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J. Crew Names Johanna Uurasjarvi as Chief Design Officer

J. Crew Group has named Johanna Uurasjarvi as its chief design officer, with responsibility for the overall design direction for the J. Crew brand as well as Crewcuts and Mercantile.
Uurasjarvi succeeds Somsack Sikhounmuong, who left the company last September.
Uurasjarvi was creative director of West Elm, the lifestyle and specialty home furnishing retailer, and prior to that, she was the creative director of Anthropologie for a decade.
“Johanna brings more than 25 years of fashion and design experience with a unique understanding of how customers shop and live,” said Jim Brett, chief executive officer of J. Crew Group.
Brett and Uurasjarvi have a history of working together, at West Elm, where Brett was president before joining J. Crew a year ago, and at Anthropologie, where both held senior positions.
“Johanna is a visionary with impeccable taste who will undoubtedly inspire our team, our partners and our customers,” Brett said. “I am thrilled to work with Johanna again. We had a powerful and successful partnership at West Elm and Anthropologie.”
Uurasjarvi is credited as the builder of West Elm’s successful “New Modern” assortment, which was described as “a lighter and brighter interpretation of classic Mid-Century Modern with layered textures and material innovation, incorporating the company’s signature

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Hillary Clinton Criticizes Immigration Policy at 2018 Elly Awards

Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton sharply criticized the Trump administration’s zero-tolerance immigration policy during her keynote address at the 2018 Elly Awards luncheon at The Plaza hotel Monday, which honors women leaders and benefits the Education Fund of The Women’s Forum.
“What’s happening to families at the border is horrific,” Clinton said. “Nursing infants being ripped away from their mothers, parents being told their toddlers are being taken to bathe or play, only to realize hours later they aren’t coming back. Children incarcerated in warehouses and, according to one account, kept in cages. This is a moral and humanitarian crisis. Every one of us who’s ever been a parent, or grandparent, an aunt, a big sister, any one of us who’s ever held a child in our arms…every human being with a sense of compassion and decency should be outraged,” she said.
Clinton said she warned about this at the debates and on the campaign trail.
“That Trump’s immigration policies would result in families being separated, parents being sent away from their children, people being rounded up on trains and buses. Now as we watch with broken hearts, that’s exactly what’s happening,” Clinton said. “This is not happening because of ‘Democrats’

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Lululemon to Donate More Than $1 Million From Thursday’s Expected Sales

Lululemon Athletica Inc. on Thursday will donate 100 percent of profits — 16 percent of sales — from in-store and online to benefit nonprofit groups that increase access to yoga and meditation for communities that face barriers to well-being.
The donation will be made through the company’s Here to Be program, a social impact initiative that was started in 2016. The yoga apparel firm expects that the donation would be more than $1 million. Thursday was designated by the United Nations as International Day of Yoga four years ago.
Celeste Burgoyne, executive vice president, Americas, said, “Cultural, geographical, physical and financial barriers remain today that stand in the way of people participating in yoga or meditation. Through Here to Be, Lululemon and our guests can support grassroots organizations focused on well-being in our communities around the world.”
So far more than 300 nonprofit organizations in 27 countries have received $5.4 million in grants, in-kind contributions and support through the Here to Be program. The program partners serve groups such as survivors of violent conflicts and trauma, veterans, at-risk youths and individuals with illnesses or disabilities. Yearly support range from $2,500 for local partners to $100,000 for strategic partners.
Lululemon recently partnered with Beall Research Inc.

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Hudson Yards Expands Luxury Offering With Latest Tenant, Dior

Dior has signed a lease for a 4,000-square-foot full-line store at The Shops and Restaurants at Hudson Yards, said Related Companies, which is developing the project with Oxford Property Group. Dior couldn’t be reached for comment.
The Shops and Restaurants, a key component of the new Hudson Yards neighborhood rising on Manhattan’s West Side, will be anchored by New York City’s first Neiman Marcus unit. Other retailers at The Shops will include AG Jeans by Adriano Goldschmied, Aritzia, Banana Republic, Coach, Lululemon and Stuart Weitzman. Zara and H&M will open large two-level units, the size of mini-anchors, and beauty will have a robust showing with brands such as The Body Shop, Kiehl’s, Jo Malone, MAC Cosmetics and Sephora. Dallas-based multibrand retailer Forty-five-ten said in February that it will unveil a 16,000-square-foot store at The Shops.
Previously signed luxury tenants include Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels and Piaget. Watches of Switzerland is planning to open its inaugural U.S. showroom. The Shops and Restaurants is about 80 percent leased ahead of its March 2019 opening.
When completed, Hudson Yards will include more than 18 million square feet of commercial and residential space, over 100 stores, a collection of restaurants, 4,000 residences, a 750-seat public school, a 200-room Equinox

