Human Resources

Furla Names Giorgio Presca CEO

Furla Names Giorgio Presca CEO

MILAN — Giorgio Presca is joining Furla as the Italian accessories company’s new chief executive officer.
He succeeds chief operating officer Devis Bassetto, who also temporarily held the position of CEO after the exit of Mauro Sabatini in April.

Presca was most recently CEO of Clarks. He previously held the role of CEO of Golden Goose, Geox and Citizens of Humanity through his 30 years in the fashion industry, starting at the now-defunct giant manufacturing company GFT. He has also held executive positions at brands including Diesel and Levi’s.

Giovanna Furlanetto, president of Fondazione Furla, said Presca “is a skilled leader with a strong ability in reinforcing global fashion brands and driving profitable and safe growth.”

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The executive, she continued, “shares our values and our determination to establish Furla as a real democratic brand, the only Italian brand in its category. This appointment also stands to highlight my whole family’s willingness to continue with the full control of our business and lead it into the future.”

This comment is material, as it was made after several sources speculated that the Furlanetto family was considering a sale of a stake in the company.

As reported in March, Milan-based sources said Furla had tapped Lazard as its adviser and that a dossier was circulating in Milan.

In 2016, owner Giovanna Furlanetto set in motion plans to take Furla public, but this project never materialized. Furla was founded in Bologna in 1927 by Aldo Furlanetto, Giovanna’s father.

“Furla is a uniquely positioned brand with a strong heritage and high contemporary appeal. I look forward to work with my new colleagues, Mrs. Furlanetto, and the board to build the pillars for the future success of Furla and maximize its unexploited potential,” Presca said.

Sabatini in January last year succeeded Alberto Camerlengo. The latter was named executive president of the board. Sabatini for more than 18 years was CEO of Effeuno, a leather goods manufacturing company he founded in Tuscany and Furla’s supplier and longtime partner.

In 2018, Furla took control of Effeuno, which is based in Tavarnelle Val di Pesa, a 40-minute drive from Florence. The takeover was part of Furla’s strategy to invest in Italy and to strengthen the group’s supply chain, boosting production.

As reported, a strong performance in North America and in the Europe, Middle East and Africa regions contributed to a 12 percent increase in first-half revenues at Furla, which totaled 155.3 million euros.

Thanks to a recovery of local spending and a return of tourist flows, the Europe, Middle East and Africa area saw a 43 percent jump in revenues. In North America, sales soared 74 percent.

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic and the restrictions enforced in the first quarter of the year in Japan, the largest single market for the company, revenues in the region increased 6 percent.

On the other hand, the measures to curb the spread of the pandemic in China and a rationalization of Furla’s points of sale in the Asia Pacific area drove revenues in the region down 27 percent.

As of June 30, the global number of stores amounted to 432, compared with 452 in 2021.

Last year, Furla revenues amounted to 305.8 million euros, up 7.6 percent compared with 2020.

Giorgio Presca

Nail Any Interview With These Outfit Guidelines, According to an Expert

Nail Any Interview With These Outfit Guidelines, According to an Expert

Office culture transformation means widespread change across a high volume of variables, but when it comes to fashion, dressing for interviews in the post-Covid workplace has its own set of rules.
Whether virtual, hybrid or in-person, potential candidates and employees are dressing a bit more casually all across the board. To start your job search, you can create a free profile at ZipRecruiter.com to apply for jobs with just one click. Yet, the “Casualization,” or the concept that “dressing has become much more casual,” was a trend already underway pre-Covid, according to a McKinsey & Co. report, and the pandemic accelerated a sentiment that had been steadily brewing.
That means consumers have demonstrated an increased interest in athleisure, and as more casual office wear is expected, the athleisure market is set to reach $551 billion by 2025, growing by 25 percent, according to GlobalData.

