MILAN — OTB continues to invest in the U.S. market.
The Italian fashion group has appointed Laura Dubin-Wander as chief executive officer of designer brands for the North America region.
The executive, who succeeds Monica Voltolina, will oversee the Maison Margiela, Marni and Jil Sander brands, together with Staff International, which has exclusive worldwide licensing agreements with a number of international labels, including Dsquared2 and Just Cavalli.
Dubin-Wander will be based in the group’s New York headquarters and spearhead the development of the North American market.
The move signals how OTB views the region a high-potential area for the company and its brands, where six store openings are already planned in the upcoming months.
Dubin-Wander brings to OTB an experience in the fashion industry that spans more than 25 years.
For the past two years, she has been president of Coach, North America, developing the brand’s omnichannel approach, its e-commerce and a customer-centric culture.
From 2016 to 2018, Dubin-Wander was president of Givenchy in New York, after holding the roles of vice president, wholesale at Christian Dior Couture and that of president of the American Eagle Outfitters’ division Martin + Osa.
Before that, she worked at Dana Buchman and Victoria’s Secret Direct.
Ubaldo Minelli, CEO of OTB, praised Dubin-Wander as “a talented executive with great experience in and capacity for innovation in the fashion industry, key factors for the development of our Group in the American market.”
He also emphasized “the strategic relevance of the United States and the importance of investing in the best talents to lead our growth in the region.” Minelli took the opportunity to thank Voltolina, who, over the past 12 years, “managed to lay the foundations for solid growth in a market that will be key for our future.”
In July, OTB founder Renzo Rosso told WWD the U.S. market “continues to be a priority for me. It is the country where I invest the most, with China.”
North America accounts for around 10 percent of group sales and is expected to see a growth rate almost double of that forecast for the rest of OTB globally.
In a three-year business plan, OTB, which also includes the core Diesel brand, Viktor & Rolf and a stake in Amiri, as well as production arms Staff International and Brave Kid, is expected to report annual growth in revenues of 15 percent, with North America forecast to increase 27 percent year-on-year, as reported.
OTB’s retail distribution in the U.S. will be key over the next three years.
In the U.S. next year, Marni and Margiela will both be available on the omnichannel platform supported by Moon, an in-house designed operating model, which also fosters the customer experience.
Rosso is hoping to open a temporary Jil Sander store in New York’s SoHo with a new concept conceived a year and a half ago. By the end of the year, he is set on opening a Jil Sander store in New York.