the Insiders


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Buyouts, mergers, public offerings, the sale of a big stake to an outsider--these are all existential focal points in the life of any company.

Emotionally and financially charged moments, they are highly anticipated and often transformative. Later they will be recalled by former executives and dissected by dealwatchers--ourselves included--with comments like "Everything went downhill when they sold out" or "They were nothing until so and so came in and whipped them into shape."
The well-oiled Saks Inc. rumor mill has gone quiet.

There was the initial flurry of stories after it became known the luxe department store company hired Goldman Sachs to explore its options and possibly a sale.

Sometime in the early Aughts, when I was a wet-behind-the-ears WWD business reporter, a colleague replied to some silly thing I'd said by looking aghast and asking, "Don't you know? Fashion is all about the shoes and the bag."

The shoes and the bag.

I didn't know then how right she was, in both sartorial and business terms.

Every once in a great while the fashion industry hits a sleepy patch and a week passes when nobody says much of anything -- at least in a public forum that we can scrutinize.
After two months listening to a small army of lawyers bicker back and forth over the sale of Martha Stewart-designed goods, it's safe to say that presiding Judge Jeffrey Oing has made up his mind on how he will rule.

I am a complete and absolute sucker for Thin Mints.
I was waiting at a restaurant recently and following the up-to-the-second fashion week news on Twitter when my incoming tweets slowed to a crawl and then stopped.

Just before William Ackman squared off with Carl Icahn on CNBC last week -- in which the two activist investors engaged in a surprisingly personal round of verbal fisticuffs, ostensibly over direct merchant Herbalife -- Ackman hinted at things to come at one of his biggest investments, J.C. Penney Co. Inc.

The New Year arrives with a relatively clean slate for fashion.

The Burches have buried the hatchet, fresh faces are in place and finding their footing at Saint Laurent and Christian Dior and changes to the U.S. tax code helped push through a number of deals that had been lingering.

Women get a raw deal in business.
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