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While it seems we’re all leaning into this mass casualization both in the workplace and at home, it doesn’t necessarily extend to prospective new employees, or those within the interview process. 
“When I started my agency in 1997, it was such a different time,” says Elizabeth Harrison, CEO and founder of H&S, who estimates that she’s interviewed hundreds of people at all different levels of management, from SVPs to interns. “I would say the expectation of how people show up for an interview has evolved. Being neat and well put together is still very important, but what’s changed is what connotes neat and put together is a lot wider now.”
This evolution of business casual, as well as our societal shift towards greater inclusivity, means that many offices, from corporate to creative, have thrown out a lot of the outdated rules in favor of new ones that reflect our collective push for awareness and acceptance. 
“As bosses and CEOs, we’ve had to help educate our junior managers who are hiring for the first time about expanding their preconceived notion of what the “right” look is because it’s changed,” says Harrison. “Not everyone has access to a designer bag or they might be wearing something interesting by a designer that you’ve never heard of. And you don’t have to spend a lot of money to interview well, either; you can go to Zara or H&M for more affordable options.”
Casual Interview Outfits vs. Formal Interview Outfits
One of the first rules to nailing your interview outfit with a prospective company is not to look inside or rummage through your own closet, but rather try to gain an understanding of how the company views itself. 
For example, take Harrison’s PR agency, which represents a mix of luxury fashion, spirits and lifestyle brands, and where creativity is not only encouraged, but seen as an asset. 
“If you walk in and you look cute, chic and pulled together, and you’re wearing a cool baseball cap or streetwear, at least in advertising, marketing or PR, that would not be held against you,” she explains. “Now, if you were interviewing to work on brands that are very corporate, it might make me pause to think not that you don’t have the right style, but that you might not be the right candidate or have the right style for that particular job.”

To help guide your research, Harrison recommends taking a look at the company’s social media pages, especially their Instagram, but also their profile on ZipRecruiter.com is a great place to learn more about what they’re looking for in prospective new hires. Plus, candidates who are invited to apply to open positions are nearly three times as likely to get hired.
“I would start by checking out on Instagram what people are wearing at that company. What’s the CEO wearing? Or the creative director? Is their style corporate, business casual or casual?” she says, adding that you should be looking up not just the company, but their top execs, too, for an accurate snapshot of their workplace style. “Take your cues from what the culture is, because if they don’t wear jeans, then don’t show up to your interview in jeans — even if it’s jeans paired with a great blazer or jacket — because that shows you’re not paying attention to the culture, or who they are as a brand.”
From formal to business casual, this guide will help you navigate the world of dressing for an interview with tips of what to keep in mind, key pieces that mean business, and other helpful notes for dressing across roles and industries — plus all the “don’ts” to avoid. And once you pin down the dream interview wardrobe, head to ZipRecruiter, ranked the #1 job site in the U.S., to help you find your next opportunity.
What You Wear Reflects Your Personality 
As our home and office lives merged during the pandemic, many employees and prospective new employees began to dress in a way that reflected their authentic selves, while still adhering to and respecting their workplace culture. 
“First of all, you probably don’t want to work somewhere you can’t show up as who you are,” says Harrison. “I think you should show up as yourself, but you should think about how that is going to reflect on your personality and style.” 
She recounts a recent faux pas made by her creative director, who wore a fashion-forward outfit of tailored shorts and a matching blazer, paired with a button down. “He looked super chic and appropriate for someone in his role of creative director, and we went to the client meeting, but the feedback we got was ‘how could you bring somebody to the meeting in shorts?’” and I couldn’t fault him for it; it was my judgment call.”

