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WWD News: Obituary: Former MFA Chief Norman Karr, Jean Paul Gaultier Said Linking With Target

Obituary: Former MFA Chief Norman Karr


From WWD ISSUE 09/18/2009



Norman Karr in 1966 (Photo by Courtesy Photo)

Norman Karr, a men??™s wear icon whose humor and savvy made him an industry favorite, died Wednesday night at Franklin General Hospital in Valley Stream, N.Y., at the age of 82. The cause of death was pneumonia following surgery, according to his son, Arnold Karr, senior editor, financial at WWD.

Over the course of his 50-plus-year career, Karr served as executive director of the Men??™s Fashion Association, Jeanswear Communications and the International Association of Clothing Designers. After a stint in the U.S. Army, Karr joined the Journal of Commerce covering the burlap and jute markets. He became editor of Driver??™s Digest before joining the American Institute of Men??™s and Boys??™ Wear in 1955. He served as public relations director and general manager of the group before becoming executive director in 1966. AIMBW changed its name to the Men??™s Fashion Association in 1969 and made its mark holding biannual press previews for the men??™s wear industry. The MFA developed the American Image Awards in the Eighties and later changed its name to The Fashion Association. While at the MFA, Karr also helped found The Clothing Bank with New York to help clothe the homeless.

Karr retired from TFA in 1995 and it subsequently became part of AAFA, which continues to hold the American Image Awards each year.

After retiring, he continued to serve as executive director of Jeanswear Communications and the IACD but phased out that work around 2000. Karr was heavily involved in the Young Menswear Association (and recipient of its AMY award) and had served as emcee for its annual fund-raising dinner for years. He was also active in Father??™s Day Council, the High School of Fashion Industries and numerous other industry groups.

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Jean Paul Gaultier Said Linking With Target


From WWD ISSUE 09/18/2009


Target is ready to walk on the wild side with Jean Paul Gaultier. 

Sources told WWD that Gaultier is next up in the discounter??™s Designer Collaboration series, a relatively new concept geared to bolster the chain??™s cheap-chic status. 

A Gaultier collection wouldn??™t appear in the stores for some time, but Target, said sources, has the ball in motion. 

???We don??™t have anything to share other than we admire his work and incredible design aesthetic,??? a Target spokesman said Thursday. 

A spokeswoman for Gaultier declined comment. 

Target??™s DC series entails recruiting established designers with strong reputations to create collections based on their muses or other creative inspirations. 

The series made its debut with Alexander McQueen in March with McQ Alexander McQueen for Target, inspired by Leila Moss, lead singer of The Duke Spirit. Anna Sui followed this month by channeling the TV program ???Gossip Girl.??? She??™s a fan of the show. 

The collections were rolled out to hundreds of Target stores and also are sold on and stay available for four months or so. 

Sui??™s collection ranges from leather jackets, priced at $149.99, to metallic jacquard dresses and silk wrap dresses, at $59.99. Target created a pop-up store for Sui, at a private four-story town house at 54 Crosby Street in SoHo, which opened Sept. 9 to big crowds after being megahyped, and closed Sunday. Target could do a pop-up store for Gaultier, as well. 

Gaultier is known for edgy street fashion interpretations, a Parisian panache, over-the-edge couture, generating lots of media and groupie followings.


–Nikki Cho Russo

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Posted Sep 18 2009 in Uncategorized
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