The pay and the perks at the top are good — very good.Sixty-seven fashion executives logged compensation of more than $5 million last year, according to a WWD analysis of publicly traded brands and retailers in the U.S. A lot of that compensation is just paper, though — stock and option grants made up the majority of many executives’ pay and pushed total compensation for the group to $880.6 million. While that’s a large number by any measure, it completely depends on how much the 67 executives earn from cashing in all those options and grants. It could be less.RELATED STORY: Compensation Close-up, a Look at Pay at the Top >> The key pay-package trends for last year included: • J.C. Penney Co. Inc.: The reinventing retailer dominated the leaderboard with chief executive officer Ron Johnson taking the top spot as a large options payout pushed his compensation to $53.3 million. Three other current and former Penney’s executives were in the top 10. • Chief executive officers: most of the top earners are ceo’s. Exceptions include Reed Krakoff, president and executive creative director at Coach Inc.; Daniel Walker, chief talent officer at Penney’s; Donald Brennan, chief merchandising officer at Kohl’s Corp., and Kathryn Tesija, executive vice president and president of merchandising at Target Corp.• Fatter paychecks: compensation jumped 30.9 percent to $738.9 million from 2010, excluding the seven executives who were new to their jobs last year. Experts attribute much of the increase in pay to the supply-and-demand economics of the c-level employment market. To put it simply: there are too many companies desperate for top-notch talent — and too little of it. With so few true executive superstars around, companies looking to recruit them have to pay up. Companies also have to make up for the pay those executives leave behind in their old jobs, since they likely were highly paid already.“You’re seeing an option play that’s extraordinary,” said Les Berglass, chairman of executive search firm Berglass + Associates. “For the past three or four years, boards could get away with buying talent. Now, not only do they have to buy the talent, they have to buy out their options.”Large fashion companies are increasingly seen as needing generalists, executives able to oversee sprawling corporate empires and work with a range of strong personalities with very different skills.“You’re buying a different breed of thoroughbred that will be much more expensive,” Berglass said. “The bottom line is that the marketplace defines the compensation, not edicts from the government or a board….You can’t force successful executives into taking a job; you have to give them more money.” Penney’s, which last year assembled a team to reinvent the struggling 1,100-door chain, went on the biggest poaching expedition last year. Johnson took his chief talent officer Daniel Walker from Apple Inc. and convinced Michael Kramer to give up his gig as ceo at Kellwood Co. to be the retailer’s chief operating officer. Johnson also dipped into Target Corp. for Michael Francis, but the association didn’t last, and Francis abruptly left Penney’s in June.Francis offers a good case study for just how slippery the official compensation figures can be. Had he stayed at Penney’s, Francis would have rated as the third-highest-paid fashion executive, with compensation of $44.7 million. But since he left, his $32.1 million in stock awards never had a chance to vest and were never realized. He also had to give back a portion of his $12 million signing bonus.
To celebrate Pride 2018, @themarcjacobs released the #GratefulNotHateful campaign, a social media initiative aimed at extending Pride beyond the parade. Inspired by Jacobs’ everyday outlook, the campaign features Jacobs along with a group of models and social media stars who are members and supporters of the LGBT community, all seen wearing @marcbeauty’s Highliner Gel Eye Crayons in colors of the rainbow. Head to our Instagram stories to see close-ups of the liner. #wwdbeauty
Virgil Abloh’s dad Nee and Don Crawley, cofounder of RSVP Gallery, were some of the hometown crew at the Chicago-born designer’s debut show for Louis Vuitton. (📸: @jdiderich ) #wwdmens #louisvuitton #virgilabloh
About last night: @marycharteris and @adwoaaboah hit up Hyde Park for the Serpentine Galleries’ annual summer party held in partnership with @chanelofficial. Head to WWD.com to see more photos. #wwdfashion
“This is Paris, my first show. I’m all about democracy. If some kid shows up, flew from New Jersey to just be around, let’s get him a seat.” — @virgilabloh tells WWD’s @jdiderich ahead of his first show for @louisvuitton men’s. (📸: @alfredo_piola ) #wwdmens #virgilabloh #louisvuitton
“Kate Spade was a true fashion icon who brought joy to the lives of women around the world, and inspired women to live life to the fullest. We are dedicated to carrying on her legacy,” said Anna Bakst, brand president and chief executive officer of @katespadeny. The Kate Spade Foundation announced that it will be donating $1 million to suicide prevention and mental health awareness in tribute to the recent death of Kate Spade. Read more on WWD.com. #wwdnews (📷: @chinseephoto)
A first look at @virgilabloh’s sneakers for @louisvuitton. Abloh spoke to WWD about his debut collection for Louis Vuitton, creating @kendalljenner’s #metgala outfit and redefining the heritage brand. Read the full story on WWD.com. #wwdfashion 📷: @alfredo_piola)
The world’s largest producer of denim @iskodenim is sharing the strategy behind its product development process. Read our full interview with ISKO’s product development manager Baris Ozden on the company’s extensive research practices, upcoming denim trends and the latest material innovations on WWD.com. #iskodenim