Virtual Interviews Are Still Interviews  
Many interviews are still being conducted virtually, including at Harrison’s agency. Yet, that’s not an open invitation to take your attire down a notch on the style scale — it’s still important to show up as you would if it were an in-person meeting.
“I think as a result of Covid, people have gotten a whole lot more casual,” she says. “But I don’t think it’s a great idea to dress more casually for an interview just because it’s on Zoom. You can still tell when somebody’s put in a little bit of effort.”
Even if you take the business on top, party on the bottom, approach to dressing for virtual interviews, it’s crucial to continue to match your attire and style to what you believe the company expects of you.
The point is that you still made the effort, and it’s a sign of respect towards the person who has taken the time out of their day to interview you.
Dress for the Season
It can be difficult to know exactly what to wear to an interview if the temperature skyrockets to 95 degrees in the summer — or if you find yourself in the middle of a snowstorm the morning of your big meeting. 
“Luckily, there are so many cute snow boots or other seasonally-appropriate and weather-proof accessories,” says Harrison. “I’m also a huge coat person. I think you can rock a great coat and always keep it on; a coat is a great statement piece that you can really make work for you.” 
And while it may seem like there’s nothing to wear when it is an unforgiving 95 degrees outside, Harrison disagrees, saying that there are “plenty of linen dresses that are lightweight and chic,” and you could even wear a top that shows off your shoulders for your commute, but throw a blazer on right before walking in for a bit more of a conservative feel. 
“Just don’t wear flip flops in summer — there are beautiful sandals and other options — and no one is really going to fault you for being weather-appropriate,” she says.
Wear What You’re Confident In 
“If you’re interviewing for a creative or art director role, you can go crazy,” laughs Harrison, but usually, she argues that “an interview is probably not the best place” to try out something new. Just ensure that whatever you wear fits you properly and is tailored to your body, as bagginess lends itself to an overall sloppy look. This means that cuffs shouldn’t run past your wrists and shoes should be fastened securely.

“Wear something you feel super confident in, and it doesn’t even have to be expensive, because if you are dressed in something that you know you look great in, you come across as confident,” she explains. “You’re likely not going to be playing with your hair in the interview. You’re not going to be sitting or shifting uncomfortably in your clothing, and you can focus on what’s really important, which is answering the questions correctly and listening to what the person interviewing you is saying.”
‘Smart Casual’ Dressing is Booming
“Showing up to an interview is not like showing up for coffee with your friend, and it shouldn’t look that way,” says Harrison. “It’s a big deal, it’s a tryout.”
If you’re not quite sure what to wear, leaning on the ‘smart casual’ category is helpful. For men, that could mean a neutral button down shirt — no blazer needed — paired with ironed chinos and loafers, while women can rely on a long-sleeved blouse in a subtle pattern and neutral-colored pants (never jeans) with a ballet flat or low heel. It’s a light and fun style, but still professional and put together. Harrison suggests keeping the makeup looking clean and nail polish neutral to play it safe.
“I think dressing how you want to be perceived is great and dressing for the next job you want to get is awesome because I think that’s going to make you show up polished and looking great.”
Meet the Expert
Elizabeth Harrison is the co-founder and CEO of the New York City-based communications agency H&S, formerly known as Harrison & Shriftman. She’s worked with global lifestyle brands, including Jimmy Choo, Alice + Olivia, Wilson Apparel and Remy Martin, and believes the secret to professional success is hard work, tenacity, and the ability to pivot and change.
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EXCLUSIVE: Sidney Toledano Touts Transmission as New Chair of IFM

EXCLUSIVE: Sidney Toledano Touts Transmission as New Chair of IFM

“Having an education is a big, big asset in life,” says Sidney Toledano, who this week was elected chairman of the Paris fashion school Institut Français de la Mode, or IFM.Toledano, who takes on the IFM title in addition to his full-time job as chairman and chief executive officer of LVMH Fashion Group and a member of the LVMH executive committee, has been on the IFM board for 24 years and vice chairman the last five, demonstrating his commitment to the transmission of knowledge that is key in fashion and luxury.
Toledano was elected at a closed-doors assembly on June 14, and he succeeds André Beirnaert, the textile executive who took over the presidency following IFM founder Pierre Bergé’s death in 2017.

Sidney Toledano
Courtesy of Christian Dior

Anne Dellière, Compagnie Financière Richemont’s group marketing and strategic plan director, succeeds Toledano as vice chairman.

