NEW YORK — Celia Clancy has been named president and chief executive officer of Ashley Stewart, a large-size chain with 187 stores. She succeeds Laura Weil, who resigned to pursue other interests, the company said.
Clancy said her previous experience at A.J. Wright and Wal-Mart should serve her well as she positions Ashley Stewart for growth. The retailer began catering to plus-size customers with sexy, fashion-forward styles in the early Nineties.
“Ashley Stewart has been through a lot of ups and downs,” Clancy said. “The loyal customer hasn’t left. There’s a whole ambiance to the brand. It has a great heritage of serving a plus-size customer and there’s a great opportunity to build on that. Ashley Stewart got a lot of things right in terms of understanding the customer and what she wants in terms of color and embellishments.”
Ashley Stewart recently unveiled a new store prototype in Brooklyn and Chicago. Clancy said she plans to remodel many of the company’s existing units. “We’re working furiously on our real estate strategy,” she said. “We want to expand the retail footprint and develop new channels of growth, including e-commerce and licensing.”
In terms of products, Clancy said Ashley Stewart has been testing intimate apparel and is growing fashion accessories and jewelry. “There are other categories we’ll be dipping our toe into,” she said. “This customer wants head-to-toe dressing.”
Prior to joining Ashley Stewart, Clancy spent four years as president of A.J. Wright, a division of The TJX Cos. Inc. Despite record profits, A.J. Wright was shuttered at the beginning of 2011 in an effort by TJX to accelerate growth at its T.J. Maxx and Marshalls off-price apparel chains. Clancy stayed on at TJX as a consultant, working on the consolidation.
Before joining A.J. Wright, Clancy was a senior operations consultant at Cerberus, a private equity firm in New York. She held senior merchandising positions at Wal-Mart from 1997 to 2005.
@kith is moving into children’s. The men’s and women’s streetwear brand has launched Kidset, a Kith kids line located in New York at 64 Bleecker Street. The line includes mini versions of staple Kith pieces like the Astor bomber jacket and the Kith box logo sweatshirts, along with a wall that can display up to 120 pairs of shoes from @adidas, @newbalance, @timberland and more. #wwdfashion
“I just wanted to create this fully rounded character, but I do think what excited me most was just the opportunity to give a group of people representation that I feel needs it. I like to do characters in projects that stand for something and Karolina definitely does, so that was really exciting to me,” @ginnygardner says of her new role in @hulu’s “The Runaways.” Gardner plays Karolina Dean, a queer superhero, which is a rarity for @marvel. Read more about Gardner’s character on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @dandoperalski)
@heriethpaul and @gracebol have a moment on the @victoriassecret fashion show 2017. See every look from the runway on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo) #wwdfashion #victoriassecret #VSFashionShow
“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