DE LA RENTA, GOULD TO BE HEADLINERS AT CEO SUMMIT

NEW YORK — Oscar de la Renta will headline the 5th annual Fairchild Apparel CEO Summit, where leading executives will present their views on a range of pressing issues facing the fashion industry.
In a climate where takeover fever persists, the economy is souring and companies are coping with meager gains, solutions are often elusive and complex. Against this backdrop, the CEO Summit, hosted by WWD and DNR, will be held June 3-6 at the Four Seasons Resort in Palm Beach, Fla.
For this year’s event, the venue has changed, from the West Coast to the East Coast. Much of the conference will be built around the “the paradox project,” an industry-wide Fairchild initiative designed to tackle a serious challenge: how to innovate and increase productivity with strategies that are risk averse and that drive costs down. This challenge is compounded by restrained consumer spending and a Wall Street that continues to show little mercy to the retail and apparel sector. Panel sessions will address “the paradox” issue.
In addition, Fairchild will disclose the results of proprietary national research on consumer shopping across all retail channels, exploring what irks shoppers and what works for them as well.
In its short history, the Fairchild CEO summit has evolved into an exclusive forum for information gathering and networking with industry executives.
In addition to de la Renta, who has built an international fashion empire by bridging the worlds of couture and licensing, other speakers include Michael Gould, Bloomingdale’s chairm and and ceo, and Paul Charron, ceo of Liz Claiborne.
Gould will discuss the power of the Bloomingdale’s brand, and new retail strategies, while Charron will discuss the reengineered Claiborne business and what lies ahead for one of the world’s most recognized apparel labels.
Other heavyweights in the lineup are Philip Marineau, ceo of Levi Strauss; Mackey J. McDonald chairman, ceo and president of VF Corp., which went on a buying spree last year, acquiring five companies, and Vanessa Castagna, executive vice president of J.C. Penney and president and chief operating officer for stores, catalog and Internet.
Sara Lee ceo Paul Lustig; Marty Staff, president of Hugo Boss USA; Steven McCracken, president of DuPont Lycra, and Hal Upbin, chairman, president and ceo of Kellwood, will also give presentations.
Fairchild will also highlight perspectives from top executives outside the retail-apparel industry, with Kurt Salmon Associates divulging research on the grocery industry and how it has coped with the economy. Also, Don Henshall, president of Krispy Kreme International, will discuss his company’s impressive growth.
Sponsors of the CEO summit include America Online, Fasturn, i2, Kurt Salmon Associates, Escalate, Kirk Palmer Associates and Sensormatic. For additional information, please call 212-630-4779 or visit wwd.com and dnrnews.com.

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