NEW YORK — Tommy Hilfiger stepped down Tuesday as chairman of the firm that bears his name, passing the reins to Joel Horowitz, who currently is the outgoing chief executive and president.
Hilfiger will resume his longtime role as honorary chairman and principal designer. Horowitz, in a statement, said the search for his successor as ceo would continue. A spokeswoman said he is expected to continue as chairman once a new ceo is found.
Neither Hilfiger nor Horowitz was available for comment, but the appointment of Horowitz comes as somewhat of a surprise. In announcing his plans to leave as president and ceo, Horowitz had indicated his desire to wind down his day-to-day involvement in the business while remaining a director.
After assuming the position of chairman in October, Hilfiger undertook an analysis of long-term strategic and management issues facing the firm. "As part of that process, we considered the most effective way to continue the successful long-term partnership between Joel Horowitz and myself," said the designer in the statement. "I came to realize the company would be better served by each of us focusing on the work that best plays to our strengths and passions."
For Hilfiger, that means focusing on the creative aspects of the business such as design and marketing, while Horowitz zeroes in on governance and strategic planning.
And Horowitz got right down to it.
"The apparel industry is facing many challenges but we have the building blocks to move ahead with a strong global brand, an excellent cash position and numerous opportunities to extend our reach worldwide," noted Horowitz.
The newly minted chairman laid out three priorities. The first two include continuing efforts to improve operations and pay down debt. Thirdly, Horowitz noted, "We will continue to seek opportunities to further diversify our revenue and earnings base. We will move thoughtfully, but with appropriate speed."
Last month, the firm laid out plans to start selling Tommy Hilfiger products in South Korea and Australia, through licensing agreements.
The corner-office shift marks the close of another chapter in what has been a period of significant change for the firm. First, Lawrence Stroll resigned as Hilfiger’s co-chairman in July, leaving Silas Chou at the helm. Then Hilfiger stepped up to replace Chou, who removed himself from consideration for reelection as chairman at the company’s annual meeting.Stroll and Chou, through their company Sportswear Holdings Ltd., struck deals to acquire a controlling stake of Michael Kors LLC from three of its minority partners. The duo also own the British luxury brands Asprey & Garrard.
Also, the Hilfiger company said that David Tang was appointed as an independent director at a board meeting Monday. He replaces Simon Murray, who resigned. Tang is the founder of several businesses, including Shanghai Tang stores, and will serve as a member of the board’s audit and compensation committees.
The firm also affirmed its commitment to having a majority of independent directors in the near future.
Tommy Hilfiger reports its third-quarter fiscal results today.
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