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Wolford creative director Grit Seymore resigns

The Austrian hosiery manufacturer Wolford has announced the departure of its creative director Grit Seymore, says a Fashion Network report. The development follows after the company revised its medium-term strategic planning and announced a sustainable financing structure with a focus on improving cost structures to make the company profitable again.

The report added that Seymore was appointed to the newly created position in October 2014 in a bid to reposition the brand for future development. She was handed over the responsibility of designing collections under Wolford while advising on developing the brand identity. The company launched her first collection for spring 2016.

Before taking up the new assignment at Wolford, Seymore was associated as a designer at international brands including Donna Karan and Max Mara. She also worked as an artistic director of Daniel Hechter in the late 1990s and then designed womenswear collections for Hugo Boss other than consulting for various labels as well as designing her own fashion line, Tape.

For the nine-months ending January 2017, the company generated revenue of 119.05 million euros (133 million dollars), a year-on-year decline of 7.5 percent. The company said, revenue drop equalled 6.2 percent when adjusted for currency effects, in particular the decrease in value of the British pound. Wolford attributed the decline in revenue to the weak first half-year, which was characterized by a difficult market environment as well as internal problems relating to demand and sales planning. The company added that it was not able to compensate for the revenue shortfall in the third quarter despite the 4 percent third-quarter year-on-year revenue increase driven by delayed delivery dates, a stable Christmas business and a slight upward revenue trend in January 2017.

Picture:Wolford website

Miranda Curtis to step down from the M&S board

Marks and Spencer Group (M&S) has announced in a statement that following her appointment as Lead Non-Executive Director of The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) in April 2017, Miranda Curtis will step down from the board at the end of her second three-year term on February 1, 2018.

Commenting on her departure from the company, Robert Swannell, Chairman of M&S said in the statement, "We are delighted that Miranda will be with us until the end of her second term in February 2018. I would like to take this opportunity to thank her for her significant contributions to the M&S Board and its committees over the last six years. We wish her well in her new role at the FCO."

The company said that since her appointment in February 2012, Curtis has served on the remuneration, audit and nomination committees.

"I have thoroughly enjoyed being part of this fantastic business and to have played a part in shaping this brand for its future," added Curtis.

Picture:M&S website

British property development and investment company Hammerson has appointed Maxime Depreux to the newly created post of chief operating officer of Premium Outlets, with responsibility for the group’s European outlets portfolio, which includes Bicester Village.

Depreux will report into Hammerson’s chief financial officer and managing director of Premium Outlets, Timon Drakesmith, and will set about enhancing the group’s current portfolio as well as driving further growth, said the group.

The Premium Outlets division was set up in 2014 and through its associated companies VIA Outlets and Value Retail, Hammerson now operates a portfolio of 19 outlet villages across Europe. In 2016, Hammerson strengthened its investments in Value Retail and VIA, increasing its stake in Value Retail to over 40 percent of net assets.

Drakesmith, said: “2016 marked a pivotal year in the evolution of our outlet business, as we increased our stake in Value Retail and achieved critical scale in the European outlets market through VIA.

“Now is the right time to bolster our management resources, and I am delighted that Maxime will be taking on the newly created role of COO – Premium Outlets. Maxime has been a central part of the outlets portfolio for a number of years and will work closely with the Value Retail and VIA Outlets teams to continue to enhance the portfolio and drive further growth.”

The appointment coincided with the opening of a 74,000 square foot extension at the Batavia Stad Fashion Outlet in The Netherlands. The extension consists of 40 new stores, widening the brand portfolio to include G-Star, Marlies Dekkers, Samsonite and Watch Station. In addition, as part of the extension project, other labels including Tommy Hilfiger, Guess and Lindt have upsized into larger store concepts.

Hammerson’s other premium outlets includes Kildare Village in Ireland, Freeport Lisbon Fashion Outlet in Portugal, Hede Fashion Outlet in Sweden, as well as outlets in Italy, the Czech Republic, Germany, France, Spain, Switzerland, and Belgium.

Moss Bros’s audit committee chairman to retire after next AGM

Moss Bros Group has announced that as part of its board succession planning, Bryan Portman, chairman of the audit committee since 2011, intends to retire from the board following the company’s AGM on May 18, 2018.

Commenting on the development, Debbie Hewitt, the board Chairman said in a statement, “On behalf of the whole board, I would like to thank Bryan for the outstanding contribution that he has made, and continues to make to Moss Bros. We are appreciative of his support in ensuring that the execution of our Board succession planning is done in a well-orchestrated manner, giving us plenty of time to secure and induct his successor.”

