DALLAS — John Irvin, president of J.C. Penney Direct's catalogue and $1.5 billion Internet business, is retiring effective today.
Irvin, who also is an executive vice president at J.C. Penney Co. Inc., said his responsibilities will be divided among several senior executives as the Plano, Tex.-based chain integrates and realigns the management of its stores and Direct divisions.
Mike Boylson, executive vice president and chief marketing officer at Penney's, will take over the marketing and operations functions for J.C. Penney Direct.
"The company is well positioned to move ahead without me, though I have agreed to continue to be available to Penney's if they need me for advice or consultation," Irvin said in an interview Friday.
Irvin joined Penney's seven years ago after serving as chief executive officer of the Chicago-based Spiegel catalogue. He has spent 38 years in the retail and wholesale fashion industries, including executive management positions at the former Federated Department Stores Inc., Mervyns and Sears, Roebuck & Co., where he began his career in 1970 in the executive training program. He also was president of the Dallas Market Center.
"When I was recruited to join Penney's in 2001 by [former ceo] Allen Questrom, my plans were only to work here two or three years," Irvin said. "But I have enjoyed it so much that I just kept extending my plans."
Myron E. "Mike" Ullman 3rd, chairman and ceo of Penney's, said at the annual shareholders meeting last month that jcpenney.com is considered the hub of the retailer's three-channel strategy that includes stores, Internet and catalogue.
"We use jcpenney.com as an information resource for customers and associates, and as a way to get instant and invaluable feedback from shoppers through product reviews or blogs," Irvin said, adding that jcpenney.com, which generated volume of $22 million in 2001, is the fastest growing division at Penney's.
Home furnishings and women's and junior fashions continue to be among the strongest categories online, he said.
“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