THE LATEST APPOINTMENTS: CHRISTIE’S, RICHEMONT & FERRARI

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Nicolas Ghesquière and Balenciaga will part ways at the end of November (Image: Giovanni Giannoni, WWD / Condé Nast / Corbis).

The Latest Appointments at Tom Ford, Walpole, Alberta Ferretti, Richemont, Orient-Express & Vertu, with exits at Balenciaga, Gilt Groupe, Azzaro & Cacharel.

After 15 years with PPR, Nicolas Ghesquière and Balenciaga have reached a “joint decision to end their working relationship,” effective Nov. 30. CEO Isabelle Guichot told WWD a successor would be named “as soon as we’re ready,” and that the brand already has a short list of candidates. Over the weekend Christopher Kane was rumoured to take the top spot, something he has since denied to WWD.

Over at Azzaro, creative director Mathilde Castello Branco has stepped down from her role after just over a year. “The House of Azzaro and Mathilde Castello Branco are moving forward in different directions,” explained a statement from the brand. “Azzaro will shortly be announcing her successor.”

At Cacharel, CEO Pascal d’Halluin has confirmed his exit, also after less than one year in the role. According to WWD, the executive is leaving by mutual agreement with the French label’s founder and president Jean Bousquet following his trial period.

Luca Cordero di Montezemolo, chairman of Ferrari, has resigned his position as chairman of Nuovo Trasporto Viaggiatori, Europe’s first private operator of high-speed trains. “My growing professional commitments force me to step back now that the company is fully operational,” Montezemolo explained to Reuters. “I will continue to contribute to the success of this company, as shareholder and board member.”

Finally Gilt Group’s board and co-founder Kevin Ryan have “agreed about two months ago that Ryan should step aside in favour of a new CEO with strong operations and e-commerce skills.” The to-be-named replacement will be the company’s third CEO in two years, and is expected to steer the eventual launch of an IPO.

Marc Spiegler, Director, Art Basel

Marc Spiegler has been appointed to oversee Art Basel events in Basel, Switzerland; Miami Beach, Florida & Hong Kong, as the organisation re-arranges its leadership team. Mr. Spiegler will chair a four-member executive committee including a director of new initiatives, director Asia, and a director of resources and finance who will be named in the near future.

Source: Gallerist
Kamel Ouadi, Managing Director, Christie’s

Kamel Ouadi has joined famed auction house Christie’s as international managing director. Mr. Ouadi most recently served at Louis Vuitton as chief digital officer/chief creative officer, where he was responsible for the conception and launch of NOWNESS.com

Source: LinkedIn
Jean-Guillaume Prats, CEO, Estates & Wines

Jean-Guillaume Prats will join LVMH-owned Estates & Wines effective February 2013. Mr. Prats will be based in Paris, and will be a board member of the LVMH Comité Opérationnel. Since 2011, Prats has been chairman of the board of Domaines Reybier and Château Cos d’Estournel.

Source: Decanter
Eddy Cue, Board, Ferrari

Eddy Cue, Apple’s SVP Internet software and services has joined the board of Ferrari. Mr. Cue currently oversees the iTunes Store, the App Store and the iBookstore, as well as Siri, Maps, iAd and Apple’s iCloud services.

Source: New Car Net
Christophe de Pous, CEO, Gucci North America

Effective January 1, Christophe de Pous will assume responsibility for Gucci North America. Mr. De Pous has served as president and CEO of Gucci Japan since September 2009, and replaces Lauren Lendrum, who left the position in April.

Source: Styleite
Cristina Egal, Managing Director, Lorenz Bäumer

Cristina Egal has been named the first managing director of Lorenz Bäumer, reporting to Bäumer, the president, founder and creative force behind the brand. Most recently, Ms. Egal operated an eponymous communications agency and boasted such clients as BNP Paribas, Sodexo, Servair and Fondation Claude Pompidou.

