Urban Outfitters has expanded its board after a pension fund investor took issue with its lack of diversity and outsider voices.Sukhinder Singh Cassidy is now the retailer’s 10th board member, joining nine other long-serving members. She is the founder and current chairman of Boardlist, an online marketplace aimed at getting women in more boardrooms of the tech industry.Cassidy until recently oversaw Joyus, a premium online video network that she founded in 2011, and served a brief stint as chief executive officer of Polyvore after executive positions with Google and Amazon.Wall Street seemed in favor of the addition and sent shares of Urban up 8.1 percent to $21.62, a three-month high.While two members of Urban’s board are women, one, Margaret Hayne, is the wife of founder and ceo Richard Hayne. She’s also the chief creative officer of Urban and ceo of Urban’s Free People brand.The other female board member is Elizabeth Ann Lambert, the founder and principal of Bunkhouse Management Group LLC, a hospitality management company.An Urban representative could not be reached for comment on Cassidy’s appointment.Several of the remaining members have close ties to the Haynes, which CtW Investment Group, a Washington, D.C.-based investor that works exclusively with union-sponsored pension funds, took issue with in May.Richard Hayne’s nephew Azeez Hayne serves on the board and is Urban’s general counsel and corporate secretary, as does his son, David Hayne, who is also chief digital officer.But the two members CtW wanted off the board entirely are Robert Strouse and Harry Cherken Jr., two of the retailer’s longest-serving directors.Strouse, president of private equity firm Wind River Holdings LP, has served as a lead director of Urban since 2002, while Cherken, a partner with Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP, has been a director since 1989. The company went public in 1993.Of Cassidy's appointment, a CtW spokeswoman said it's "a first step" to improving Urban's board, but concerns remain."Urban’s decision to merely expand the board also doesn’t address our concerns over highly tenured directors or directors that have received low outside shareholder support that currently remain on the board," the spokeswoman said. "While we’re cautiously optimistic that adding this new nominee is the beginning of moving towards a public company that is truly accountable to outside shareholders, we plan to continue monitoring Urban and its performance in the coming months."Shortly after CtW issued its letter blaming the Urban board’s “insular composition and lack of independence” for the company’s “stagnant revenue growth and a slumping stock price,” Hayne said he’d been evaluating the board for some time and new members were being considered.Hayne also said that this year could see up to two new board members.Urban’s second-quarter performance showed a continued decline in profits and sales, fault for which Hayne admitted rest squarely with the company and its decisions in product and merchandising. For More, See:Activists Investor Eyes L’Oréal, NestléDillard's Facing Activist Pressure Again Over Real EstateTaubman Keeps Activist Land & Buildings Off Board, for Now
In honor the @CFDA’s announcement of @iamnaomicampbell receiving the Fashion Icon Award at the 2018 #CFDAAwards, which will take place on June 4, here’s a #tbt of the supermodel on @michaelkors’ runway in 1991. #wwdfashion #wwdarchive (📷: George Chinsee)
“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 during @sxsw for @createcultivate in partnership with @fossil. 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.