There are more details today on the arrest of Italian garment magnate Tonino Perna, who once ran IT Holding, a former apparel industry giant that collapsed in 2008:
Perna is accused of using 61 million euros, or $77.5 million at current exchange, of funds meant for IT Holding for other purposes, including allegedly for his personal real estate. It is understood the financial police are confiscating Perna's personal properties, including a villa and two houses in Capri; an apartment in the center of Rome; a villa in Porto Cervo, the exclusive luxury resort on the island of Sardinia, and a yacht.
IT Holding once owned brands including Gianfranco Ferrè and Malo, and produced diffusion lines for major brands including Roberto Cavalli, Versace, Trussardi, and Dolce & Gabbana. When IT Holding finally sank under the weight of its accumulated debts in the liquidity crisis of 2008, the future of those lines was thrown into doubt. Roberto Cavalli broke down in tears at the news. IT Holding required two years of government-backed bankruptcy protection before it was in salable condition. [WWD]
- Diane von Furstenberg joked at a luncheon for The Artist that "Harvey [Weinstein] sometimes asks me to help out with his movies. Especially, it seems, if they are Holocaust or French movies. Apparently that's my métier." [WWD]
- Donna Karan and several apparel industry executives recently traveled to Haiti around the second anniversary of the devastating earthquake there to help open a new free trade industrial zone spearheaded by the Clinton Global Initiative. "When you start going into the countryside and realizing that these people have nothing, all the things that we take for granted, they don't have. They need shelter, food, water and hygiene. You've never seen anything like this in your life," said one C.E.O. Karan, meanwhile, stressed the positive: "It's amazing the change I've seen. Across the street from where I stay was completely tented and now it's a park again. What it looks like right now compared to when I first came down two years ago is incredible." The U.N. says that the population of the tent cities has dropped significantly in the past two years, from 1.5 million to 500,000. But Haitians are still literally digging themselves out from the rubble: although five million cubic meters of debris has been cleared, another five million remains. The anchor tenant of the industrial park, a Korean clothing manufacturer, plans to employ 1,500 people by this fall, and 20,000 in the long term. Garment and textile production has always been Haiti's biggest industry, but before the earthquake it had been in decline thanks to increased competition from China. [WWD]
- Solange Knowles is already a face of Rimmel and has modeled for House of Deréon, her sister and mother's clothing line. Now, she has signed with Next models. [Vogue UK]
- Beverly Johnson is launching a line of hair and skin products at Target this spring. The supermodel says of her long career, "I've been very fortunate, but I've turned down a lot. I remember when I said that I'm not going to represent cigarette and liquor ads anymore. And that was a time in the business when that's where you made your money. My agents weren't very happy. But I said I'm not going to put that message out there anymore. I've paid a price. But I'm happy I did what I did." [The Grio]
- The Human Rights Campaign is giving Anna Wintour an Ally Award for her efforts in favor of gay rights. [The Cut]
- In 2011, U.S. Customs seized more counterfeit apparel by volume than any other category of illicit goods. By value, however, counterfeit electronics topped the list. [WWD]
- Note to women: department stores think you buy too many handbags and shoes. They would like you to buy more clothes. Is that understood? This strikes us as silly because margins are higher on accessories, but hey. [Bloomberg]
- And now, a moment with Stella McCartney. Stella, what happens when someone asks you to do that extra tequila shot?
"Sometimes, someone will go, come on, let's have another tequila shot, and I'll have one, and then it'll be 11 o'clock, and I'll know I've got to get up for the kids, and I'm not even pissed yet, and I'll think, why bother? Sometimes I wish I were less sensible. Maybe I'll start again when I'm 50."