Last month Joanna Sykes sadly left her role at Aquascutum and at the time, nothing was said about what her next move would be. Today, though, Nicole Farhi has confirmed that they have appointed her as the new creative director of the brand.
'Nicole Farhi has always been about timeless style and effortless elegance,' Farhi said in a statement. 'Jo understands these qualities and bring a fantastic eye for detail, as well as a great understanding of cut, proportions and fabrication,' and it's true. Her work at Aquascutum always proved a hit with critics but was often clouded by the label's financial woes. Hopefully her new role will enable her to deliver more of what we know she can do.
Sykes will start at the beginning of September so her first collection will be for A/W13.
This week WWD confirmed that Joanna Sykes will leave her position as the creative director of Aquascutum at the end of the month.
The news doesn't come as a surprise. While Sykes continues to get strong reviews for her collections, to say that things have been rocky at the brand would be a understatement. Despite having a huge cash injection by Harold Tilman and Belinda Earl in 2009 and the team working tirelessly to turn things around, their financial problems haven't disappeared. It was only a matter of time, then, before Sykes decided to go.
'It is very early days for us as a new management team, but we will shortly announced structural changes that will focus the business and ensure the longevity of this incredible British heritage brand,' Tim Daly, Aquascutum's new chief executive director, told WWD last month before Sykes' departure was announced. According to Daly, the decision was mutually agreed.
Last month Aquascutum announced that they had filed for administration but it looks like things aren't as bad as they had thought. Today WWD reports that Hong Kong-based company YGM have bought the failing company.
The company already own the intellectual property rights for the company and controls all of its Asian business but the new deal will mean that it was also take over the British section of the company too giving the company full control over the brand's distribution and manufacture. That doesn't mean that the brand is out of trying times. After all, the company continue to fail despite Harold Tilman and Belinda Earl investing an estimated £30 million in the company when they came on board in 2009 so it's going to need a miracle to help turn things around.
The past few weeks has been a sad one for brands. Last week Aquascutumannounced that they are going into liquidation and today the company that owns Betsey Johnson's boutiques confirmed that they have gone bankrupt.
In a statement released today the company said that the last few months have been dedicated to 'rigorously pursuing alternative restructuring arrangements to address Betsey Johnson LLC's cash flow problems,' but the efforts failed to change anything. 'After exhausting our resources and possibilities, it became apparent that neither a restructuring arrangement with a new equity investor nor a sale of the business enterprise as a going concern outside of bankruptcy was to be forthcoming.'
Betsey Johnson LLC controls 63 of the designers boutiques internationally meaning that almost 350 people will be made redundant when the stores close. Johnson won't be out of a job though, as she will stay on board as creative director of her lower-priced label sold in department stores. The closure of her boutiques will not prevent deliveries to the boutiques stocking her mainline, not will it affect the e-commerce site.
Today Betsey Johnson spoke to WWD about the news. 'I feel so sad for my store people and my pink girls,' she said. 'They live and die for me. But I need to be better. I really need to work well and be more efficient.' When asked about the problems with her lower priced line, Johnson blamed the copy-cat nature of the high street. 'The compeition - the H&Ms, Topshop, Century 21 and the knockoff ability is unbelievable,' she commented. 'Within three days of something being on the Internet, they have seen it, they copy it and they price-beat it.' Initially the company gave the impression that the mainline would run as normal but an anonymous source told Elle that we should not expect a runway show this season as the line is definitely in a dire situation.
Yesterday was a really sad day as Aquascutum confirmed that are going into administration. In a statement the board explained that 'the senior management team have worked tirelessly to develop and build the Aquascutum brand and offer.'
Despite their efforts, the news didn't come as a surprise. For a long time reports have been surfacing confirming that the brand's financial problems were dire. Things looked like they were possibly on the up back in 2009 when British Fashion Council chairman Harold Tilman and Belinda Earl bought the company and brought on designer Joanna Sykes to serve as creative director but sadly the company continued to make significant losses. 'The challenging conditions in the UK, however, has unfortunately meant that the team have been unable to develop and build the Aquascutum brand' the statement said.
There's not many brands that Karlie Kloss has not worked with. The 18 year-old has starred in campaigns for everyone from Dior to Aquascutum and now she's lending her face to Victoria's Secret.
These images from the brand's latest catalogue show the Chicago, Illinois native sporting their youthful Pink line. The diffusion line has a segement in the brand's fashion show so could that mean that Kloss could get a set of wings?
After giving birth in December, Jourdan Dunn has been a busy girl. In February she made her runway comeback at Aquascutum and has recently been shot for an editorial for US Vogue's September issue and was spotted on set of a beauty shoot for i-D.
If that wasn't enough, the latest Victoria's Secret catalogue also features the 20 year-old model which has sparked rumours that she is being signed as the latest angel particularly after it was announced that angel Doutzen Kroes is taking time off to have a baby.
Karlie Kloss has cemented herself as one of the busiest models in the business, featuring in campaigns ranging from Hermes to Christian Dior and now she's got another brand under belt. Yesteday Aquascutum confirmed that Kloss will front it's Autumn/Winter 2010-11 campaign. But the model will not be alone. Matt Benstead, Jacob Coupe and Tristan Knights appear too.
The brand drew on the inspirations from the latest collection when deciding on the concept of the campaign. "For our autumn/winter 2010 campaign we wanted to capture the mood and atmosphere of the stormy seascapes of J.M.W Turner's paintings and the aesthetic of 'The French Lieutenant's Woman'; both inspirations for the autumn/winter 2010 Aquascutum collection," said Berlina Earl, the brand's CEO told Vogue.com.
The campaign, shot by Willy Vandeperre, debuts in the July issue of L'Uomo Vogue and was styled by long time contributor, Edward Enninful. "We have worked with Willy Vanderperre and Karlie Kloss for the second season; I feel they understand and reflect the refined sense of Aquascutum's British heritage".