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Toledano was previously president of the École de la Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne, which in 2019 merged with France’s IFM management school in a bid to become a world-class fashion school uniting business, design and savoir-faire.
That year, Condé Nast France executive Xavier Romatet was named general manager and dean of the IFM.
In a statement following Toledano’s election, Romatet lauded his “incomparable experience, his in-depth knowledge of global fashion and his multiple connections.
“His presence at our side will enable us to strengthen the influence of Institut Français de la Mode and its international appeal,” Romatet added.
In an exclusive interview with WWD, Toledano said his ambition is to elevate the school’s reputation as “one of the best for fashion management and fashion design.
“The main objective is to attract an international audience, to assure excellence in the level of teaching and research, and to be as inclusive as possible,” he added.
And as the conversation around fashion enlarges to NFTs, the metaverse and Web3 applications, his goal is to build bridges with educational and research institutions dedicated to technology and digital innovation, in addition to centers dedicated to textile research.

A fashion student at the IFM school in Paris.
Jean Picon

Toledano lauded the steady hand of Beirnaert’s long tenure, and gave a shout-out to Ralph Toledano, president of the Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode, for helping to mobilize the industry behind the creation of a larger, stronger IFM.
An engineering graduate of École Centrale Paris, Sidney Toledano began his career at market research firm AC Nielsen, eventually finding his way into fashion when he took the helm of footwear concern Kickers and leather goods brand Lancel. But he is best known for his illustrious 20-year career helming Christian Dior, catapulting it to the pinnacle of luxury.
He now oversees an array of LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton brands including Celine, Loewe, Givenchy, Kenzo, Pucci, Marc Jacobs, Patou and Moynat.
He described education as “the best passport, the best bridge to succeed in a career, or in entrepreneurship” and noted that today’s fashion students enter an increasingly complex industry grappling with digitalization, sustainability and a turbulent socio-political backdrop.

He touted that about a fifth of students at IFM have a scholarship, thanks largely to generous contributions from corporate donors. “We want it to be accessible to people, particularly on the creative side,” he said. “I’d love to see our design students competing for the LVMH Prize or the ANDAM prize, opening their own companies or joining big studios.”
Despite the challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic, the IFM has charted rapid growth, tripling the number of students over the last four years, and more than tripling the number of academic programs to 17.
Come September, when classes resume, the IFM is expecting 400 students in fashion design, 400 students in management and 300 students in savoir-faire.

BA students at IFM in Paris are prepping collections for a runway show on June 20.
Courtesy of IFM

A suave, warm and wise figure on the Paris fashion scene, Toledano has had ties to the IFM when there were fewer than 100 people at the school. “I’ve always been excited by this school and its spirit,” he enthused.
Over the years, Toledano has addressed students innumerable times about the realities of creative management and business imperatives, always appreciating their no-holds-barred questions, and relishing visits to classrooms where prototypes for dresses, bags and shoes are created.
“Presence is important: doing a course, helping, encouraging,” he said. “I’m really passionate about studios and ateliers, and you see these students are really well prepared to enter large fashion companies, or start their own brands.”
Toledano’s election comes as the IFM gears up for its first physical fashion show on the eve of Paris Fashion Week for menswear. The June 20 display at IFM’s new campus in Paris will showcase the final collections by 32 bachelor of arts in fashion design students.
Each is to parade six looks that integrate a sustainable development, technological or ethical element, according to the IFM, which introduced the three-year bachelor design program in 2019.
The program has attracted about 250 students, 44 percent of them from outside of France, over the past three years, according to the IFM, noting that “a significant need-based scholarship fund sponsored by the companies of the IFM Foundation allows the school to welcome all creative talents into the program, regardless of their financial situation.”

The foundation is funded by 35 companies including Adidas, Balenciaga, Burberry, Celine, Chanel, Chloé, Dior, Farfetch, Hermès, Kering, L’Oréal, Louis Vuitton and Saint Laurent, and offers scholarships to about 130 students per academic term. Fashion executives also teach, offer masterclasses, and participate in juries.
The IFM’s new 86,000-square-foot headquarters, designed by architect Patrick Mauger and built at a cost of 15 million euros, opened in January and now houses courses catering to all levels of fashion education, from vocational training to Ph.D.

