>> After speculation that Narciso Rodriguez and his backers Liz Claiborne were parting ways was floated around last month, they confirmed their separation in a joint statement yesterday.
For the first time, Narciso, who launched his collection in 1997 thanks to a partnership with Aeffe SpA, will be financially independent, as Liz Claiborne has allowed him to buy back their stake — for a rumored $12 million — and regain all trademarks. This solo situation, assuming that his finances are all in order (before Claiborne invested, he was struggling to make ends meet; Donna Karan was sending rolls of fabric over), sounds ideal for Narciso — who has a notoriously difficult reputation.
The termination of his partnership with Claiborne is widely believed to be amicable, though, and Narciso is looking forward to his "independent time": "Our business is on target and we have full confidence in the future of the company. We are also enjoying tremendous success with our fragrances and are now exploring various licensing opportunities." Maybe his well-received Fall 2008 collection made the world of difference he needed, money-wise?