Source: Fashion Snoops
John Scott, CEO, Orient-Express

John Scott will become president and CEO of Orient-Express hotels, after serving as CEO of Rosewood Hotels & Resorts for over eight years. He replaces Paul White, the former president and CEO of Orient-Express Hotels, who resigned from the company and from the Board last year.

Source: Travel Mole
Natalie Ratabesi, Creative Director, Philosophy di Alberta Ferretti

Alberta Ferretti will hand over the creative direction of the Philosophy di Alberta Ferretti collection to Natalie Ratabesi, who most recently served as senior creative director at Ralph Lauren. The British designer and graduate from Central Saint Martins College will make her debut for the brand with the autumn/winter 2013 collection.

Source: Fashion United
Bernard Fornas, Richard Lepeu, Co-CEOs, Richemont

Richemont has appointed two longstanding employees as joint chief executives, in a bid to help founder and controlling shareholder Johann Rupert steer the luxury goods group through a period of slowing sales growth in its important Asian markets. Cartier chief Bernard Fornas and deputy chief executive Richard Lepeu will take over from Rupert as CEO in April 2013.

Source: Reuters
Eva Taub, CEO, Robert Clergerie

Robert Clergerie has appointed Eva Taub as CEO, following tenure as head of Christian Dior Couture’s leather division at LVMH. The Stanford and Harvard Business School alum previously launched Isotoner in Europe, prior to which she served as a Merrill Lynch financial advisor in New York and Hong Kong.

Source: Fashion Week Daily
Jerome Cheung, CEO Asia Pacific, Tom Ford

Former Gucci Group executive Jerome Cheung, has been named to succeed Regina Lam as chief executive officer at Tom Ford, for the Asia-Pacific area. The position is based in Hong Kong and Cheung will be reporting to Tom Mendenhall, vice president and chief operating officer (COO) of the company since 2006.

Source: Fashion Mag
Anssi Vanjoki, Chairman, Vertu

Luxury phone maker Vertu has selected long-time Nokia executive Anssi Vanjoki as its non-executive chairman following an ownership change. Vanjoki, who spent 20 years at Nokia in various executive positions, left the Finnish cell phone maker in 2010 after the board appointed Stephen Elop as the next chief executive.

Source: Reuters
Michael Ward, Jonathan Heilbron, Board, Walpole

UK luxury brand trade body, Walpole, has announced the appointment of Michael Ward, managing director of Harrods, and Jonathan Heilbron, CEO of Thomas Pink, to its board of directors. Prior to joining the board, both Ward and Heilbron have been long-time supporters of Walpole, as Walpole Brands of Tomorrow mentors and regular speakers.

Source: Fashion United

For more in the series of The Latest Appointments, please see our most recent editions as follows:

The Latest Appointments: PPR, Cadillac & Baccarat
The Latest Appointments: Mulberry, DVF & Ralph Lauren
The Latest Appointments: Burberry, Coty & Condé Nast


© Luxury Society, The Latest Appointments: Christie’s, Richemont & Ferrari, 19 November 2012, by Sophie Doran.


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THE LATEST APPOINTMENTS: CARTIER, CACHAREL & CHRISTIAN DIOR

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Raf Simons has been appointed as creative director of Christian Dior, succeeding John Galliano.

 

The Latest Appointments at Starwood Hotels, Christie’s, Bergdorf Goodman, Cartier, YSL Beauté, Sonia Rykiel, PPR, Bentley Motors, Akris & Cacharel

The Dior saga is finally over. After one year of speculation – where everyone from Riccardo Tisci, Marc Jacobs, Kayne West, Alber Elbaz, Alexander Wang and even the disgraced Galliano himself were rumoured to be taking the top spot – Raf Simons has been confirmed to head womenswear and haute couture, whilst Kris Van Assche continues to head design at Dior Homme.

Over at Richemont, group manufacturing director Jan Rupert is stepping down to focus on other activities and to broaden his remit within the family of companies controlled by Johann Rupert. Whilst Mr. Rupert will remain an executive director of the group, Richard Lepeu, Richemont’s deputy chief executive, will oversee the group’s manufacturing strategy as of April 1.