A look from IFM’s class of 2022.
Courtesy of IFM

Founded in 1986 by Pierre Bergé, Yves Saint’s Laurent’s business partner, the IFM has produced designers such as Guillaume Henry and Nadège Vanhee-Cybulski, though it is mainly known for churning out world-class managers who have filled the ranks of leading luxury groups.
It is supported by the French Ministry of Industry and is known for its academic and market research. Nina Ricci’s Guillaume Henri and Ami designer Alexandre Mattiussi are among graduates of the IFM’s design program.
Famous alumni of the the École de la Chambre Syndicale, founded in 1927, include Valentino Garavani, Yves Saint Laurent, André Courrèges, Issey Miyake and Tomas Maier, though in recent decades it has been overtaken by overseas competitors such as London’s Central Saint Martins and the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp, Belgium.
Toledano wears a few other hats in the industry: He’s also a committee member of the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture and on the executive committee of the Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode.

SEE ALSO:
France Inaugurates ‘World’s Best FashionSchool’
Sidney Toledano: Anticipate Problems, Shuffle Your Team
Sidney Toledano Receives WWD Honor for CEO/Creative Leadership

Furla CEO Exits Accessories Company

Furla CEO Exits Accessories Company

MILAN — Furla on Thursday reported a 7.6 percent increase in sales in 2021 compared with 2020, while also revealing that its chief executive officer Mauro Sabatini is exiting the Italian accessories company.
Until the arrival of a new CEO, chief operating officer Devis Bassetto will lead Furla.
Sabatini, who in January last year succeeded Alberto Camerlengo, had also been named executive president of the board. Sabatini has deep knowledge of Furla and the leather goods industry. For more than 18 years he was CEO of Effeuno, a leather goods manufacturing company he founded in Tuscany and Furla’s supplier and longtime partner.
In 2018, Furla took control of Effeuno, which is based in Tavarnelle Val di Pesa, a 40-minute drive from Florence. At the time, Effeuno already exclusively produced Furla’s accessories, employing more than 100 workers and producing 2 million bags and small leather goods a year. The takeover was part of Furla’s strategy to invest in Italy and to strengthen the group’s supply chain, boosting production.

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The company did not provide a sales figure for 2021 at presstime, but said they were achieved despite the restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic in Japan, the main single market for the company. Furla group sales in 2020 totaled 290.8 million euros and in 2019 were 502 million euros. Last year, Sabatini admitted Furla recorded a double-digit decrease in 2020 due to the impact of the pandemic, characterized 2021 as a year of transition, setting the foundations for a recovery in 2022 or 2023.
As reported, Fulra owners are considering a sale of a stake in the Italian accessories company, according to market sources.
Sources say Furla has tapped Lazard as its adviser and a dossier is circulating in Milan. It is also understood that former Valentino CEO Stefano Sassi is consulting with Furla on a potential deal.
In 2016, owner Giovanna Furlanetto set in motion plans to take Furla public, but this project never materialized. Furla was founded in Bologna in 1927 by Aldo Furlanetto, Giovanna’s father.

Prada Appoints Three New Top Executives

Prada Appoints Three New Top Executives

MILAN — The Prada Group is bolstering its C-suite by appointing three new top executives, all of whom bring their extensive experience to the Italian luxury company developed in key sectors outside the fashion industry.Andrea Bonini was named chief financial officer; Cristina De Dona as general counsel, and Diego Maletto as internal auditing director.
Bonini will succeed Alessandra Cozzani effective May 2. Cozzani, who joined Prada in 2016, will exit the company on Sept. 30 “to embrace other professional opportunities.” Bonini will report to Miuccia Prada and Patrizio Bertelli, who share the chief executive officer role, and will in charge of the group’s administration, finance, control, tax and investor relations departments.

Bonini started his professional career in Milan-based M&A boutique Gallo & C. In 2005, he joined the Investment Banking Division of Goldman Sachs International, based in London, where he held the position of managing director since 2015. At Goldman Sachs, he was part of the Italy Coverage team until 2013 and subsequently joined the Consumer Retail Group, with responsibility for luxury and brands in Europe.

