Bally, with it's '250 freestanding stores and 750 points of sale worldwide', has been sold to Labelux Group, a one year old luxury goods holding company. TGP, the previous holding company, bought the brand in 1999 for an estimated 200 million dollars. Since then, the brand has been revived with numerous administrative and creative changes and a steady increase in profits.
McDonalds employees in the UK have undergone a makeover. Designer Bruce Oldfield was commissioned to revise the current uniform in an effort to revitalize the fast food chain. New uni's look suspiciously retro and are reportedly giving employees more confidence in front of the register. Lesson learned; a leisure suit is a confidence builder.
Chinese companies, in an effort to move beyond manufacturing clothing for big companies, are beginning to recruit young designers to work with them in their factories. The draw is thus, the young designer will work for the manufacturers and have access to the same quality-control as the big companies, and the manufacturers will turn clothing out faster than the big companies thereby driving the cost of their services up.
Coach, unlike other high profile brands, has acknowledged the recession as a detriment to company profits. Says Lew Frankfort, chairman and chief executive officer, "The consumer in March is more pessimistic than she was in January. Most consumers believe the economy is getting worse." Coach, in spite of this, stills plans to open 40 stores in the coming year.
Paul Smith's London shop, No. 9 Albemarle Street, right next to the infamous Dover Street Market, is hosting a photo exhibition in honor of photographer, Gian Paolo Barbieri (formerly of Vogue). The Paul Smith No. 9 shop is fashioned a curiosity shop, with expensive furniture and artwork taking up the first of two rooms. In this exhibition signed prints of Barbieri's work will be for sale in groups of seven.