Holt Renfrew, continuing to build a new senior management team as it faces increasing competition across Canada's retail landscape, has hired Linda DeFrances as senior vice president and general merchandise manager.[caption id="attachment_10869459" align="alignnone" width="300"] Linda DeFrances[/caption]DeFrances will oversee all merchandise divisions which include women's and men's wear, beauty and accessories.In addition, Manuel Frei has been named creative director, a new position involving all aspects of creative direction, marketing and communications, fashion direction and store design.[caption id="attachment_10869473" align="alignnone" width="300"] Manuel Frei[/caption]DeFrances and Frei report to Mario Grauso, president of the Toronto-based Holt Renfrew. Grauso became Holt's president last September after serving as president of Joe Fresh. When he came in as president, Grauso assumed the chief merchant role, which had previously been held by Steven Cook.Most recently, DeFrances was vice president of women' ready-to-wear and brand development at Saks Fifth Avenue. Earlier, she was the divisional merchandise manager of women's wear at Bergdorf Goodman, and prior to that she was a buyer at Barneys New York.Frei has held various roles with Condé Nast, Bally, Moncler and most recently was executive creative director at Laird + Partners.Holt has been going through an aggressive $300 million expansion program over the last several years, geared to take the retailer from a total of 800,000 square feet to more than 1.2 million square feet. The company is also seeking to eclipse $1 billion in revenues. Last year was estimated by sources to be somewhere around $900 million in annual volume, though recent entries into the country by Nordstrom and Saks Fifth Avenue in the past couple of years has heightened the competition.
Holt Renfrew is part of the Selfridges Group, which is also owned by the Weston family who control Loblaw Cos. Ltd., which includes Joe Fresh.
“I think what’s so interesting about the #MeToo movement and this whole new wave of feminism in general, is that women are finally seeing, ’Oh I can start my own company, oh I can lear to code, oh I can leave my nine-to-five job and do the thing I want to do,” said @brooklyndecker ahead of her @sxsw talk for @createcultivate. The former model took the stage to share wisdom about networking and female-driven entrepreneurship. #wwdeye #sxsw (📷: @jgreenery)
“I was making the guacamole when my scout saw me,” says model @stuckinteenage on being discovered just six months ago while working at @chipotlemexicangrill. Since then Williams has signed with @dnamodels, walked in her first show at @calvinklein and landed on the cover of @vogueitalia – a high point of any model’s career. To read @lisajlockwood’s full interview with the model on her experiences thus far, head to WWD.com – link in bio. (📷: George Chinsee)
“I love the idea of dialogue, period. It’s where I’ve always gotten my inspiration from: hearing other women speak, their journeys and their paths,” said @hereisgina, who delivered the keynote speech at the @sxsw conference for @createcultivate, the online platform and conference series for women. For her two panels, Rodriguez chose female empowering, female-led and female entrepreneurs to focus on. Head to WWD.com to read more about her thoughts on Time’s Up, growing up in a family of women and why we “need a girls’ club.” #wwdeye #sxsw (📷: @jgreenery)
Leading luxury brand are shaking things up to keep up with streetwear. Case in point: the arrival of @mrkimjones as artistic director of @diorhomme. Jones, who succeeds @Kris_Van_Assche, is seen as one of the handful of designers who can actually straddle the luxury and streetwear worlds — which could lead to even more changes at established brands. What could this mean for the rest of the menswear landscape? Head to WWD.com to find out what experts predict #wwdfashion (📷: @franckmura)
“It’s like buying groceries. You’re going to buy the best mango, the best mozzarella, the best things. You have to, or others are going to take it all,” said @gabrielahearst on why she uses only the finest fabrics. Last week, Hearst received her first @cfda nomination for Womenswear Designer of the Year, and earlier this month she opened a permanent showroom in Paris. To read @jessiredale’s interview with the designer and find out why this is shaping up to be a big year for her, head to WWD.com. #wwdfashion (📷: @francoisgoize)
“It’s an interesting thing, playing a younger version of your mother. It’s an interesting concept. I adore my mom and love her in every capacity, but it was just something that had never crossed my mind,” says @anniemstarke on playing a young Joan Castleman in “The Wife.” The same role will be played by her mother Glenn Close. Read more about her growing up in the film industry as the daughter of producer John H. Starke and Close and what she has planned for the future #wwdeye (📷: @nataliamantini)
@asics is launching a new streetwear sneaker inspired by its latest ambassador, @steveaoki. The Hyper-Kenzen x Aoki, which will launch at @footlocker stores exclusively tomorrow, is a slip-on style that incorporates the brand’s proprietary Gel technology through beads integrated into the midsole for comfort and endurance. Read the full story on WWD.com.