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 email@example.com, or call 212-630-4212.
There'll be no rest for those headed to Europe for men's, as Paris just closed the gap with Milan. According to a provisional calendar released by the Chambre Syndicale, Paris Men's Week will now open a day earlier on January 16. See new highlights on the official lineup on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)
BREAKING: Jonathan Saunders is leaving @DVF. The designer has resigned from his position as chief creative officer of Diane von Furstenberg, the company said in a statement on Friday. At the time of his hire, von Furstenberg said Saunders’ arrival symbolized and facilitated her stepping back from the day-to-day duties that occupy the work of a full-time creative director. The British designer joined DVF in May 2016 and was in charge of all product categories. #wwdnews
For @versace_official’s spring ad campaign, the brand emphasized the archival prints from the spring tribute collection dedicated to the late Gianni Versace. Closing out the show were five of Gianni’s favorite models: Cindy, Naomi, Carla, Helena, and Claudia. Bowing on December 18, the new campaign is yet another tribute to supermodel-dom as the images by Steven Meisel are fronted by @iamnaomicampbell, @cturlington, @gisele and more. #wwdfashion
Four-time Oscar-nominated actress Annette Bening has been waiting 20 years to play Gloria Graham in "Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool," which will be released on December 29. The movie about Graham – a Hollywood star known for her controversial relationship with a younger Englishman named Peter Turner – is based off a memoir Turned wrote. "She felt vulnerable to him, because she loved him, she really did love him. And anyone that we really truly are in love with, we re vulnerable to in a very deep way," said Bening. Read our full interview with the modern icon of an actress on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @ninebagatelles; Styled by @cristinaehrlich)
The crisp white button down: a staple that can be dressed up or down and accessorized throughout the decades. Here, on a Art Basel-goer in 2017 on the left and on the iconic Audrey Hepburn in “Roman Holiday” in 1953 on the right. #tbt #wwdfashion (📷: Andrew Morales)
Known for her work with @victoriassecret, 25-year-old model @georgiafowler is raising her profile in Hollywood. Fowler stars in @vincecamuto’s holiday campaign, which launched in partnership with “Pitch Perfect 3.” “Almost every shoot with Vince Camuto, I’ve had to face a fear…It was definitely a challenge. I’m so grateful for it, though. I’ve always wanted to be a pop star, so that was the perfect chance,” Fowler said. Head to WWD.com to read about Fowler’s experience modeling, including at the #VSFashionShow, and her relationship with Nick Jonas. #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
EXCLUSIVE: Huda Kattan just became the first beauty influencer to land a major beauty deal. Kattan's business, @hudabeauty, has received a minority investment from private equity firm TSG Consumer Partners. The brand, which industry sources say is on track to do $200 million in retail sales for 2017, will receive support on product, retail and geographic expansion through the deal. Get all the details on the deal and read @_a_collins' interview with Kattan on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: @jgreenery) #wwdbeauty #wwdnews
Peruvian model @juanaburga_official – who is known for walking the runways of @rodarte, @viviennewestwood and @torybuch – is making the move to the big screen with drama “Los Últimos.” The film premiered in Argentina in November and arrives in the U.S. and Europe in 2018. On making the switch from modeling to acting, Burga told WWD: “It’s a completely different thing – a lot of people think it’s similar or try to connect things, especially like getting used to the camera or being looked at all the time or playing these different characrers, but film is a completely different story.” #wwdeye (📷: @jgreenery)
London’s newly opened @designmuseum will look back on the life and work of Azzedine Alaïa in a show that the designer helped to curate before he died of heart failure last month. The retrospective, which Alaïa had worked on with Mark Wilson, chief curator of the @groningermuseum, will look at the impact of his work worldwide. The show, “Azzedine Alaïa: The Couturier,” will run from May 10 to October 7. Read more about the exhibit on WWD.com #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @zefashioninsider)