bots and even new hardware and software that bring high-powered computing and data storage right into brick-and-mortar stores.

“In only a year, generative AI has morphed from a barely recognized concept to one of the fastest-moving capabilities in all of technology and a critical part of many retailers’ agendas,” said Carrie Tharp, vice president of strategic industries at Google Cloud.

Microsoft, Google, Amazon and plenty more are out to make shopping faster, smarter, more enjoyable and, of course, more profitable for the brands and stores behind it. Consider that there’s already a multitude of new services and tools set for 2024, and the new year isn’t even two weeks old yet.

The race for AI may seem exciting, though chaotic, but it’s likely a strategic cacophony pointed at a specific direction: retail.

“Retail has the direct pulse of the consumer,” Paul Pallath, vice president of applied AI at tech consulting firm Searce, told WWD. “It’s also impacted by changing consumer expectations. When people can just talk to some abstract thing and get a lot of excitement, in terms of responses, that has shifted the expectations of the customers from a retail standpoint.”

Pallath, who led AI technology globally for Levi Strauss & Co. until last year, sees more than just the innovation of the tech, but its relevancy in how consumers provide rich data through their interactions, informing how they experience brands.

“I think that is where all of these big companies, Google, Microsoft, Amazon and all of them would want to double down on the retail space, because that’s where a lot of significant impact is, from a revenue top-line standpoint, as well as bottom line.”

AI, as a technology, has made major leaps forward in the recent past, but most of the experts, both critics and proponents, agree that it’s still far from perfect. For instance, Pallath cited “hallucinations,” in which the AI comes to an erroneous conclusion or generates inaccurate information. Putting that in front of customers would give any retailer pause.

In that light, it makes sense that Microsoft and others would focus on internal and workflow improvements, while taking measured steps for public-facing features. “Companies are also thinking about, ‘Let us be confident by internally using these conversational agents for internal purposes,’ because the risk is less from a brand standpoint,” Pallath added.

“But once we are confident we want to unblock, we want to have 10 percent of our customers exposed to these interfaces so that we can learn from them. And then eventually we’ll go out to a larger customer base.”

In other words, the frenzy of retail’s AI revolution is only just getting started.


Achilles Ion Gabriel launches his rebellious brand at Pitti Uomo

Estimated read time 3 min read

Translated by



Jan 11, 2024

Known for his cool, colourful shoes, Achilles Ion Gabriel is now branching out into ready-to-wear. And to unveil his project, what better springboard than Pitti Uomo, where on Thursday he showed the first collection of his new gender-neutral clothing, shoes and accessories brand. The Finnish footwear designer, who has been creative director of Spanish label Camper since 2020, created a grunge-western style with a dark, Rick Owens twist, revisiting men’s classics.

La première collection d’Achilles Ion Gabriel – Pitti Immagine

Suits, leather pieces, cargo trousers, denim, and nighties and lace tops in sun-kissed colours were invariably donned by men and women. Looking like they had just stepped out of an Aki Kaurismäki cowboy film, the models wore santiags in the brand’s signature colour, ash/sky blue. The looks were complete with faux leather trousers, shearling-lined faux fur coat, long leather gloves and maxi belts studded with metal rings, reminiscent of a pistolero’s cartridge belt when worn as shoulder straps to hold the bag.

The designer had already produced a few garments for Camper or Camperlab, but never a collection of his own. For autumn-winter 2024/25, he adopted oversized volumes and very loose cuts, à la Balenciaga, with large floor-length coats in a grey Princes of Wales pattern or black banker stripes. He combined these with tone-on-tone suits in revisited shapes, like a suit jacket with broad shoulders.

Coats were cut in half, with the bottom part transformed into an open-fronted skirt, layered over a pair of trousers worn with a suit jacket, all cut from the same checkered tweed. A collar stood out from the traditional men’s striped shirt, while suits were made in crumpled fabrics. These were not really a novelty, as they have been seen on the runway so many times before. 

