Two days after separating the roles of chairman and chief executive officer, Abercrombie & Fitch Co. continued to reshape its executive ranks with the promotion of Jonathan Ramsden to chief operating officer, a new post at the teen retail firm.
Ramsden, 49, joined A&F as executive vice president and chief financial officer in 2008. He will continue to serve as cfo until a successor is appointed.
The company said that Ramsden will “work closely” with ceo Michael Jeffries as well as two brand presidents who’ve yet to be appointed and will report directly to the ceo. One of the presidents will oversee A&F and abercrombie kids and the other the Hollister division. The company said it’s “making progress” in its quest for individuals to fill the roles.
In December, under pressure from activist investor Engaged Capital to develop a succession plan and diversify its board, A&F extended Jeffries’ contract until February 2016 and eliminated earlier sign-on and retention bonuses that could have been an obstacle to anyone seeking to buy the company. It also set the plan for divisional heads who could expand the pool of possible successors.
Jeffries commented, “Jonathan’s responsibilities have progressively expanded well beyond the cfo role, and this new position will enable Jonathan to work closely with me in managing the overall execution of our long-range strategic plans. Along with the new brand president positions, the creation of the new [chief operating officer] role will ensure we are organized for renewed growth and success going forward.”
Ramsden joined A&F after serving as cfo of TBWA Worldwide and has been an increasingly visible presence in A&F’s interaction with the financial community.
“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