NEW YORK — There was a quiet shake up at the top of Rag & Bone this summer, with Marcus Wainwright and David Neville stepping in as co-chief executive officers, taking the reins from former ceo Michael Tucci.
Wainwright and Neville had been managing partners and are the creative forces behind the 13-year-old brand, which has expanded from men’s into women’s, accessories and retail.
Tucci joined Rag & Bone as managing partner in late 2013. He reported to Wainwright and Neville and brought with him more than two decades of merchandising and operations experience, having served for part of that time as group president of North America for Coach.
His title later shifted to ceo and under him a team started to develop.
This year, Rag & Bone brought on Helen Costello as managing director of International; Tim Briggs as vice president for Merchandising, and Johanna Murphy as global chief marketing officer. Murphy joined from Ivanka Trump in June and reported directly to Tucci, who then changed roles the following month.
A spokeswoman for the brand said Tucci chose to make the switch and “continues to play a significant role at Rag & Bone in his capacity as a board member.” She also noted that chief financial officer Chris Vieth was named chief operating officer when Wainwright and Neville became co-ceos.
Rag & Bone is one of the most closely watched names in fashion and generally seen as having a real business that could project the brand around the globe.
Last month at the WWD CEO Summit, the co-ceos were asked how they could build a Ralph Lauren-sized business without losing their cool factor.
Wainwright said: “It’s difficult. Our focus is on building the company. You have to focus on making the clothes that we sell. You have to be clear about your brand, speaking to people on lots of different levels. We’ve been very driven and work really hard, we’ve had a lot of luck, a lot of amazing advice and we definitely do feel like we have the opportunity to become one of the big American or one of the next big global brands. How we do that, we’re constantly figuring out. The way we communicate is probably most important. Then having fun and staying true to who you are and keeping at the back of your mind, always connecting with the consumer somehow. You’ve got to be creating that desire and asking, why do people buy clothes? They’re just being bombarded and there’s going to come a point where these guys are supporting one brand and it has a massive effect. What if they’re supporting 40 brands? Does it have the same effect? Our job as designers is to think about what is next — not next year, in the next decade. We have to start thinking, are we still a fashion company in the true sense of the word? Or do we start thinking immediately, start thinking like a tech company?”