Achilles Ion Gabriel – Pitti Immagine

Alongside these revisited men’s wardrobe essentials, Achilles Ion Gabriel also followed a more streetwear vein to create a cool look with sweatshirts, baseball caps and shredded nylon cargos. The emphasis was on leather pieces. Traces of paint appeared to be drooling on some of the shiny black leather coats, while jackets and trousers looked like they had been scratched or scribbled on.

We were probably expecting more daring pieces from the designer, who mostly expresses his creative verve through details, like the ‘move bitch’, which could be read on the metal spikes of the cowboy boots… provided you had binoculars. The boots will certainly be one of the best-selling pieces.

Backed by two financial partners from his own circle, Achilles Ion Gabriel has his clothes made in Italy and the UK and has set up his studio in Paris.

Copyright © 2024 All rights reserved.…


Bernard Arnault Named Personality of the Year by French Wine Magazine – WWD

Estimated read time 3 min read

GRAPE EXPECTATIONS: Green might be the first color people think of at the mention of Bernard Arnault, one of the richest men in the world. But he’s also closely associated with red, white — and rosé, too.

At a ceremony on Thursday night, the chairman and chief executive officer of LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton was crowned Personality of the Year by La Revue du Vin de France, one of the world’s oldest and most prestigious wine monthlies.

The title trumpeted that in less than 40 years the luxury titan has become the global leader in wines and luxury liquors. LVMH’s wines and spirits division, spanning some 29 brands across Champagne, cognac, wines and spirits, generated revenues of 4.69 billion euros in the first nine months of 2023.

“He did it methodically, acquiring the most beautiful estates, the most prestigious names, with a knowledge of marketing, an intuition about the development potential of a château, and a sharp way of choosing the best teams, which is essential in this international market,” Denis Saverot, La Revue’s editor in chief, notes in his editor’s letter for the February issue, devoted to all of its “grand prize” winners.

Saverot also lauded the care LVMH takes in viticulture and winemaking, incorporating sustainable practices and “haute couture” means. “These houses and estates are the guardians of our landscapes, of a certain human and social harmony, too,” he wrote.

Arnault’s stable includes Dom Perignon, Ruinart and Krug in Champagne, and Château d’Yquem, Cloudy Bay, Cheval Blanc, Minuty and Château du Galoupet in wine.

Rosé house Château du Galoupet has been certified organic since May 2023.

Courtesy/Laurent Parienti

Other Grand Prix winners recognized by the magazine, part of the Marie Claire group, include Champagne Philipponnat, named brand of the year, and the Restaurant Au Cheval Blanc in Feldbach for the wine list of the year.

Trailed by two of his sons, Antoine and Alexandre, Arnault arrived at the swanky l’Automobile Club de France to scoop up his prize scroll, and spoke eloquently about the “poetry” inherent in France’s vineyards and the creation of world-class wines.

He said he was particularly honored by the fact that La Revue’s previous personalities of the year include French President Emmanuel Macron, a vocal cheerleader for and defender of French winemakers, and French actress Carole Bouquet, who runs a winery on the island of Pantelleria.

Arnault recounted that his affinity with wine was forged through perfume, noting that the group’s famous noses, Guerlain’s Thierry Wasser and Dior’s Francis Kurkdijian, “are also very fine and erudite music lovers, as well as great wine lovers.”

He also noted that Christian Dior, a great fan of Alsace wines and gastronomy, entrusted the manufacture of his scents to Hennessy, the LVMH-owned Cognac distiller, who kept the activity through the ’80s.

Leading French wine critic Michel Bettane often said wine “is a place you pour into a glass,” Arnault said, concurring that “a great wine condenses a great place and inspires great thoughts.”

After a group photo, Arnault and his sons repaired to a grandiose wine and cheese party upstairs, where Château Cheval Blanc, an exceptional Saint-Émilion owned by LVMH, was very much in demand.