In an industry filled with turbulence, rapid change and constant challenges, business leaders and creative talents come and go as quickly as reality shows. Yet for the upcoming 17th annual WWD CEO Summit, some of fashion and retailing’s most accomplished — and promising — executives will meet for two days of presentations, conversations and panel discussions.
Themed “The Transformers,” the summit will be held Oct. 28 and 29 at The Pierre in Manhattan. A group of 300 chief executive officers, presidents and company principals will exchange ideas, share best practices, forecast the future and network with their peers.
Among the headliners are two media powerhouses: Anna Wintour, artistic director of Condé Nast and editor in chief of Vogue, and Leslie Moonves, president and ceo of CBS Corp. In a conversation, Wintour and Moonves will explore the way the media world is changing, for good or ill, as the consumer has more information, more sensation and more choice than ever before.
Others tackling the hot issues of the moment — driving digital sales, differentiating from the pack, and the social media obsession — include Terry J. Lundgren, chairman, president and ceo of Macy’s Inc. Lundgren has transformed what was once a lumbering retail dinosaur into an industry giant that continues to grab market share.
Designers being spotlighted include Michael Kors, principal designer and cochairman of Michael Kors Holdings Ltd., one of the most successful initial public offerings in fashion history, and Alexander Wang, creative director for Alexander Wang and Balenciaga, who will discuss how he manages to simultaneously tackle two high-profile labels with different DNAs.
Myron “Mike” Ullman 3rd will discuss one of the industry’s most dramatic and high-stakes stories of the past two years — J.C. Penney Co. Inc., where, as ceo, he is charged with turning around the beleaguered retailer.
Kay Krill, president and ceo of Ann Inc., will make her first summit appearance, as her company rides strong results at both its Ann Taylor and Loft divisions, while numerous other specialty chains lag in an otherwise difficult retail season.
Also from the retail world: Nick Robertson, ceo of Asos, the digital firm focused on Millennials that launched in the U.K., expanded to 240 countries and is headed to China this fall, and Sophia Amoruso, founder and ceo of Nasty Gal, one of the hottest digital pure plays.
From the brand side, scheduled speakers include Eric C. Wiseman, chairman, president and ceo of VF Corp., which has experienced significant and sustained growth; William L. McComb, ceo of Fifth & Pacific Cos. Inc., which has been restructuring its portfolio and aggressively building the Kate Spade business; Patrizio di Marco, ceo of Gucci, who has undertaken a comprehensive upgrade of the label, refocusing on heritage and artisanal and Italian craftsmanship, and Victor Luis, president and chief commercial officer of Coach, who steps into the ceo role in January.
Another thought leader from social media who will be spotlighted is Emily White, director of operations at Instagram, which has become the darling of the visually oriented fashion world.
From outside the industry, New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft will discuss leadership and strategic issues and how he changed the culture of professional sports in New England by delivering 10 conference titles and three league championships in the past 17 years. In addition to the Patriots, Kraft is chairman and ceo of The Kraft Group, holding company of several businesses, including the Rand-Whitney Group, International Forest Products, Gillette Stadium and a portfolio of more than 100 private equity investments.
From academia, Sydney Finkelstein, professor of Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business, will examine issues raised in his best-selling book “Why Smart Executives Fail: And What You Can Learn From Their Mistakes.”
There will also be a panel of experts on global labor practices discussing the Bangladesh tragedies and work conditions worldwide, including outspoken Congressman George Miller (D., Calif.); Rick Helfenbein, president, Luen Thai USA; Charles Kernaghan, executive director, Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights, and Richard M. Locke, Howard Swearer Director at the Thomas J. Watson Jr. Institute for International Studies and professor of political science at Brown University. Locke is also the author of “The Promise and Limits of Private Power: Promoting Labor Standards in a Global Economy.”
Other speakers on the summit roster, helping to sponsor the event, will be Sarah Quinlan, group head of information solutions — market insights for MasterCard Worldwide; Nathalie Remy, a principal at McKinsey & Co.; Harold D. Reiter, chairman and ceo of Herbert Mines Associates, and Mark Frost, general manager of MarkMonitor.
For more information, contact Kim Mancuso at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 212-630-4212.
EXCLUSIVE: @tomford is opening its first-ever beauty store. The boutique, which opens November 20 in London’s Covent Gardens, was designed with the over-the-top glam Ford is known for. Read the full story on WWD.com, link in bio. #wwdbeauty #wwdnews (📷: Simon Wagner) #TomFordBeauty
New York-based DJ @harleyvnewton threw a party to celebrate the holiday collection of her dress and pajama line @hvn at the Ladurée Beverly Hills. It Girls @katebosworth, @rashidajones and more joined in on the fun, which included cocktails, croque monsieur sandwiches and a photo booth. #wwdfashion (📷: Owen Kolasinski/BFA.com)
For the holidays, @Burberry partnered with 20-year-old artist @blondeymccoy on a series of three outdoor murals in downtown Manhattan. The murals are McCoy’s interpretation of a Christmas eve party, the idea of charity and the spirit of family. His third mural, pictured here, is the most personal. The image depicts McCoy’s grandparents and father in London’s Trafalgar Square in the Seventies. “My work often features lots of sentimental objects.” #wwdeye
For spring 2018, designers applied bold colors and cartoonish motifs on everything from sneakers and belts to key chains. See all the top men’s accessories trends on WWD.com. #wwdtrends (📷: George Chinsee; Prop Styling by @rnasti; Market Editor: @luiscampuzano)
The @dior-sponsored @guggenheim international gala pre-party has a history of drawing cool-girl musical acts to serenade the crowd –– and last night was no exception. @haimtheband performed songs both new and old, and lured a star-studded audience with the likes of Rebecca Hall, Kate Mara, Mamoudou Athie and more. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)
In a partnership between the @metopera and the @englishnationalopera, “Marnie” was born. The opera, with costumes sponsored by @mrporterlive, is an adaptation of the 1961 thriller by Winston Graham. Arianne Phillips, who created the costumes, is no rookie: She’s styled Madonna for her tours and created costumes for a myriad of films in the past. Read WWD’s interview with Phillips, where she talks about her inspiration for the opera’s costumes on WWD.com #wwdfashion
@barneysnyc took a different approach to their holiday windows this year. Instead of Christmas decor, Barneys tapped @thehaasbrothers to tell a story of positivity, gratitude and inclusivity via heartwarming silliness and humor. “It’s about kids and it’s about coming together and being family and loving each other,” said Simon Haas. #wwdfashion (📷: @joshuascottphoto)
Beauty influencer @kandeejohnson makes her foray into hair care with a collaboration with @ogx_beauty — making it the first time that OGX has teamed up for a product creation. The collab includes shampoos and conditioners in three scents. At 39 and a mom, Johnson is a different profile than the emerging social media stars, but is considered one of the pioneers of the digital beauty influencer world. Read WWD’s interview with her on wwd.com, including the strangest beauty product she’s ever tried #wwdbeauty