LONDON — In its bid to expand internationally and further develop the brand, Anya Hindmarch is making way for a new chief executive officer: Gucci Group veteran James McArthur.
This story first appeared in the May 16, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Hindmarch, who founded the London-based accessories label in 1989 and built it into a 35 million pound, or $57 million, business, will relinquish her role as ceo, and serve as chairman and creative director.
An announcement is expected today.
“It’s a really exciting day for us. I think we’ll be opening up a bottle of Champagne later,” said a buoyant Hindmarch in a joint telephone interview with McArthur on Friday.
“I have always known that when the business achieved a certain scale, I would want to bring in outside expertise to help take us to the next level. And James and I will be working closely together,” she added.
Hindmarch said she was looking forward to focusing her energies on the creative, communication and marketing aspects of the business.
She also said her relationship with investors, Kelso Place Asset Management, which took a stake in the business in 2006, was thriving. “It’s an incredibly happy and successful relationship, and there are no plans to change that,” Hindmarch said.
McArthur, who was most recently ceo of Harrods, said he was looking forward to creating the structural underpinning to build the business globally. He declined to give any details of the expansion.
“It’s a lovely gem of a company: small, clean, with good product and a young and enthusiastic team. It’s at the stage where it can grow in so many directions, and it’s already profitable,” he said.
McArthur said he wanted to develop the business in a “very sensible” way. He said he’d be working closely with Hindmarch, and the two planned to “report to each other” going forward.
Anya Hindmarch currently has 54 stores, the most recent of which opened in Tokyo’s Aoyama district. There are plans to add 11 stores this year, and Hindmarch said she is currently looking to add a flagship in New York and other locations worldwide. In 2010, sales grew 19 percent compared with the previous year.
McArthur helped Gucci with its initial public offering in 1995 while he was at Morgan Stanley, and then joined Gucci Group in 2000. There, he worked alongside former ceo Domenico De Sole, acquiring companies such as Bottega Veneta, Balenciaga, Alexander McQueen and Stella McCartney.
He served as ceo of Balenciaga before taking up a similar role at Harrods, which he left in 2009.