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De Dona will be in charge of the supervision, development and consolidation of all the company’s legal, intellectual property and corporate affairs, reporting to Prada and Bertelli. She recently held the position of international chief counsel at The Hershey Company International. Previously, she was deputy general counsel at multinational manufacturer of branded chocolate and confectionery products Ferrero and chief of staff for the Italian Ministry of Justice.

Cristina De Dona
image courtesy of Prada

Maletto will report to chairman Paolo Zannoni. An Ernst & Young alum, Maletto took on the role of group audit director at Autostrade per l’Italia, which manages Italy’s motorways. Previously, he was head of internal audit at Vodafone for Italy, Greece, Albania and Malta.

Diego Maletto
image courtesy of Prada

Prada has been bulking up its management ranks. In January, as reported, the group reinforced its commitment to sustainability and appointed two new independent non-executive directors, Pamela Culpepper and Anna Maria Rugarli, selected for their professional background in environmental, social and governance, or ESG.
The appointments also signaled the upcoming establishment of an ESG board committee.
Prada has reported a return to profitability in 2021 after a strong second half, driven by increased sales of handbags, footwear and ready-to-wear, which saw a 53 percent jump in revenues compared with 2020 and a 16 percent increase on 2019. In 2021, revenues totaled 3.36 billion euros, climbing 41 percent from 2.42 billion euros in 2020.

EXCLUSIVE: Roman Sipe Named Creative Director of Men’s Division at Cosabella and Journelle

EXCLUSIVE: Roman Sipe Named Creative Director of Men’s Division at Cosabella and Journelle

Cosabella’s men’s division has a new creative director.Starting this month, Roman Sipe will take the helm as creative director of the men’s division at the Italian innerwear and underwear brand, as well as creative director of men’s at luxury boutique Journelle. Both firms are owned and operated by the Campello family. 
“Roman is a pioneer in men’s underwear; he’s a true creative,” Guido Campello told WWD. 
Campello, whose parents Valeria and Ugo Campello founded Cosabella in 1983, currently serves as creative director of women’s at Cosabella, as well as co-chief executive officer, along with his sister Silvia Campello. “And Roman is an operator,” Campello continued. “He runs his business.”

Luxury lingerie brand Cosabella offers underwear in sizes that fit across all body forms.
Courtesy Photo

Sipe’s business ventures include luxury men’s underwear brand Menagerie Intimates, which he launched in 2015. The designer said he was excited to work with Cosabella — and Campello, in particular — because of the company’s nearly 40-year history. 

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“I’m a self-taught designer. I’m a self-taught brand owner,” Sipe said. “And to have Guido [Campello] as a mentor, as well as Giorgio [Latini], the production manager that we work with in Italy…the research and the knowledge that these men bring to the industry that I’m new to is key. I focus on the beauty of my lingerie and who I am trying to reach. But in order to scale and in order to build brand awareness and grow, I need a mentor within our [intimates] world.”
But Sipe, who is based in Fabriano, Italy, near Cosabella’s factories, is not completely new to the industry. In fact, he’s been in the fashion scene for at least 10 years, between L.A. and New York. His résumé includes celebrity stylist, fashion stylist (with brands such as G-Star and Seven For All Mankind), designer and founder. He also has a bachelor’s degree in finance, styled music videos, contestants on “America’s Next Top Model” and won Macy’s The Next Style Star Competition, a reality show competition that gave him the chance to produce a fashion campaign for the department store. 
“And that is exactly when I decided I wanted to design,” Sipe explained. “And I was like, what am I going to design? The first thing that came to mind was underwear. And I was googling underwear and I didn’t see anything that I would wear.”

