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: Two and half months after John Targon, cofounder and codesigner of Baja East, was hired as creative director of the contemporary division at Marc Jacobs, he has left the company, WWD has learned. Marc Jacobs International, which is owned by LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, confirmed Targon’s departure in a statement: “John Targon is a talented designer and we appreciate the work he has done here. Ultimately working together did not make sense for the brand and we wish him the best.” Read the story by @jessiredale, link in bio. #wwdnews
@theluxurycollection is officially launching a collection, tapping Sofia Sanchez de Betak for the capsule. Over 30 styles will be featured in the Chufy x The Luxury Collection, debuting next month at Bergdorf Goodman, The Webster, FiveStory and more. De Betak, known as “@chufy,” drew inspiration for the collection from her trips to Japan in the past year #wwdfashion
@lhd, founder and CEO of @thewebster, has teamed up with @lebonmarcherivegauche for the European launch of her ready-to-wear line, LHD. The launch will come with an exclusive pop-up opening today that’s set to run through May 20. Located on the second floor, it carries her debut Miami-themed resort collection, launched in November as see-now-buy-now. #wwdfashion
@longchamp, which marks its 70th anniversary this year, just opened its biggest U.S. store on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue. On the lower level there’s a floor-to-ceiling display of the brand’s iconic Le Pliage bag – in all of its different colors, shapes and sizes. Customers can also have their product personalized in-store by imprinting names, initials or emblems. #wwdfashion (📷: @ericmtownsend)
“Whenever I’m in that place of sound and music, I don’t have fear or nervousness…This album has a lot of themes of courage and boldness and I want to be the soundtrack for people’s lives. I’ll be so happy if [my songs] evoke strength in people, which I know music has done for me,” says @kimbramusic of her newest album “Primal Heart.” The New Zealand-born singer sat down with WWD to talk about her music, newest tour and connecting with hear fans — read more on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
Luxury handbag resale company @rebagofficial is planning to sell a rare collectible for $70,000: the @hermes White Crocodile Himalayan Birkin. The exclusive Birkin sold for about $100,000 in 2008, when @davidbeckham bought one for his wife @victoriabeckham to add to her collection. Read more about the rare Birkin on WWD.com #wwdaccessories
With her costume pearl necklace and what-you-see-is-what-you-get style, Barbara Bush, who died Tuesday at age 92, was a straight-shooter from start to finish.
Born Barbara Pierce in New York City, Bush served as the 37th first lady, as well as the country’s second lady from 1981 to 1989. In addition to being part of the longest presidential marriage — 73 years — Bush also had the unlikely distinction of having one son, George W., become the 43rd president and another son, Jeb, run unsuccessfully in 2016. Having served as second lady during the Reagan administration’s two terms and lived all over the world during her own husband’s ascending political career, Barbara Bush made it clear that literacy — not fashion — was her priority. Read more from Rosemary Feitelberg’s obituary on the late First Lady in WWD.com, link in bio. #barbarabush #wwdnews
Western and ’90s trends have influenced denim for fall 2018. Think raw, dark and coated jeans mixed with bold prints and tough leather. #trendtuesdays #wwdfashion (Styled by @thealexbadia;📷: @ryanplett)