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.”
Harrods plans to remove the famous statue of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed from the bottom of the Egyptian escalators and hand it back to Mohamed Al-Fayed. “We are very proud to have played our role in celebrating the lives of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed at Harrods and to have welcomed people from around the world to visit the memorial for the past 20 years,” said Michael Ward, Harrods managing director. “With the announcement of the new official memorial statue to Diana, Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace, we feel that the time is right to return this memorial to Mr. Al Fayed and for the public to be invited to pay their respects at the palace.” More on the news, with reporting by @loreleimarfil, at WWD.com. #wwdnews
@prada is introducing a new project at its men’s fall 2018 show this Sunday: “Prada Invites.” The fashion house invited four celebrated creative minds – @ronanaerwanbouroullec, Konstantin Grcic, @herzogdemeuron and @rem.koolhaas – to each create a unique item with its iconic nylon material. The designs will be unveiled on the runway show, which will take place at the company’s warehouse in Viale Ortles 25. #wwdfashion #mfwm (📷: @martinocarrera)
@kering_official is spinning off its stake in puma in an effort to focus on its luxury brands, the brand operator announced yesterday. “We are proud to have supported the turnaround of Puma, which now has unrivaled capabilities to take full advantage of the specific dynamics of its global markets and is poised to achieve substantial growth,” said François-Henri Pinault, Kering’s chief executive officer and chairman. Artémis will become a “long-term strategic shareholder” of Puma with a 29 percent stake. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
The fashion world mourns for celebrated street style photographer, Nabile Quenum, who died at age 32 in Paris.
Quenum, creator of the fashion blog “J’ai Perdu Ma Veste,” was a fashion week fixture, and regularly shot for New York magazine’s The Cut, among other outlets, and brands such as Louis Vuitton, Moncler and Adidas. He was also actively involved in the #NoFreePhotos initiative, which kicked off in the fall. Read more about Quenum in @kbsmoke's story on WWD.com. #wwdnews
@verwanggang and @maisonladuree have teamed up on a dessert collab called Vera Wang Pour Ladurée. The collection, which launched this week, features a specialty macaroon, as well as a wedding cake inspired by one of the designer’s gowns. “I could not imagine a more delicate or sophisticated creation to grace any couple’s celebration,” said Wang. #wwdfashion