From international e-commerce firms and luxury powerhouses to popular American start-ups and trend-setters in the red-hot streetwear arena, the WWD Men’s Wear Summit will take on a wide variety of issues impacting the men’s wear industry today.
The all-day event will take place on March 27 at The New School’s Parsons School of Design at 66 Fifth Avenue in New York. It will provide a thought-provoking agenda as well as a networking opportunity for executives in fashion, retail and e-commerce.
Among those committed to speak are Chad Kessler, global brand president of American Eagle Outfitters. Kessler, who also oversees the company’s Todd Snyder brand, will take on the issue of creating new brand experiences at retail to drive customer engagement.
In his 18 years with Adidas, Nic Galway, vice president of global design for Adidas Originals & Style, has been responsible for creating some of the brand’s highest-profile collaborations, including those with Stella McCartney, Y-3 with Yohji Yamamoto and, most recently, Kanye West.
Fokke de Jong, founder and chief executive officer of Suitsupply, has not shied away from controversy since starting the Amsterdam-based men’s tailored clothing retail firm in 2000. Most recently, the company’s ads featuring a same-sex couple resulted in an international firestorm of those supporting the company or criticizing it. Today, Suitsupply has more than 90 stores around the world, with 32 of them in North America, a market it entered in 2011. It focuses on selling modern, affordable men’s suits and furnishings and launched a women’s division, Suistudio, last year.
Taking on the luxury end of the business will be Alessandro Sartori, the artistic director of Ermenegildo Zegna Group who is charged with overseeing all Zegna lines globally as well as the design of the stores and the company’s marketing.
Designer Heron Preston, meanwhile, has successfully bridged the gap between art and fashion having collaborated with everyone from Nike and Off-White designer Virgil Abloh to West where he served as a creative consultant on the Life of Pablo and Yeezy fashion collections.
Speakers from other high-end European firms include Carlo Rivetti, creative director and chairman of Sportswear Company SpA, who will discuss the growth of its wholly owned men’s brand Stone Island, and Andrea Cane, creative director of Woolrich International, who will address the repositioning of one of America’s most venerable brands under the ownership of Italy’s WP Lavori and Tokyo’s Goldwin Inc.
Wearing a shirt untucked doesn’t seem like such a novel idea, but Aaron Sanandres, ceo of Untuckit, has managed to create a successful online and now brick-and-mortar experience around the concept. Last year, it attracted a $30 million investment from California venture capitalist firm, Kleiner Perkins to fund its growth and the company plans to add 15 units to its current store count of 18 while expanding its fledgling women’s collection and launching children’s wear.
Other executives who are thinking outside the box include Mat Vlasic, ceo of Bravado, the merchandising division of Universal Music Group that provides branding services to recording artists and entertainment companies, and Jeffery Fowler, who oversees the North American arm of hot luxury platform Farfetch, which in the last few months has signed deals with Chanel, Burberry and Harvey Nichols.
Other presenters will include Greg Petro, ceo of First Insight, Jack Riker, senior director of client partnership of BounceX and Anthony Milano of Boardriders Inc.