Dressbarn, a division of the Ascena Retail Group Inc., named Judith Langley executive vice president and chief merchandising officer, succeeding Keith Fulsher, who retired.
“Judith was our first choice. She is focused on style and trend and will play a key role in the evolution of the Dressbarn brand,” David Jaffe, president and chief executive officer of the $4.71 billion Ascena, told WWD.
He said that the appointment, while directly related to Fulsher’s retirement, also reflects changes in the Dressbarn concept over the past year to be more product development driven and less market driven. “It’s not about cost. It’s about delivering the right products and really being sensitive about what our customer is looking for and what we can offer that she can’t get elsewhere,” Jaffe said. “We have been building our team along this strategy for the past year in the trend and design areas. As part of that we are opening a New York design office soon, within a month or two.”
Jeff Gerstel, president of Dressbarn, said he looks forward to “the vision Langley will bring to the brand’s transformation.” In its fiscal year ended July 27, the Dressbarn division posted a slight decline in net sales to $1.02 billion from $1.04 billion. Operating income fell 47 percent to $30.3 million from $56.9 million.
Jaffe said Langley has extensive experience as a merchant and product developer, and will be based at Ascena headquarters in Suffern, N.Y. Most recently, she was executive vice president and chief merchandising officer at Charming Charlie’s, a jewelry and accessories chain. Before that, Langley was senior vice president of design and trend at Kohl’s, where she oversaw product direction for 15 brands. Earlier, she held merchandising and product development jobs at Ann Taylor, Banana Republic, Gap, Victoria’s Secret and the former May Department Stores Co.
Harrods plans to remove the famous statue of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed from the bottom of the Egyptian escalators and hand it back to Mohamed Al-Fayed. “We are very proud to have played our role in celebrating the lives of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed at Harrods and to have welcomed people from around the world to visit the memorial for the past 20 years,” said Michael Ward, Harrods managing director. “With the announcement of the new official memorial statue to Diana, Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace, we feel that the time is right to return this memorial to Mr. Al Fayed and for the public to be invited to pay their respects at the palace.” More on the news, with reporting by @loreleimarfil, at WWD.com. #wwdnews
@prada is introducing a new project at its men’s fall 2018 show this Sunday: “Prada Invites.” The fashion house invited four celebrated creative minds – @ronanaerwanbouroullec, Konstantin Grcic, @herzogdemeuron and @rem.koolhaas – to each create a unique item with its iconic nylon material. The designs will be unveiled on the runway show, which will take place at the company’s warehouse in Viale Ortles 25. #wwdfashion #mfwm (📷: @martinocarrera)
@kering_official is spinning off its stake in puma in an effort to focus on its luxury brands, the brand operator announced yesterday. “We are proud to have supported the turnaround of Puma, which now has unrivaled capabilities to take full advantage of the specific dynamics of its global markets and is poised to achieve substantial growth,” said François-Henri Pinault, Kering’s chief executive officer and chairman. Artémis will become a “long-term strategic shareholder” of Puma with a 29 percent stake. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
The fashion world mourns for celebrated street style photographer, Nabile Quenum, who died at age 32 in Paris.
Quenum, creator of the fashion blog “J’ai Perdu Ma Veste,” was a fashion week fixture, and regularly shot for New York magazine’s The Cut, among other outlets, and brands such as Louis Vuitton, Moncler and Adidas. He was also actively involved in the #NoFreePhotos initiative, which kicked off in the fall. Read more about Quenum in @kbsmoke's story on WWD.com. #wwdnews
@verwanggang and @maisonladuree have teamed up on a dessert collab called Vera Wang Pour Ladurée. The collection, which launched this week, features a specialty macaroon, as well as a wedding cake inspired by one of the designer’s gowns. “I could not imagine a more delicate or sophisticated creation to grace any couple’s celebration,” said Wang. #wwdfashion