NEW YORK — Golf is off the program, and the mood is more serious.
The WWD/DNR Apparel CEO Summit is being reengineered with a streamlined format, a power lineup of industry leaders and a fresh platform to provide real solutions to managing business in a fast-changing world filled with uncertainty.
In addition, the venue has shifted to reflect the tenor of the times. Moving from the idyllic desert or ocean-front settings of the past five summits, this year’s industry conclave will be held Nov. 6 to 8 in the heart of financial America at The Ritz-Carlton in lower Manhattan’s Battery Park.
Compared with other industry gatherings, the WWD/DNR summit is always intimate. This year, it will again be limited to a crowd totalling about 225, and stacked with 150 industry captains among Wall Street analysts, journalists and fashion insiders. Only chairmen, chief executive officers, presidents and general managers have been invited, portending provocative discussions and unusual access to world-class business leaders.
In a noticeable departure from past summits, there will be many different faces and presentations by executives and entrepreneurs from outside the world of fashion and retail to help identify best practices, core values and the universal rules that can apply to all business operations, large or small, fashion oriented or not. By its very nature, the conference will underscore globalization, and the interconnectivity between media, fashion, retailing and entertainment.
This year’s summit theme is "Fashion’s New Rules: Who’s Making Them, Who’s Breaking Them," and among the hot topics on the agenda: underserved and overserved markets; finding talent; department stores; selling luxury in a down market, and whether fashion companies are sound investments.Ralph Lauren, chairman and ceo of Polo Ralph Lauren, the always-outspoken designer and marketer, will kick off a high-profile lineup of keynoters.
Domenico De Sole, president and ceo of Gucci Group, who has revitalized the brand for sustained growth and status, will address the challenges of the luxury market.
New perspectives will be provided by industry outsiders:
l Meg Whitman, president and ceo of eBay Inc., who has kept eBay riding high amid the dot-bomb scenario and predicts a big future for apparel online.l Tom Freston, chairman and chief executive of MTV Networks, who has demonstrated an uncanny knack for keeping current with the youth market and catering to all its fickleness, with a portfolio of cable channels including MTV, Nickelodeon, VH1, Nick at Night and TV Land.
l Kip Tindell, president and ceo of The Container Store, whose midsized but rapidly growing chain has a corporate culture of fierce employee loyalty and exemplary customer service.
Among those coming from overseas and prepared to illuminate their breakthrough strategies will be:
l William Fung, managing director of Li & Fung Ltd., which has created a global sourcing network supplying top retailers and brands.
l Vittorio Radice, ceo of Selfridges, which has a brand-driven presentation that’s theatrical, not predictable — and devoid of private label.
l Andy Bond, managing director of George Clothing at ASDA Group Ltd., the U.K.-based Wal-Mart subsidiary. George, at $1.5 billion in revenues currently, could ultimately become the world’s largest apparel line, considering Wal-Mart’s massive global distribution network.
From U.S. companies, keynoters will be:
l R. Brad Martin, chairman and ceo of Saks Inc., the politician-turned-retail empire builder and defender of the department store format.
l Peter Boneparth, president and ceo of Jones Apparel Group, who made impressive career switches from corporate lawyer to investment banker to clothing executive.
l Lew Frankfort, chairman and ceo of Coach Inc., who has catapulted the line into one of the hottest high-end accessories brand without the status handle of a designer name.
To stimulate conversation, the audience will be encouraged to ask questions after each presentation, and there will be three sessions: one with top Wall Street analysts and researchers; another on must-have retail and manufacturing technologies, and a third on retailers that seized a niche to engage the fashion consumer. Special presentations will be made by futurist Edith Weiner and Marshal Cohen, co-president of NPDFashionworld, who will unveil the latest proprietary research on consumer trends.
While this year’s summit is all about getting down to serious business and finding new solutions, it won’t be without its lighter moments and networking opportunities. Between the meals and speeches, there will be a wine tasting with Kevin Zraly, founder of the Windows on the World Wine School (which was in the World Trade Center), a cocktail reception on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange and plenty of breaks. There’s also a spouse program, providing tickets for "Hairspray," the hot Broadway musical; a yoga class; manicures; pedicures; a shopping tour in NoLIta; a visit to Fred Leighton, the jewelry store that sells to the stars, and a private tour with a curator of the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.The conference is being sponsored by Kurt Salmon Associates, QRS, Kirk Palmer & Associates and JPMorgan.
EXCLUSIVE: @tomford is opening its first-ever beauty store. The boutique, which opens November 20 in London’s Covent Gardens, was designed with the over-the-top glam Ford is known for. Read the full story on WWD.com, link in bio. #wwdbeauty #wwdnews (📷: Simon Wagner) #TomFordBeauty
New York-based DJ @harleyvnewton threw a party to celebrate the holiday collection of her dress and pajama line @hvn at the Ladurée Beverly Hills. It Girls @katebosworth, @rashidajones and more joined in on the fun, which included cocktails, croque monsieur sandwiches and a photo booth. #wwdfashion (📷: Owen Kolasinski/BFA.com)
For the holidays, @Burberry partnered with 20-year-old artist @blondeymccoy on a series of three outdoor murals in downtown Manhattan. The murals are McCoy’s interpretation of a Christmas eve party, the idea of charity and the spirit of family. His third mural, pictured here, is the most personal. The image depicts McCoy’s grandparents and father in London’s Trafalgar Square in the Seventies. “My work often features lots of sentimental objects.” #wwdeye
For spring 2018, designers applied bold colors and cartoonish motifs on everything from sneakers and belts to key chains. See all the top men’s accessories trends on WWD.com. #wwdtrends (📷: George Chinsee; Prop Styling by @rnasti; Market Editor: @luiscampuzano)
The @dior-sponsored @guggenheim international gala pre-party has a history of drawing cool-girl musical acts to serenade the crowd –– and last night was no exception. @haimtheband performed songs both new and old, and lured a star-studded audience with the likes of Rebecca Hall, Kate Mara, Mamoudou Athie and more. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)
In a partnership between the @metopera and the @englishnationalopera, “Marnie” was born. The opera, with costumes sponsored by @mrporterlive, is an adaptation of the 1961 thriller by Winston Graham. Arianne Phillips, who created the costumes, is no rookie: She’s styled Madonna for her tours and created costumes for a myriad of films in the past. Read WWD’s interview with Phillips, where she talks about her inspiration for the opera’s costumes on WWD.com #wwdfashion
@barneysnyc took a different approach to their holiday windows this year. Instead of Christmas decor, Barneys tapped @thehaasbrothers to tell a story of positivity, gratitude and inclusivity via heartwarming silliness and humor. “It’s about kids and it’s about coming together and being family and loving each other,” said Simon Haas. #wwdfashion (📷: @joshuascottphoto)
Beauty influencer @kandeejohnson makes her foray into hair care with a collaboration with @ogx_beauty — making it the first time that OGX has teamed up for a product creation. The collab includes shampoos and conditioners in three scents. At 39 and a mom, Johnson is a different profile than the emerging social media stars, but is considered one of the pioneers of the digital beauty influencer world. Read WWD’s interview with her on wwd.com, including the strangest beauty product she’s ever tried #wwdbeauty