When the world’s top fashion executives gather in person next month for the WWD Apparel and Retail CEO Summit, they’ll not only compare notes on how to manage the unruly market, but stop to celebrate their own in a time of ceaseless change.
The summit — entitled “An Era of Agility: The Path Ahead” — will be held Oct. 25 and 26 at Cipriani South Street in New York City and will feature the WWD Honors awards on the first night, recognizing companies and individuals who have stepped up, embraced change and come out ahead.
“In a year of unpredictability across not only our industry and the world at large, it is our great honor to celebrate the brands who have risen to the occasion and performed at exceptional levels,” said James Fallon, WWD editorial director. “The distinguished creative and business leaders being recognized at this year’s event truly define the impact of agility in overcoming obstacles to stay on top and will be the ones to watch as we navigate the path forward.”
Topping the bill at the Honors ceremony is Tommy Hilfiger who will receive the John B. Fairchild Honor recognizing a career of influence and distinction, as previously revealed.
Hilfiger came from humble beginnings to build what has become a $9.3 billion global retail business, successfully keeping his brand current by capitalizing on celebrities, music and entertainment.
That kind of agility — which Hilfiger has proven to have in spades — is a common thread among the movers and shakers who will also be taking home honors at the ceremony this year.
Jonathan Anderson will receive the WWD Honor for Women’s Wear Designer of the Year, marking his work at Loewe, where he has been pushing the Spanish house to be more arty, experimental and playful.
Alessandro Sartori will receive the WWD Honor for Men’s Wear Designer of the Year recognizing his work as artistic director of Zegna, where his spring collection pointed to a new path for the brand. “The suit now becomes a combination of separates,” he said.
Michael Burke, chairman and chief executive officer at Louis Vuitton, will receive the Honor for Creative Leadership. Burke has steered Louis Vuitton since 2012 and, most recently, managed to lead the powerhouse luxury brand from strength to strength through pandemic, war, inflation, the threat of recession and more.
And Burberry landed the Corporate Citizenship Honor, acknowledging the brand’s efforts to push the environmental, social and governance boundaries — in a good way. The brand’s operations are carbon neutral globally and 84 percent of its products have at least three social or environmental benefits.
WWD will also recognize top performing firms in fashion, retail and beauty with Honors by category. The winners are:
• Hermès, Best-Performing Fashion Company, Large-Cap
• Jacquemus, Best-Performing Fashion Company, Small-Cap
• Macy’s Inc., Best-Performing Retailer, Large-Cap
• Jenni Kayne, Best-Performing Retailer, Small-Cap
• Ulta Beauty Inc., Best-Performing Beauty Company, Large-Cap
• Amyris, Best-Performing Beauty Company, Small-Cap
“This year’s list of honorees is exceptional not only in their performance in the market, but for leading through an unprecedented time of change. We are all in a moment of learning and growing as leaders and we are thrilled to be honoring the best of the best at this year’s event,” said Fairchild Media Group president Amanda Smith.
And just how far and how fast fashion has come will become even more clear at the Summit, where executives from across the industry weigh in on all that change.
The speaking lineup includes Louis Vuitton’s Burke, Roblox’s head of fashion and beauty partnerships Winnie Bure, Kohl’s Corp.’s CEO Michelle Gass, model and entrepreneur Karlie Kloss and many more.
Collectively, they will go deep on the burning topics of the moment, from sustainability and managing through crisis, to creativity, technology and just how the next generation is going to handle it all.