Barbara Cook will join Hudson Jeans on Friday in the new post of president as the premium jeanswear company sets its sights on the $100 million volume mark in its 11th year in business.
Cook, a veteran of Gap Inc. and Starbucks, who resigned earlier this month as senior vice president of store operations for The Wet Seal Inc., will report to Peter Kim, founder and chief executive officer of the Commerce, Calif.-based company, and oversee all of the company’s day-to-day operations.
Despite Cook’s extensive résumé in retailing, Kim told WWD that her appointment doesn’t presage an immediate move into retail by the company.
“We’ve been thinking about retail for a long time, but I wouldn’t say it’s our top priority right now,” he commented. “We’ve had tremendous growth in a number of areas — men’s, international and e-commerce among them — but there’s still a lot of room for expansion and we need a great operator like Barbara, who can help us make sure that the nuts and bolts of our infrastructure are where they need to be.”
He noted that men’s, currently about 15 percent of sales, could “easily be 20 to 30 percent on top of a growing women’s business.” On the international front, Hudson has a presence in 40 countries, including much of southern and western Europe as well as China and South Korea, “and many of these are new territories — as in within the past six months — where Barbara can be an enormous help.” E-commerce is two years old and growing rapidly, he said, “but still a small part of the business dollar and percentagewise.”
Before joining Wet Seal in 2011, Cook spent six years at Gap Inc., most recently as senior vice president of stores and operations for the Gap unit and earlier as managing director in Europe. She was personally involved in the relaunch of Gap 1969 Jeans.
Earlier in her career, she served as managing director of T-Mobile’s retail division in the U.K. and as regional general manager of Starbucks in the British market, where she was involved in the company’s rollout in the U.K.
Kim said that Cook’s addition will allow him more time to establish the company’s strategic direction and vision for the future and focus on branding and messaging.
Kim said that Hudson, which counts about 700 specialty stores on its client roster, reached about $90 million in sales last year and expects to net more than $100 million in the new year. After testing the waters for possible investors beginning in 2011, the company has moved forward with stakes held by Fireman Capital Partners and Webster Capital. “We hired a banker to explore our options and are now proceeding with the same ownership structure,” he said. “Our investors aren’t just trying to maximize EBITDA, as important as that may be, but actively working to invest in the business where our expansion requires it.”
@tradesy is turning the concept of a showroom upside down with its new space in Santa Monica. Here, the company plans to hold events, art exhibits and a showcase rare fashion pieces like this Louis Vuitton boxing set. Get all the details on Tradesy’s first showroom on WWD.com. #wwdnews
Spotted last night at the @erdem x @hm launch event: Kate Bosworth, Rashida Jones, Kirsten Dunst and Selma Blair. The party, which took place in LA, also marked the opening of their pop-up shop. “I was interested in creating a collection that wasn’t in any way disposable. It was about pieces you’d create and keep forever, things that have a permanence to it,” designer Erdem Moralioglu said. #wwdeye (📷: Katie Jones)
Renee Zellweger in yellow in 2001 and again in 2017. Chosen as one of the 12 @pantone Leading Spring Colors (and dubbed “Meadowlark”), it only makes sense that the bright hue stands the test of time and is making a resurgence this season, seen already on stars like @blakelively and @gigihadid. (📷: Donato Sardello & @rexfeatures) #wwdfashion #tbt
Dior’s 70th anniversary celebration continues with a new exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. “Christian Dior,” which is scheduled to run through March 18, takes a look at the founders tenure from 1947 to 1057 and feature 40 designs. Pictured here is an evening gown from the Ailée, fall 1948-49 haute couture collection. #wwdfashion (📷: Brian Boyle)
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