At PPR, Gucci America’s president Laura Lendrum has resigned to pursue other opportunities according to WWD. Ms. Lendrum joined Gucci in 1997, and moved to Yves Saint Laurent America as president in 2001. Gucci president and chief executive officer Patrizio di Marco will oversee the Americas region in the interim until the company names a successor.

Raf Simons, Creative Director, Dior

Ending a year of speculation, Belgian designer Raf Simons has been named as the next artistic director of Christian Dior, following his recent exit from Jil Sander. Mr. Simons will be in charge of haute couture, women’s ready-to-wear and accessories, starting with the couture show in July, while keeping his eponymous men’s line. Kris Van Assche remains in his position at Dior Homme.

Source: NYTimes
Stanislas de Quercize, CEO, Cartier

Cartier has appointed Stanislas de Quercize to take over from Bernard Fornas as chief executive of top-of-the-range jewellery and watchmaker Cartier. Mr. De Quercize is currently serving as CEO of fellow Richemont subsidiary Van Cleef & Arpels, and will replace Mr Fornas at the end of the year, when he is due to retire.

Source: Reuters
Joshua Schulman, President, Bergdorf Goodman

Following his departure from Jimmy Choo in late 2011, Joshua Schulman has been named president of U.S. luxury retailer Bergdorf Goodman. Prior to his tenure as CEO of Jimmy Choo, Mr. Schulman served as executive vice president at the Gucci Group, where he oversaw worldwide merchandising and wholesale for Yves Saint Laurent, and served as worldwide director of Gucci women’s ready-to-wear.

Source: WWD
Stephan Bezy, General Manager, YSL Beauté

Joining the Management Committee of L’Oreal Luxe, Stephan Bezy has been appointed International General Manager of Yves Saint Laurent Beauté. Mr. Bezy joined L’Oréal in 1991 and has since served as global President at Redken, International General Manager at Shu Uemura and General Manager of Cacharel.

Source: Premium Beauty News
Management Team, Starwood Hotels & Resorts

Starwood has restructured its executive team following the retirement of three senior leaders, Matt Avril, President of the Hotel Group; Denise Coll, President of Starwood North America; and Miguel Ko, Chairman and President of Starwood Asia Pacific.

Currently president and CEO of Starwood Vacation Ownership, Sergio Rivera, has been promoted to co-president of Starwood Americas. Osvaldo Librizzi who assumes primary responsibility for Latin America joins him as co-president of Starwood Americas. Stephen Ho, currently Senior Vice President of Acquisitions and Development for Starwood China, has been promoted to President of Asia Pacific. And finally currently head of Starwood’s operations for China, Qian Jin, has been promoted to the title of President of Greater China.

Source: PR Newswire
Vincent Gillet, Brand Chief, W & Le Meridien

Starwood has appointed Vincent Gillet as brand chief for W Hotels and Le Meridien brands, replacing Eva Ziegler. Mr. Gillet has spent the last two decades working on well-known luxury brands for LVMH, Chanel and Pernod Ricard, followed by a three-year tenure as chief marketing officer at Six Senses Resorts & Spas.

Source: USA Today
Eric Langon, Managing Director, Sonia Rykiel

Eric Langdon has been appointed as managing director of Sonia Rykiel effective April 16, where he will report to CEO Jean-Marc Loubier, also CEO of Fung Brands, which acquired an 80 per cent stake in the French fashion house in February. Most recently Mr. Langon served as chief operating officer at Lancel.

Source: WWD
Katrina Burchell, Intellectual Property Director, PPR

Katrina Burchell has been charged with the task of re-organising and monitoring PPR’s Intellectual Property function, joining the French conglomerate as Intellectual Property Director. Prior to her appointment, Ms. Burchell headed the Trademarks, copyrights and domain names at Unilever group.