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JD Sports Closes on $558M Deal for Finish Line

British sporting goods firm JD Sports has closed on its $558 million acquisition of U.S. sportswear retailer Finish Line.
According to Marc Cooper, chief executive officer of PJ Solomon, the investment banking firm that represented Finish Line, the two have had a long-standing relationship and it was JD Sports that had first reached out to the U.S. retailer after considering different ways to enter the U.S. marketplace.
Cooper said the deal makes sense for both Finish Line shareholders and for the future of the company.
The investment banker said it was a good time for the company to sell since it was “steadily declining in earnings and in share price.” He noted that as brands such as Nike shrinks its account base to “fewer and better wholesale customers, it became harder to be the smaller number-two player in the U.S. market.”
The lack of scale for Finish Line, as well as other brands having their own competing online businesses and deals with other retailers, meant that Finish Line’s business would likely deteriorate. Further, those brands are also looking for smaller and larger partners to be their retail engines globally, Cooper noted.
From a company perspective, the addition of JD’s global heft and size will help

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H&M to Offer Clothing Repair in Refurbished Paris Flagship

PARIS — Adding to the ever-growing list of retail schemes to pull consumers away from their smartphones and into stores, Hennes & Mauritz is bringing sewing machines into the heart of its newly refurbished Paris flagship.
Clothing repair — along with customized embroidery, natural detergents and patches — is being offered in a lounge area of the top floor of the store.

The space sits under a glass roof with a wall of vegetation towering above. A clothing recycling station sits nearby.
“It’s not just about making fashion sustainable but also to make sustainable fashionable, to make it attractive and desirable to engage customers around it,” said Anna Gedda, head of sustainability for H&M. The executive said research with focus groups in Sweden turned up the point that some people didn’t feel cool hauling around bags of old clothing.
“It just doesn’t seem stylish,” she recalled hearing from potential consumers.
H&M tested its new “take care” idea at a temporary setup in Germany in April, and the Rue Lafayette address in Paris is the first time in a permanent space. The section also sells sewing kits and laundry bags designed to keep plastic residues from entering water systems.
The Swedish retailer is undergoing a broad overhaul,

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Givenchy to Dedicate Couture Show to Late Founder

LE GRAND HUBERT: Clare Waight Keller is to dedicate the Givenchy fall 2018 couture show in Paris on July 1 to house founder Hubert de Givenchy, who died in March at age 91.
Givenchy said the collection would be “an homage to his iconic creations, technique and personal lexicon” and a “celebration of his timeless elegance and grace, imbued with Waight Keller’s fresh take on the Givenchy spirit.”
Waight Keller, whose fame vaulted last month when she dressed Meghan Markle for her marriage to Prince Harry, has titled the collection “Caraman” after the original name of the 19th-century town house on Avenue George V where the couture house is based. (It was originally built for the Duke of Caraman.)
Hubert de Givenchy, a French aristocrat who founded the house of Givenchy in 1952, established his couture ateliers in the building in 1959, and he used it for fashion shows, receptions and the first Givenchy boutique.
Givenchy was best known to the general public as the creator of the film and personal wardrobes of his longtime muse, Audrey Hepburn, in movies including “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” and “Funny Face.” With his perfect manners and old-school discipline, the couturier had a distinguished presence that colored the fashion industry

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L.A. Times Taps Norman Pearlstine as New Top Editor

The Los Angeles Times is already making editorial moves under the ownership of Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong.
Norman Pearlstine has been named executive director of the paper, making him the fourth such editor there in under a year. He replaces Jim Kirk, who was put in place in January by L.A. Times’ former parent Tronc, previously known as Tribune Co. According to a report in The Times, Kirk chose to leave the paper after being offered a lesser role.
It’s possible that the move came as a surprise to Kirk, as he was retweeting L.A. Times content this morning. Notably, there was no mention of Soon-Shiong taking control of the paper, unlike many other current staffers who have been celebrating #freedom with the sale’s closing.
A representative of the L.A. Times could not be immediately reached for comment.
Addressing the newsroom around noon, Soon-Shiong positioned the quick replacement of Kirk as an effort to move on. “Let’s put the Tronc in the Trunk and be done,” L.A. Times’ national correspondent Matt Pearce quoted the new owner as saying, to resounding applause, in a Twitter post.
Pearlstine, who acted as an adviser to Soon-Shiong during the sale process is a longtime media editor. He spent a decade

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