Ten of the most influential executive recruitment firms for retail, ranked in descending order based on number of recruiters dedicated to retail placement and poll of decision makers and peers.
Herbert Mines Associates
The only executive search firm exclusively devoted to finding retail and fashion executives for the highest-level positions. Mines has eight partners and seven principals. Mines and Hal Reiter, the company’s president and ceo, are among the most respected in the industry.
Robert Kerson, a managing partner at Korn/Ferry, is the firm’s point person for retail and fashion. He’s spent the last 35 years in the business and competes with Herbert Mines Associates on many top assignments.
Russell Reynolds Associates
Bobbie Lenga-Gutman, who heads the retail practice at Russell Reynolds from Chicago, gets high marks from the industry for running an enviable business in the Windy City.
Heidrick & Struggles Inc.
Heidrick & Struggles is the nation’s second-largest executive search firm. The company, along with Mines, worked to find Mickey Drexler’s successor at Gap when Drexler was forced out last year. Heidrick has also been retained by Chanel, which wants to have a succession plan in place for the eventual retirement of Arie Kopelman, president and chief operating officer.
Spencer Stuart works on the retail, fashion and manufacturing sides of the business. LVMH has been a client, and Spencer Stuart was hired to identify candidates for the reorganized board of Warnaco.
TMP, which owns monster.com, went on a buying spree, acquiring executive search firms several years ago. At one time, the company reportedly had 12 recruiters in its New York retail practice. Now, the practice is run out of Atlanta. TMP placed George Jones as president and ceo of Saks Fifth Avenue.
Egon Zehnder International
Much of the international firm’s business is done overseas. The firm doesn’t conduct as many high-level retail searches as Mines or Korn/Ferry, but it’s name is on the radar screen of industry decision makers.
Frank Spencer, who heads the retail practice at DHR, has strong ties with Disney. His firm has also conducted confidential searches for Gap and placed Mindy Grossman as head of apparel at Nike.
Kirk Palmer Associates
Kirk Palmer runs a boutique shop known for placements in specialty chains. Palmer placed Trudy Sullivan as group president at Liz Claiborne, Lorna Nagler as president of Catherine Stores and Mike Devine as chief financial officer of Coach.
Kenzer Corp. is known for working with discounters and filling mid- to high-level positions for retailers and manufacturers, such as Wal-Mart and St. John Knits.
@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