Picture:Facebook/Moss Bros

Ralph Lauren names Patrice Louvet, its new CEO

Ralph Lauren Corporation has appointed Patrice Louvet as President and Chief Executive Officer effective July 17, 2017, at which time, he will also be appointed to the Ralph Lauren Corporation Board of Directors. Louvet will dual report to Ralph Lauren in his capacity as Executive Chairman of the Board and to the company’s Board of Directors.

“Finding the right partner to work with me to take us forward in our evolution has been my primary focus over the last several months and I am thrilled that Patrice is joining our talented team. He’s an enormously skilled business leader with a deep passion for the consumer and a sophisticated understanding of building global brands,” said Ralph Lauren, Executive Chairman and Chief Creative Officer in a company announcement.

Patrice Louvet appointed CEO of Ralph Lauren

Louvet most recently served as group president, global beauty at Procter & Gamble (P&G), a division of 12 brands with approximately 11.5 billion dollars in revenues in 2016.

Commenting on taking on the new role at Ralph Lauren, Louvet added in the statement, “Ralph is one of the world's greatest fashion icons and someone I have admired for many years, and it's an incredible opportunity to partner with him to continue to build on 50 years of heritage and innovation. The brand holds tremendous potential around the world and I could not be more excited to lead the next phase of development for this great company with Ralph and the team.”

The company added that, Louvet is a brand expert with more than 25 years of experience at P&G. Over the course of his career he has overseen several different multi-billion dollar, category-leading brands and has held numerous management and leadership roles in Europe, Asia and North America. Prior to his current role at P&G, which he has served in since February 2015, Louvet was group president, global grooming (Gillette). He also previously served as president of P&G’s global prestige business where he oversaw a diverse portfolio of 23 fashion brands, including Gucci and Hugo Boss.

He currently serves on the board of directors of Bacardi Limited, which he joined in July 2012. Additionally, he served in the French Navy from 1987-1989 as Naval Officer, Admiral Aide de Camp.

Picture:Ralph Lauren website

Ralph Lauren names Patrice Louvet, its new CEO

Ralph Lauren Corporation has appointed Patrice Louvet as President and Chief Executive Officer effective July 17, 2017, at which time, he will also be appointed to the Ralph Lauren Corporation Board of Directors. Louvet will dual report to Ralph Lauren in his capacity as Executive Chairman of the Board and to the company’s Board of Directors.

“Finding the right partner to work with me to take us forward in our evolution has been my primary focus over the last several months and I am thrilled that Patrice is joining our talented team. He’s an enormously skilled business leader with a deep passion for the consumer and a sophisticated understanding of building global brands,” said Ralph Lauren, Executive Chairman and Chief Creative Officer in a company announcement.

Patrice Louvet appointed CEO of Ralph Lauren

Louvet most recently served as group president, global beauty at Procter & Gamble (P&G), a division of 12 brands with approximately 11.5 billion dollars in revenues in 2016.

Commenting on taking on the new role at Ralph Lauren, Louvet added in the statement, “Ralph is one of the world's greatest fashion icons and someone I have admired for many years, and it's an incredible opportunity to partner with him to continue to build on 50 years of heritage and innovation. The brand holds tremendous potential around the world and I could not be more excited to lead the next phase of development for this great company with Ralph and the team.”

The company added that, Louvet is a brand expert with more than 25 years of experience at P&G. Over the course of his career he has overseen several different multi-billion dollar, category-leading brands and has held numerous management and leadership roles in Europe, Asia and North America. Prior to his current role at P&G, which he has served in since February 2015, Louvet was group president, global grooming (Gillette). He also previously served as president of P&G’s global prestige business where he oversaw a diverse portfolio of 23 fashion brands, including Gucci and Hugo Boss.

He currently serves on the board of directors of Bacardi Limited, which he joined in July 2012. Additionally, he served in the French Navy from 1987-1989 as Naval Officer, Admiral Aide de Camp.

Picture:Ralph Lauren website

IC Group appoints Alexander Martensen-Larsen as the new CEO

IC Group has said that Alexander Martensen-Larsen has been appointed new CEO of IC Group with effect from June 1, 2017. Since January 2008, he has held various management positions as well as directorships within the group, most recently as group CFO since September 2015.