Source: 4-Traders
Emile Rubenfield, CEO, Carolina Herrera

Emilie Rubinfeld has been appointed vice president of global marketing and communications, in a newly created title at Carolina Herrera. Most recently Ms. Rubinfeld served as senior vice president of marketing and communications at Akris, following tenure as vice president of marketing at Giorgio Armani Corp.

Source: WWD
Jinqing Caroline Cai, Managing Director, Christie’s China

Auction house Christie’s has appointed its first managing director in China, Jinqing Caroline Cai, effective June 1. A founder of the Brunswick Group, a global PR firm in Beijing, Ms. Cai will manage the office and oversee all activities involving the Chinese marketplace.

Source: JustLuxe
Katie Reed, Associate Vice President, Akris

Katie Reed has joined Akris as associate vice president of marketing and communications, following service at Patek Philippe North America, as public relations and communications director. Ms. Reed will oversee all areas of marketing, advertising, public relations and special events in the U.S.

Source: WWD
Kevin Rose, Sales & Marketing Chief, Bentley Motors

As part of a reshuffle of senior marketers within Volkswagen Group UK, Kevin Rose has joined Bentley Motors as its new board level sales and marketing chief, taking over from Alasdair Stewart. Mr. Rose joins from parent group Volkswagen’s China business, where he was executive vice president for sales.

Bentley has also named Andrea Baker as head of media relations, who most recently served as head of public relations with Porsche Cars Great Britain.

Source: Marketing Week
Source: JustLuxe.com
Pascal d’Halluin, CEO, Cacharel

Pascal d’Halluin has been appointed chief executive officer of Cacharel, succeeding managing director Marc Ramanantsoa, effective March 19. Mr. d’Halluin worked with L’Oréal for eight years before taking over as CEO of Lee Cooper France in 1994.

Source: Just Style
Michael Burgess, President, Saks Direct

Saks Inc. has named Michael Burgess president of Saks Direct, reporting to Denise Incandela, executive vice president and chief marketing officer. Mr. Burgess was most recently led merchandising, marketing, consumer information technology and other functions of the consumer division of FTD, the florist, which is owned by United Online Inc.

Source: WWD
Michael Kingston, SVP & CIO, Neiman Marcus

Neiman Marcus Group has named Michael R. Kingston senior vice president and chief information officer, succeeding Phillip Maxwell, who earlier this month announced his retirement. Earlier, Mr. Kingston served as vice president, applications at Coach Inc. and international director of information services at LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton.

Source: WWD

For more in the series of The Latest Appointments, please see our most recent editions as follows:

The Latest Appointments: Givenchy, Jil Sander & Yves Saint Laurent
The Latest Appointments, Pucci, Tod’s & Girard-Perregaux
The Latest Appointments, Bulgari, Labelux & Net-a-Porter


© Luxury Society, The Latest Appointments: Cartier, Cacharel & Christian Dior, 17 April 2012, by Sophie Doran


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CHINA’S MARKET FOR WINE SHOWS MATURITY

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A recent Sotheby’s auction in Hong Kong, where an anonymous Chinese bidder purchased 300 bottles of Chateau Lafite for $539,280.

We take a look at the current climate for fine wines in Mainland China, following the launch of the first-ever Chinese investment fund dedicated to wine.

China’s market for fine wines is maturing and augmenting at a dizzying rate. Wine imports to Hong Kong are poised to break the US$1 billion barrier this year, after soaring by 65% in the first eight months of 2011. And that doesn’t even take the booming Mainland into consideration, a wine market valued at 75 billion Yuan (roughly US$10 billion) in 2009. Domestic wines still account for over two-thirds of the local market, but demand for imported grape wine is surging, as the rising middle class take more overseas travel, exposing them to western customs and wine culture.

Not that interest is sudden. Chinese wine buyers were instrumental in the recovery at the top end of the market, following the dip seen in the wake of the global economic crisis in 2008. The Mainland is now the largest importer of Bordeaux by volume, edging out Germany and driving a jump in exports of French wine. According to Luxuo, exports from the famed French region rose 34 percent in value and 23 percent in volume between July 2010 and June 2011.


