Expanding a designer brand, moving into new product categories and coping with the whirlwinds buffeting the worlds of fashion and retail were just a few of the constant themes at the Ninth Annual WWD/CEO Summit. Held Nov. 2-4 at the Ritz-Carlton Battery Park Hotel in New York, the conference drew more than 200 senior executives from the worlds of retail, design, finance and manufacturing.

Here, and in the following section, salient thoughts from the speakers.

"There is no compromise. It might sound strange, but there is no compromise."
— Nicolas Ghesquière

"I think this is a revolution for our company and for our family."
— Matteo Marzotto, Valentino Fashion Group

"There's no question that change is challenging, change is scary and change is hard to effect….But change is also exciting, entertaining and creative, and let's face it, like it or not, inevitable!"
— Vera Wang

"You have to decide what you want to be. You just go do it and execute it well. And be as consistent as you can. Having said that, you have to be savvy enough to recognize what is going on around you." — Myron Ullman 3rd, J.C. Penney Co. Inc.

"For brands to thrive, and business to thrive and continue to thrive in today's challenging marketplace and environment, they have to embrace change and embed it into their culture, and perceive change as a competitive advantage, not as a distraction."
— Mindy Grossman, Nike Inc.


"I have to say that some days it does feel like we're herding cats. It takes a lot of energy…but we believe if you really want to harness the energy in the organization, you've got to allow it to be free."
— Terri Kelly, W.L. Gore & Associates

"You have to change. You have to take risks."
— Gregory J. Scott, Bebe Stores Inc.

"You have to make sure there is a personality behind your brand. We try to give information on how to put it together."
— David Lauren, Polo Ralph Lauren"It's constant, sensible revolution, not revolution for revolution's sake."
— Claudio Del Vecchio, Retail Brand Alliance

"If you don't have the clarity of where you are going, you have no idea of how to get there. The clarity has to be crystal clear and simple."
— Robert Polet, Gucci Group

"Frankly, none of you make anything that is irreplaceable. What you have to become is irresistible."
— Kevin Roberts, Saatchi & Saatchi

"You have to ask yourself the hard question: Are each of my people in the best job for them to make the biggest contribution? It may require painful and difficult transitions, but make them. It's worth it, and everybody wins in the end."
— Eric Wiseman, VF Corp.

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