High-profile appointments in the fashion world in 2023

In business it is common to hire top people who have proven themselves through good performance at other companies, in the hope that they can translate that same success to their new employer. Top people like her are hired for their leadership skills, expertise and ability to drive growth and innovation. These are people with extensive knowledge of the sector, insight into trends and who have the talent to overcome obstacles, all combined in one person.

Francesca Bellettini Credits: Kering

This is one of the reasons why Kering is the proven chef of Saint Laurent, Francesca Belletini, responsible for developing the group’s brand portfolio, recently appointed as deputy CEO of Kering. Belletini has more than ten years of experience and has shown at Saint Laurent that she can guide a company through significant challenges. After the departure of Hedi Slimane and during the major design transition under current creative director Antony Vaccarello, Belletini has never lost its path to growth. Under her leadership, Saint Laurent’s turnover has increased fivefold to 2.52 billion euros per year.

Credits: Rapper Future becomes a guest designer at Lanvin. Image: Lanvin

Growth is also central to the lingerie brand Fenty, founded by Rihanna, where recently Hillary Super was appointed. In her previous role at Urban Outfitters Group, which is also Anthropologie’s parent company, Super significantly expanded its omnichannel channel and grew revenue to more than $1 billion. With her experience in managing a diverse brand portfolio across segments, from Anthropologie’s popular A+ line, the plus-size range, to driving retail and communities around its core customers, Super is a leader who holds the reins during explosive expansion . “We have a very committed customer base with our DTC model (‘direct-to-consumer’, ed.) and also see that there are opportunities to further expand (turnover, ed.) by going more to customers and provide more options to purchase our products,” Fenty told Vogue Business when the appointment was announced.

Richard Dickson Credits: Gap Inc.

Also important are issues such as reputation and the network of successful executives and their status within the industry, which can open doors to new partnerships, collaborations and resources that may otherwise be more difficult to access. When Lanvin announced the American rapper Future by hiring them to develop new concepts for the French fashion house, it thus acquired a trinity of network, reputation and influence. Especially when companies want to breathe new life into their collections and appeal to a new target group, this method can add a lot of value. Future’s 25 million followers on Instagram (at the time of writing) are sure to give the brand some serious buzz.

Gaining the trust of investors

It was recently announced that Richard Dickson, a veteran of Barbie’s parent company Mattel, will take over the reins at iconic American retailer Gap. Dickson’s appointment is partly due to the confidence that hiring a well-known executive engenders among investors and shareholders, boosting confidence in corporate governance, which in turn leads to increased investment and positive media attention. With the phenomenon of the recent Barbie movie in mind, which grossed more than $1.28 billion worldwide, Gap Inc. hopes to… that Dickson can achieve the same growth as he did at the toy company.

Here it is more about how sales can be increased than about a proven one track-record in the fashion industry. “Richard has invaluable expertise in areas that are critical to the work Gap Inc. is doing to strengthen the company for the long term,” said Mayo A. Shattuck, III, the LID (independent director). from Gap in a press release announcing the appointment of Richard Dickson. “We welcome his visionary leadership as the company redefines the future potential of Gap Inc. and its renowned American fashion brands.”

Gap has both the PR disaster that the collaboration with Yeezy has been delivered, as well as declining sales. “Gap is no longer relevant to its core consumer,” Jonathan Reid, director of retail and consumer at Fitch Ratings, told The New York Times. “It is not clear where the brand stands. That is similar to the position Mattel was in a few years ago.”

Build trust

When it comes to transitions where a brand is facing challenges or is underperforming, hiring an executive known for turning around troubled companies can signal to investors and the market that the company is taking proactive steps to address the situation. to improve.

In today’s fashion landscape, successful CEOs must have a complete set of skills beyond just management skills, but also includes marketing and product development. This is especially true in industries such as fashion, where consumer preferences are constantly changing and effective marketing and product strategies are essential for fruitful growth.

At Gap, Dickson replaces Sonia Syngal, who was fired in 2022 as the stock price took a hit and costs rose. But previous appointments at Gap also ended badly. Gap Inc. has been struggling for years with declining sales and waning consumer interest. CEOs such as Art Peck and Glenn Murphy left the company after failing to turn the tide. Perhaps it’s more a question of when Gap’s “pink” moment will arrive, just like with Barbie. In the fashion world, however, it takes more than a season of growth and a great product to regain consumer confidence and boost sales.

And here is the crux. A successful career in the past does not guarantee success in the future. In 2013, Lululemon’s founder and CEO Chip Wilson resigned after product quality issues and hurtful comments. Wilson’s successor Laurent Potdevin, an LVMH veteran who significantly grew sales at Toms Shoes and Burton, left within a few years and quite abruptly after accusations of misconduct and lagging sales.

Past track records? Not all gold guarantees shine in the future

Stefan Larsson was appointed as Ralph Lauren’s new CEO in 2015 to boost the company’s declining sales and brand image. Larsson’s impressive resume from sales power at H&M to nearly a billion dollar sales growth at Old Navy (part of Gap Inc.) did not mean he could match that success at America’s most beloved luxury house. Creative differences with the company’s founder and executive chairman, Ralph Lauren himself, led Larsson to leave the company two years later.

Changes in top positions are as common in the fashion industry as in the rest of business and can occur for a variety of reasons. But every company is unique and influenced by a complex interplay of internal factors (leadership, culture and resources) and external factors (market trends, competition and economic conditions). There is no formula that guarantees growth or can repeat past successes. Good leaders learn from the past and use the same principles and strategies that fit a company’s unique context and goals.

But that delicious sauce that brings it all together? That remains a well-kept kitchen secret.

Source: fashionunited.nl by fashionunited.nl.

*The article has been translated based on the content of fashionunited.nl by fashionunited.nl. If there is any problem regarding the content, copyright, please leave a report below the article. We will try to process as quickly as possible to protect the rights of the author. Thank you very much!

*We just want readers to access information more quickly and easily with other multilingual content, instead of information only available in a certain language.

*We always respect the copyright of the content of the author and always include the original link of the source article.If the author disagrees, just leave the report below the article, the article will be edited or deleted at the request of the author. Thanks very much! Best regards!