As informed in company announcement on February 2, 2017, the Board of Directors initiated structural changes of IC Group to explore potential of the three core brands. As a result, the company said, Peter Thorsen will step down as interim group CEO of IC Group and will take up the role as Deputy Chairman of the Board of Directors where he together with Henrik Heideby will form the chairmanship in preparation for taking over the role as Chairman and Henrik Heideby as Deputy Chairman at the next general meeting.

As part of the new management structure, the company said, the CEOs of each of the three premium brands; Peak Performance, Tiger of Sweden and By Malene Birger will be responsible for the financial performance and development of their respective business units whereas the CEO of IC Group will be responsible for ensuring maximum value creation for the group as a whole and they will all report directly to the Board of Directors.

In addition, the company said that the board considers all three brands to hold considerable potential for international expansion even though the readiness of each of the three brands is at different stages.

Picture:Facebook/Tiger of Sweden

C&A Europe CEO Philippe Brenninkmeijer resigns

Chief executive of Dutch clothing company C&A Europe Philippe Brenninkmeijer has put in his papers to explore a new role at Cofra Holding, says a Modaes.es report. For now, Edward Brenninkmeijer, CEO of C&A, Brazil, Mexico and China, will shoulder the additional responsibility as non-executive chairman of C&A Europe, till the company finds a replacement.

The report added quoting the company statement that since 2015, Philippe Brenninkmeijer has led the C&A Europe on a transformation journey, with a focus on improving its competitiveness in Europe and creating an all-round retail model. Investing in stronger and more relevant collections, better consumer communication and a new shopping experience were the steps taken by the company under his leadership.

The revamping measures also saw C&A pruning its non-performing stores in Spain, where it pulled shutters on 23 locations and cut down 16 percent of its workforce. Now, even in Germany, the company has decided to cut 160 jobs in its Düsseldorf office and seventy more in its Belgian subsidiary, based in the town of Vilvorde, the report further added.

With control continuing to be in the hands of the company’s founding family, C&A aims to invest 1 billion euros (1.09 billion dollars) by the end of this year to realign its business and lead it on the profitable growth path by 2021. The company runs around 1,500 stores in Europe.

Picture:C&A website

Luxury e-commerce group Net-a-Porter has named former Bergdorf Goodman executive Elizabeth von der Goltz as its new global buying director.

Von der Goltz, who most recently held the position of senior vice president and general merchandise manager at US department store Bergdorf Goodman, will join Net-a-Porter in the summer and will be based at the luxury brand’s London headquarters.

Reporting directly to Net-a-Porter president Alison Leohnis and managing director Matthew Woollsey, Von der Goltz will lead the buying strategy across all product categories, while being responsible for driving sales and developing product collections for the luxury e-tailer.

Her appointment comes four months after Sarah Rutson, vice president of global buying at Net-a-porter, resigned from her post after a little more than two years in the role.

I am thrilled to join Net-a-Porter, and am ready to apply my experience to reinforce Net-a-Porter as the number one online destination for luxury retail,” said Von der Goltz. “By curating a destination where customers can discover new upcoming designers and the most cherished luxury brands, we will remain an unparalleled shopping experience.”

Loehnis added: “With her exceptional eye for product and a deep and abiding understanding of the international luxury customer, Elizabeth will bring great leadership to our stellar team of buyers.

“Her proven track record in growth, business development and strong relationships with brands will ensure that we continue to offer our customer the best fashion curation inclusive of exceptional pieces and collections she can find nowhere else. We are delighted to welcome her to the team.”

Arne Arens named Global Brand President of The North Face brand

VF Corporation has appointed of Arne Arens to the position of Global Brand President, The North Face, effective immediately. In March of this year, Arens was named vice president and general manager, The North Face, Americas. He will continue to report to Scott Baxter, Vice President, VF and Group President, Outdoor & Action Sports Americas.

“Arne has continuously demonstrated his strong leadership skills and ability to drive value for The North Face brand,” said Baxter in a statement, adding, “I am confident that Arne’s passion for and deep understanding of the outdoor marketplace, coupled with his management expertise and operational agility, make him ideally suited to unlock new opportunities and accelerate growth for The North Face around the world.”

The company said, since joining VF in 2010, Arens led The North Face brand in EMEA where he oversaw sales, marketing, merchandising, product development and direct-to-consumer activities. In his most recent role as general manager of the Americas, he managed the brand’s Americas business and strategic initiatives for sales, merchandising and the direct-to-consumer business.

Prior to joining VF, Arens worked at Nike in Europe, where he spent eight years in marketing, sales and category roles. Before Nike, he served in consulting roles across a range of industries and geographies.

Picture:Facebook/The North Face