WASHINGTON — President Obama has nominated one of the retail industry’s leaders — Sally Jewell, president and chief executive officer of REI — to serve in his cabinet.
Obama tapped Jewell, who has been at the helm of REI, an outdoor apparel, footwear and equipment retail chain, since 2005, as his nominee for Interior Secretary, which oversees national parks, energy reserves and offshore oil fields.
If confirmed by the Senate, Jewell would succeed outgoing secretary Ken Salazar.
“Sally has helped turn a stalling outdoor retailer into one of America’s most successful and environmentally conscious companies,” Obama said at the White House on Wednesday. “Last year REI donated almost $4 million to protect trails and parks. Twenty percent of the electricity used in their stores comes from renewable sources.”
“She knows there is no contradiction between being a good steward of the land and our economic progress,” Obama said. “In fact, those two things need to go hand in hand. She has shown that a company with more than $1 billion in sales can do the right thing for our planet.”
Jewell joined REI in 1996 as a board member and then became the chain’s chief operating officer in 2000. Prior to joining REI, Jewell spent 19 years in commercial banking and three years as an engineer in the oil industry.
Jewell helped lead sustainability initiatives at REI, increased the company’s sales to $2 billion annually from $1 billion, added 71 stores for a total of 127 units and expanded its online business.
“Her work in the private sector as a petroleum engineer, a successful banker and chief executive of a 10,000-employee national retail chain represents the diversity and expertise needed to be a leader in Washington, D.C.” said Frank Hugelmeyer, president and ceo of the Outdoor Industry Association. “Her experience will ensure that the nation’s public lands and infrastructure remains a crucial component of America’s economic recovery, sustainable energy extraction, renewable development, conservation and recreation — elements critical to the success of the Department of the Interior.”
Sandy Kennedy, president of the Retail Industry Leaders Association, where Jewell has served on the board since 2007, said, “Her thoughtful guidance and leadership have been tremendous assets to RILA and the retail industry at large….I have no doubt that she will guide the Department of the Interior with the same vision and leadership with which she led REI.”
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast