HER OWN TEAM: It’s taken a while, but Sally Singer has at last made her first two big hires at T: The New York Times Style Magazine — and they aren’t from the usual megamagazine ranks. Michelle Kessler-Sanders, most recently senior vice president at Donna Karan, will succeed Anne Christensen as fashion director. Christensen, for those who forgot, thought she had the T editor’s job and rather than wait around to be pushed aside by Singer, decamped to become executive fashion director at Glamour.
Prior to Donna Karan, Kessler-Sanders served as president of Miu Miu USA, vice president and fashion director at Juicy Couture and accessories director at Vogue, where she worked with Singer. And in the normally gushy tones new hires reserve for their bosses, Kessler-Sanders told WWD, “Sally is one of the most talented editors and brilliant minds within our fashion universe, and beyond.”
Singer also tapped Jacob Brown as features director. Brown has been editor at V and VMAN for three-and-a-half years. He succeeds Armand Limnander, who followed former T editor Stefano Tonchi to W, where he is fashion news-features director.
— Amy Wicks
LUXURY’S GLASS CEILING: Imran Amed has taken a spyglass to the h.r. offices of the world’s large and small luxury companies and discovered an overall corporate culture that’s struggling to keep up with the times. “The Talent Agenda: A State-of-the-Industry Report on People and HR Management” will be released today, and is published by Luxury Society, the Paris-based social network site for industry professionals, of which Amed is a co-founder. The findings are based on feedback from top managers including Chantal Gaemperle, group executive vice president of human resources and synergies at LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton; Karen Lombardo, evp of global human resources at Gucci Group, and Thomas Lindemann, group human resources director at Richemont, and is free to Luxury Society members. The site has 12,000 members in 150 countries. Amed polled the members from May through the beginning of July and said he got “about 600 responses” within the first few hours.
He said among the most interesting findings was luxury’s failure to work the Web when it comes to recruitment. About 60 percent of respondents said they turn to social media sites when seeking a new job, yet most luxury companies don’t advertise jobs on their sites or use social media to find candidates.
The report also says luxury companies are “struggling to find the digital talent they need, and are missing opportunities to nurture digital expertise across the organization.”
Another revelation is that while women make up a healthy percentage of the luxury workforce, they are underrepresented at high levels of leadership. According to the report, Gucci Group, Richemont, L’Oréal and LVMH all have a workforce comprised of more than 55 percent women. However, the percentage of women in board seats ranges from 7 to 29 percent.
“We are still facing the same historic issues as other major corporations,” said Gaemperle of LVMH. “Statistics show that the glass ceiling still exists.”
— Samantha Conti