J.C. Penney has promoted Ken Mangone to executive vice president of product development and sourcing, succeeding Peter McGrath, who retired last month.
It’s a critical role, particularly since 50 percent of Penney’s annual volume is generated by private and exclusive brands. Mangone will oversee the PD&S team, which handles all the trend analysis, product design and development, sourcing, manufacturing and quality control associated with private brands such as Worthington, Arizona, Liz Claiborne and St. John’s Bay.
Mangone, who joined Penney’s 34 years ago as a management trainee, will report to Myron Ullman 3rd, chairman and chief executive officer. Mangone was senior vice president of product development, reporting to McGrath, and was instrumental in building up the in-house design team from under 50 five years ago to a current 250 textile and fashion designers. Mangone is also credited with sharpening and differentiating the lifestyle images of Penney’s key private brands as well as launching the a.n.a private brand.
McGrath, a 37-year veteran of Penney’s, isn’t completely severing ties. He will serve as a consultant. McGrath is credited with improving the cost-efficiency and speed of the PD&S organization and improving quality controls. He’s worked with mills and manufacturers around the globe, met with world leaders in developing nations and also oversaw the design buildup. Penney’s cycle time, from design of a product to landing it on the selling floor, currently averages about 30 weeks, though in the case of the fast-turning juniors category, it can be a ten-week cycle.
“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