Don’t expect the usual suspects at the next Financo Forum.
Financo chairman Gilbert Harrison, who knows a thing or two about restructuring, has reloaded the 22-year-old event with executives spearheading emerging businesses, and who rarely, if ever, participate in panel discussions. “We went after people who haven’t been overexposed. But don’t worry. We’ll have a few surprises to get the group charged up,” Harrison said Tuesday, in an interview with Colin Welch, Financo’s chief executive officer and president.
Harrison wouldn’t tip his hand on what’s in store, but Financo forums have a reputation for stirring the pot. Harrison notoriously stacks the panels with outspoken veteran executives with strong, opposing opinions. That’s not necessarily the case for Monday’s forum though there’s still an impressive speaker lineup including Nathan Yao, general manager of 360Buy.com, a billion-dollar China-based general merchandiser online that’s become like the Amazon of Asia.
There’s also Christopher Burch, founder and ceo of C. Wonder and a Tory Burch investor; Kevin Plank, ceo and founder of Under Armour, and Walter Robb, co-ceo of Whole Foods. Susan Lyne, chairman of Gilt Groupe, who unlike the others has been very visible on the speakers’ circuit, will also be on the panel.
Held at the Harmonie Club, 4 East 60th Street, the by-invitation-only event starts with the panel and then becomes a cocktail hour for an industry crowd of nearly 300.
“The panel we’ve compiled proves that in this tough economic climate, the entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well in the retail sector and new concepts can grow and become major players,” Harrison said.
He noted that with Burch, “The big issue is how does he make his startups work? With Gilt, it’s about a changing business model. With 360, it’s how the company continues to maintain share across all of its categories. It’s a real classic general merchandiser that covers everything.”
At Whole Foods, Harrison added, “the quality is excellent and they are excellent operators. So how do they take it to the next level?” And at Under Armour, “Kevin Plank is transforming the business into the next Nike, particularly with its growth in footwear and accessories.”
Each executive will speak about their company, then take questions from Harrison, Welch and Margaret Brennan, a Bloomberg Television anchor who will serve as moderator.
@tradesy is turning the concept of a showroom upside down with its new space in Santa Monica. Here, the company plans to hold events, art exhibits and a showcase rare fashion pieces like this Louis Vuitton boxing set. Get all the details on Tradesy’s first showroom on WWD.com. #wwdnews
Spotted last night at the @erdem x @hm launch event: Kate Bosworth, Rashida Jones, Kirsten Dunst and Selma Blair. The party, which took place in LA, also marked the opening of their pop-up shop. “I was interested in creating a collection that wasn’t in any way disposable. It was about pieces you’d create and keep forever, things that have a permanence to it,” designer Erdem Moralioglu said. #wwdeye (📷: Katie Jones)
Renee Zellweger in yellow in 2001 and again in 2017. Chosen as one of the 12 @pantone Leading Spring Colors (and dubbed “Meadowlark”), it only makes sense that the bright hue stands the test of time and is making a resurgence this season, seen already on stars like @blakelively and @gigihadid. (📷: Donato Sardello & @rexfeatures) #wwdfashion #tbt
Dior’s 70th anniversary celebration continues with a new exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. “Christian Dior,” which is scheduled to run through March 18, takes a look at the founders tenure from 1947 to 1057 and feature 40 designs. Pictured here is an evening gown from the Ailée, fall 1948-49 haute couture collection. #wwdfashion (📷: Brian Boyle)
As one of the most recognizable models in the world, Christy Turlington Burns has an insider’s view of the fashion industry and the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around it. “I can say that harassment and mistreatment have always been widely known and tolerated in the industry. The industry is surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experiences at some point in our careers,” Turlington told WWD, along with her suggestions for how the modeling world should protect younger women and men. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: Tony Palmieri) #wwdnews
@asics America has tapped a new brand ambassador: famed DJ/record producer @steveaoki. This initiative is intended to set the tone for the new brand identity and philosophy and will include partnerships with influencers and in-store and off-line activations that will continue into next year. This is Asics’ most significant marketing effort in two decades, and is expected to attract younger consumers to the brand. #wwdfashion
24-year-old Jean Prounis is redefining the rules of jewelry. Formerly a studio assistant to Jemima Kirke and a design apprentice at Ghuran, she focuses on handcrafted subtleties and ancient goldsmithing techniques. “There was a really sterile feel in the environment and I wanted to have jewelry with character that shapes how you wear it everyday,” Prounis said. Each piece is hand made in New York, either by Prounis or three other jewelers in the district. #wwdfashion
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews