Sandra Campos has been named chief executive officer of Diane von Furstenberg.
Most recently, Campos was copresident of women’s apparel at Global Brands Group, overseeing lines including Juicy Couture, Bebe, BCBG, Herve Leger and Tretorn. While at GBG, she worked closely with Nathan Jenden, who recently rejoined DVF as chief design offer and vice president, creative. Prior to his return in January, Jenden worked for GBG as the creative director for Bebe, while also supporting other brands in the portfolio including Hervé Leger and Juicy Couture.
As reported, GBG said Tuesday that Olin Lancaster was named group president, men’s and women’s apparel, including leadership of the Bebe, BCBG and Juicy Couture brands, and that Campos was leaving the company to pursue other opportunities.
Prior to joining GBG, Campos managed Cynosure Brands Holdings LLC, a global brand management and licensing company she cofounded which focused on developing celebrity lifestyle brands, including Dream Out Loud by Selena Gomez. Earlier posts included president of O Oscar, an Oscar de la Renta division of Kellwood Co. and senior vice president of Lauren Ralph Lauren.
“When I met Sandra I was immediately impressed by her knowledge and passion for the business, her expertise in digital and her understanding of what DVF stands for. I am very excited that she has accepted to lead the company in this disruptive and exciting moment in the industry,” said Diane von Furstenberg.
“I am humbled to have been given the opportunity to shape an iconic brand built by an iconic female leader,” said Campos, who began Wednesday. “I am excited to join the team at DVF and to work alongside Diane and Nathan as we position this global brand for a new generation of consumers.
“As the business continues to evolve, we are going to put our consumer first and focus on delivering unique, high-quality product that not only fits her everyday lifestyle needs but also seeks to empower her. The DVF brand transcends generational lines, and we plan on expanding our community of women #InCharge through digital and socially connected experiences across all consumer touch points. We are giving her a voice in our DVF world,” Campos said.
Jenden succeeded Jonathan Saunders, who left last December, and presented his first collection in February for fall 2018.
“Sandra is a woman I have grown to respect and admire in our time working together,” Jenden said. “I strongly believe that she has a vision that complements my own for the future of DVF. I am very much looking forward to working with her on developing and shaping the brand for today’s consumer and for the next generation.”
Campos, who will report directly to von Furstenberg and the DVF board, succeeds Paolo Riva, who left the company in November 2016.
Von Furstenberg said what was key for her was the business relationship that Campos had already established with Jenden at GBG. Von Furstenberg said Jenden had wanted to return to DVF — where he had brought the brand from $2 million to $250 million in sales during his first tenure — but it was hard for him because he was leaving the woman [Campos] he had worked for for the past year. “He said he had never learned so much from anyone, that she’s such an amazing merchant and businesswoman and taught him everything and digital, and he said I should meet her,” von Furstenberg said.
“So I met her, and that was it. She’s the right person. The main thing is that she has such a great relationship with him, and she understands his incredible value as I do. And I really think they could be a Christopher Bailey-Angela Ahrendts team. That’s the goal,” von Furstenberg continued.
Von Furstenberg said Campos’ first priority will be to go back on brand.
“The last three months I’ve been working for the first time ever in 40 years on a business plan. We’re talking to potentially having an investor so that has forced me to put a business plan together and to line up all the assets and all the goals. And now with all this digital disruption, I get more and more excited, so at the end I probably won’t want investors,” she said.
Asked if she’s close to selling a stake in the business, von Furstenberg said, “I’m not even there. I’ve not even started. I will have the most compelling and exciting deck ever when I’m ready to show it. Right now I’m working on it. I’m not talking, I’m not looking. I’m just getting the act together so it’s really compelling. So if I need them, then we’ll have a plan.” She said Michel Dyens of Michel Dyens & Co., a leading independent banking firm headquartered in New York and Paris, will represent her, as reported.
Von Furstenberg said she didn’t interview anyone else for the job. “I was looking, but I wasn’t looking. There was no headhunter. This came because of Nathan. I know I’ve said to you many times, that this is the right person, but this is it.”