“Mainland China is now the largest importer of Bordeaux by volume, Hong Kong is the largest importer by value.”


Messages regarding the market are mixed. Jing Daily recently reported that fine wine prices retreated 7.5 percent in the third quarter of 2011 and that demand for the highest of high-end bottles, particularly Chateau Lafite, were thought to be showing signs of slowing after a nearly three-year-long tear – due partly to the ubiquity, rampant counterfeiting and unsustainably high prices of Lafite and other high-profile wines.

Echoing this sentiment, prime lots of Chateau Lafite, Chateau Latour, Mouton Rothschild and Margaux failed to sell at Sotheby’s Finest and Rarest Wines sale last week in Hong Kong. It was the first auction not to sell out entirely since Sotheby’s entered Hong Kong in 2009. Yet over at Christie’s, just last September, an anonymous Chinese bidder bought 300 bottles of Château Lafite-Rothschild bundled into a single lot for $539,280 – the most expensive single lot sale this year.


“Fine wine prices retreated 7.5 percent in the third quarter of 2011 and demand for the highest of high-end bottles is showing signs of slowing”


Christie’s head of wine for China, Simon Tam, refused to become pessimistic, suggesting instead that the market is simply calming down. “The first generation of wine lovers to discover Lafite now have long-lasting stock and they don’t need to accumulate more.” Mathieu Chadronnier, managing director of CVBG Grands Crus, went so far as to say it was necessary. “We have gone through a period of constant growth. Prices can’t go on increasing forever – this correction was needed.”

The buying landscape is clearly changing. In a first for the country, the Chinese government has approved the first-ever Chinese investment fund specialising in wine, which plans to invest over €110 on wine over a five-year period. Ling Zhijun, a banking professional and wine enthusiast who manages Pacific Asset Management of Beijing, founded the Dinghong Fund. Investors must part with a minimum investment of €1m for a company and €100,000 for an individual, and buying will be managed by Bordeaux negociant Vintex & les Vignobles Grégoire.


“The first generation of wine lovers to discover Lafite now have long-lasting stock and they don’t need to accumulate more.”


Philippe Larché, one of the partners in negociant Vintex and the fund’s primary advisor and main supplier, revealed that over one-third of wines to be purchased will supply the cellars of fund investors. “The fund is not just about buying and selling grands crus, but also educating customers and introducing them to Bordeaux,” he remarked. “We expect to bring each investor to discover the vineyards of Bordeaux, and to set up wine masterclasses in China, with the participation of owners and winemakers.”

Mr Larché remained relatively unfazed by recent results at the Sotheby’s auction, instead suggesting the result was indicative of a natural evolution in the market, as bidders understand more about wine and how it trades. He, alongside Sotheby’s worldwide head of wine, Serena Sutcliffe, suggested that Second Growths are becoming increasingly popular in Asia, as knowledge of different châteaux broadens.

“China now understands that we don’t have only first growths in Bordeaux. The market is maturing. But I am not anxious. I am very confident that the first growths will go up again in value.”


For more in our series of weekly wraps, please see our most recent editions of The Bulletin as follows:

Luxury Brand CSR: No Longer Just an Option?
Optimism Shines at Frankfurt’s 2011 Motor Show
Paris & Beijing Legitimise Commitments to Design


© Luxury Society, China’s Market for Fine Wine Shows Maturity, 31 October 2011, by Sophie Duran.


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LUXURY PROPERTY DEMAND OUTSTRIPS SUPPLY IN LONDON & MANHATTAN

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Located on a Penthouse floor in the Time Warner Center, this Manhattan property is listed with Sotheby’s for $60 million.

