WWD has learned that Mark Briggs is coming on board as chief marketing officer, effectively a new position at Saks that will give him broad responsibility for creative, visual merchandising and marketing. He takes over duties previously held by Denise Incandela, former cmo, and Terron Schaefer, former chief creative officer, and has additional responsibilities.
Briggs and McKee are both former executives of Harrods in London, where they worked closely together for about the last 14 years.
Briggs will join Saks in March and report to McKee.
“He is one of the most creative people I have ever met,” McKee told WWD. “He’s exceptionally visual. He has great taste, and more importantly he is a visionary. He puts together amazing collaborations, fantastic visual schemes for the windows, scenes throughout the store, monthly plasma screen strategies, monthly mannequin strategies, promotional sites. The creative strategy, the marketing strategy; it all came from Mark. He made the fantasy happen.”
Briggs has a reputation for drama. In one of his biggest productions, he closed the streets of London to celebrate the Queen’s 60th year on the throne, brought dozens of employees outside to sing a rendition of “God Save the Queen” and had world-famous jewelers including Tiffany and De Beers create versions of the regal headpiece.
Christmastime was also over the top. “Every year there were more reindeers, more snow and more Santas,” McKee said. “His job was the most fun in the company.”
She did emphasize that the new job will pose different challenges for Briggs. Saks is a national chain with flagships and smaller branch stores around the country, whereas Harrods is one giant flagship, with 1 million square feet of space and 72 windows. “It’s wrong to say that we’ll take the formula of the past and bring it here,” McKee said.
Briggs spent 20 years at Harrods as director of store image, setting the strategic brand vision for the company overseeing marketing, communications and visual. Working with McKee and the merchant team, he developed creative campaigns to drive marketing and elevate the store’s image.
Industry sources said Briggs was initially approached by HBC last summer around the time McKee was also contacted.
As one of the most recognizable models in the world, Christy Turlington Burns has an insider’s view of the fashion industry and the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around it. “I can say that harassment and mistreatment have always been widely known and tolerated in the industry. The industry is surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experiences at some point in our careers,” Turlington told WWD, along with her suggestions for how the modeling world should protect younger women and men. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: Tony Palmieri) #wwdnews
@asics America has tapped a new brand ambassador: famed DJ/record producer @steveaoki. This initiative is intended to set the tone for the new brand identity and philosophy and will include partnerships with influencers and in-store and off-line activations that will continue into next year. This is Asics’ most significant marketing effort in two decades, and is expected to attract younger consumers to the brand. #wwdfashion
24-year-old Jean Prounis is redefining the rules of jewelry. Formerly a studio assistant to Jemima Kirke and a design apprentice at Ghuran, she focuses on handcrafted subtleties and ancient goldsmithing techniques. “There was a really sterile feel in the environment and I wanted to have jewelry with character that shapes how you wear it everyday,” Prounis said. Each piece is hand made in New York, either by Prounis or three other jewelers in the district. #wwdfashion
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews
“Stranger Things” is getting a new cast member for season 2. Meet @sadiesink_, the 15-year-old who will be joining the Netflix series for its new season. You may recognize her from “The Glass Castle” with Brie Larson and Woody Harrelson, but the Texas native’s next role goes in an entirely different direction. She describes her character, Max, as “a rough and tumble skater girl [who] becomes friends with the boys at school.” The second season debuts on October 27. (📷: @jgreenery) #wwdeye
Amid the Harvey Weinstein controversy, there’s another sector that’s being put under the spotlight for sexual abuse: the modeling industry. While rumors about abuse and sexual harassment of female and male models — and the photographers, agents and others who perpetrated it — have circulated within the fashion world for years, model @cameronrussell started posting stories from models on Instagram last week about abusive situations they’ve encountered — from sexual harassment and molestation to attempted rape. Over 75 have weighed in so far. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews
To celebrate its 16th anniversary, @dylanscandybar tapped designers and celebrities to create mosaics out of candy. The mosaics will be auctioned off to support the philanthropic cause of each participant’s choice. Pictured here is the mural created by @aliceandolivia's Stacey Bendet. For a first look at some of the other artwork being unveiled tonight, go to WWD.com. #wwdeye
The annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in Pacific Palisades this weekend drew Kate Hudson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Laura Dern and more. See pictures of the star-studded event on WWD.com. (📷: @chelsealaurenla) #wwdeye
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye