NEW YORK — From consumer behavior to brand-building, global distribution to fashion trends, the agenda is set for the inaugural Women’s Wear Daily CEO Summit.
The conference, nearly sold out, will be held June 1-4 at The Boulders in Carefree, Ariz. It will bring together 250 senior executives from the retailing, manufacturing and supply channels to explore pivotal issues facing the apparel industry.
“The Summit program is structured to explore issues affecting every single segment of the apparel industry. It is for all vendors and retailers, whether they are creating and selling $2,000 handbags or $20 belts, $500 dresses or $50 sweaters,” said Geri Brin, vice president of publishing for Fairchild Publications, parent of WWD.
The conference will feature panel discussions and keynote addresses by Donna Karan, chairman and chief executive officer of Donna Karan International; Terry Lundgren, chairman and ceo of Federated Merchandising Group; Domenico De Sole, chairman and ceo of Gucci; Robert L. Mettler, president of merchandising at Sears, Roebuck & Co., and Warren Flick, president and chief operating officer of U.S. Kmart stores for Kmart Corp.
Registration takes place Sunday, June 1; an afternoon golf tournament will be followed by cocktails and dinner.
On Monday morning, June 2, a panel discussion on “Making a Consumer Connection” will be moderated by David Cole of Kurt Salmon Associates. Participants will be Elliot Ettenberg of Bozell Worldwide, Diane Combs of Disney Stores Inc., Mackey McDonald of VF Corp., George Porter of Levi Strauss & Co. and Paco Underhill of Envirosell.
A second panel discussion, “Saviors and Builders,” will be moderated by Allison Malkin of Dillon, Read & Co. Participating will be Paul Charron of Liz Claiborne, Sam Forman of County Seat, Larry Hansel of Rampage, R. Brad Martin of Proffitt’s and Mark Schulman of Stage Stores. The evening keynote address will be given by Sears’ Mettler.
On Tuesday, June 3, a morning keynote address by Kmart’s Flick will be followed by three panel discussions. The first, “The Brand Issues and Apparel Image-Makers,” will be moderated by Robin Lewis of WWD. Participants will be Mark Gobe of Desgrippes Gobe, Maurice Marciano of Guess Inc., Nicholas Graham of Joe Boxer Corp., Janet Grove of Federated Merchandising Group, Barger Tygart of J.C. Penney Co. and Hal Upbin of Kellwood Co.
Tuesday’s second panel discussion, “Hot Today, Where Tomorrow?” will be moderated by Bill Green of VF Corp.; panelists will be Max Azria of BCBG Max Azria, George Horowitz of Active Apparel Group Inc., Bud Konheim of Nicole Miller and Robert McKnight of Quiksilver. The day’s third discussion, “The Global Issues,” will be moderated by Harvey Braun of Deloitte & Touche and panelists will be Don Franceschini of Sara Lee Corp., J. Nicholas Hahn of Cotton Incorporated and Carlo Tunioli of Benetton USA Corp.
Gucci’s De Sole will deliver Tuesday’s luncheon keynote and Federated’s Lundgren will present the evening’s keynote.
On Wednesday, June 4, Donna Karan will give the morning keynote, and three panel discussions will follow. The first, “Where Have the Great Merchants Gone?” will be moderated by Herbert Mines and Hal Reiter of Herbert Mines Associates; panelists will be Philip Miller of Saks Fifth Avenue, Burt Tansky of Neiman Marcus and Marvin Traub of Marvin Traub Associates.
The second, “The Trends: From the Fashion Director’s Perspective,” will be moderated by WWD’s Bridget Foley; participants will be Nicole Fischelis of Saks Fifth Avenue, Joan Kaner of Neiman Marcus, Kal Ruttenstein of Bloomingdale’s and David Wolfe of The Doneger Group.
The final discussion, “The Industry Future: A Financial Perspective,” will be moderated by Stephen Powell of Prudential Securities. William Farley of Fruit of the Loom, Arthur C. Wiener of Galey & Lord, Charlotte Fischer of Paul Harris Stores Inc. and John Pickler and Wayne Hood of Prudential Securities will be the panelists.
To register or obtain further information on the CEO Summit, call Geri Brin at (212) 630-3697 or Clarky Garrett at (212) 630-3681.

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