Looming economic uncertainty seems not to be affecting the high end property markets of London and Manhattan, instead the wealthy can’t seem to find enough property to buy

A “herd-like mentality” is said to have spurred luxury property buyers in the past several quarters, as the wealthy once again enthusiastically invest in hotspots like London and Manhattan. Despite forecasted economic storms and the liberal use of the words ‘debt’ and ‘crisis’, both locations are currently enjoying such a boom at the high end of the market, that demand has outstripped supply.

According to real-estate broker Savills Plc., the number of London houses and apartments that sold for more than 5 million pounds rose 31 percent to 262 in the nine months through September. Over in Manhattan, the supply of apartments for sale over 5 million dollars, reached the lowest level for an October since 2007. As Shari Scharfer-Rollins, SVP at the Corcoran Group brokerage puts it: “Inventory is down and demand is up.”

Christie’s recent State of the International Luxury Market report suggested that scarcity of property was driving up luxury real estate prices, particularly in top cities such as London, Paris, Hong Kong, New York and Beverley Hills. The report also went on to muse that sellers worldwide have adapted to a new reality in luxury housing and are beginning to accept that their residence is not going to command the same price that it might have in 2007.


“Market activity and optimism increased throughout 2011. Inventory is down and demand is up.”


Resultantly, market activity and optimism increased throughout 2011. Christie’s went so far as to identify ‘a lack of quality housing inventory’ as the biggest challenge markets were to face in the coming months. A sentiment this week echoed by Jason Haber, CEO of New York real estate broker Rubicon.

Speaking with Bloomberg, Mr. Haber revealed that his agents were now cold-mailing townhouse owners around New York City, to see if anyone might consider selling. “That’s not something you would do if the market was flush with high-end inventory,” he said of the strategy. “That’s a sign of the times. This is a ready, willing and able buyer and we can’t find the product for him.”

In London – albeit for varying reasons – luxury homebuyers are having similar troubles. The locals especially, following news that of the number of London houses and apartments that sold for more than 5 million pounds, overseas buyers comprised 65 percent. Knight Frank identified wealthy southern Europeans as buyers of properties worth at least 1 million pounds in London’s well to do Chelsea and South Kensington, generally as pure investments, second homes, or accommodation for children studying at university.


“This is a sign of the times. We have a ready, willing and able buyer and we can’t find the product for him.”


Investments identified as particularly timely by Philip Beresford, compiler of London’s Estates Gazette Rich list. “London is doing well on the back of the luxury market as the world’s billionaires flood in, either as investors in the property market or buyers of top end properties as bolt holes in these very uncertain times,” he revealed to Reuters.

Particular interest has been noted from Italy, Greece and Spain, where the wealthy are said to be attracted by the security and stability of the London property market, as well as liquidity and well-kept property registers. “We’ve got Italian and Greek buyers who have confirmed that view … They want to have money in a safe haven, preferably not a bank, or stocks because it is too volatile,” remarked Nick Candy, development manager and designer of One Hyde Park.

The 1 billion pound development is home to apartments ranging from £7 – £136 million pounds each, which are according to Mr. Candy, attracting interest from buyers currently experiencing instability in home markets. “We have a lot of viewings going on from any country that has got economic or political turmoil,” he told Reuters.


“ The dollar is weak and foreign buyers find that they can get more in New York City as an investment than they used to be able to ”


And then there is the issue of currency. Property agency Knight Frank recently revealed research suggesting that Chinese buyers benefited from a 24 percent purchasing power discount based on the Yuan-sterling forex rate between the peak of the prime London housing market in March 2008 and October 2011.

Chinese luxury home buyers were said to be leading a legion of “cash-rich non-UK investors” in search of upmarket London homes, with demand driven by currency exchange rates that produce discounts of up to a quarter on purchase prices. A similar tale unfolds across the pond in Manhattan, as Ms. Scharfer-Rollins confirms: “The dollar is weak and I think foreign buyers find that they can get more in New York City as an investment than they used to be able to.”


© Luxury Society, Luxury Property Demand Outstrips Supply in London & Manhattan, 21 November 2011, by Sophie Duran.


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