Luxury lingerie brand Cosabella now offers underwear in sizes that fit across all body forms.
Courtesy Photo

In the new role, Sipe has been tasked with building out the male body form division, starting with the spring 2023 collections, across Cosabella and Journelle. (Campello and his wife Sapna Palep purchased luxury lingerie boutique Journelle, which has locations in New York and Chicago, along with the e-commerce business, in 2019.) Sipe will also assist Campello on creative direction for Cosabella’s and Journelle’s women’s collections. 
“I always thought I would be the creative director [of Cosabella] forever,” Campello explained. “I thought I had enough creative direction in understanding trends and movement, because I’ve been in this space forever. But very clearly, I think the speed at which the last two years moved, I realized there’s all these worlds out there now that are getting exposure and they need premium products, better products. And one of those places is men’s. The biggest step I took was to understand that I can’t speak to everybody. I know my world. 

“Ultimately, [Sipe] has a comfort level with teaching and talking about that product that’s different from other people,” Campello continued. “I’ve learned a lot already from him, about utility, solution underwear, solution undergarments in that space.”
Campello, who is based in New York, will continue to act as creative director of women’s, with some input from Sipe on the division. He added that it makes sense for Sipe to be based in Italy, near production facilities, in order for him to gain a better understanding of the entire process, starting with the supply chain. 

Luxury lingerie boutique Journelle in New York City. Campello and his wife Sapna Palep purchased the business in 2019.
Courtesy Photo

Meanwhile, Cosabella continues to build out his assortment for men, which launched last fall. Campello is quick to point out, however, that it’s not so much for men, as it is for the male body form. That could take the shape of underwear — which is cut in the same style and fabric across both men’s and women’s — but with added volume in the crotch area to accommodate for men, or bras for men, he explained. 
“We’re a very inclusive brand at Cosabella,” Campello said. “Journelle is becoming inclusive. But to truly be inclusive you need to bring in the people who do those things. Journelle does it by bringing in other brands that we sell. But Cosabella needs that influence,” he added, explaining the need to onboard Sipe. 

Sapna Palep and Guido Campello.
Courtesy Photo

For his part, Sipe’s wish list for the company includes creating sizing guides for men, adding in more lace and bra options, as well as bra fittings for men, while breaking down long-held societal stigmas around men — or the male form — in the lingerie space. He also wants to help expand the range of women who feel comfortable at Journelle by adding more choices for plus-size and transgender shoppers, among others. 
“The most exciting part is coming in and optimizing the male shopping experience: the product, the styles, what we want to do,” Sipe said. “And building what men’s lingerie actually looks like and what it means to actually design for the male form. We have the opportunity to expand what men’s lingerie means. 
“For instance, the fit chart is a really interesting thing for me,” he continued. “Because I know a lot of men who say, I wear a boxer brief. I want to build out a men’s fit guide that lets you know what is proper for what style of pants you’re wearing. I think that’s where my styling experience comes in. And to create a shopping space for men, because most of the time they’re shopping for their partners, their girlfriend, wife, for a woman. But now the goal is to have them come into the store [independently] for Cosabella’s men’s line and with my line. 

“I knew starting my brand, the gays were going to love it,” Sipe added. “The fashion men and women were going to love it. But as my brand grew, I started getting contacted by all different men. And [that experience] has been so much fun. Because all it takes is for people to see [men’s lingerie], to accept it. But also, to see it done right. To understand it and to break down all the walls.”

Valentino Appoints Two New Strategic Executives

Valentino Appoints Two New Strategic Executives

MILAN — Valentino continues to build and evolve its C-suite. The latest step sees the reorganization of its finance and operations structure in two units separating the business and control divisions, both reporting directly to chief executive officer Jacopo Venturini.Giuseppe De Mori has been named chief operations and logistics officer role, effective immediately. He joins from Bottega Veneta, where since 1997 he held the role of general manager, industrial operations, in charge of the development of the production processes, of the product and of the supply chain.
Overseeing the house’s industrial strategy, he is tasked with coordinating the manufacturing of all product categories together with the logistics function at a global level. In order to support the growth of the company, De Mori will also be in charge of making the industrial footprint efficient through the evolution, improvement and digitization of internal processes, with a focus on sustainability, increasingly key for the Rome-based couture house. The divisions reporting directly to De Mori include logistics, ready-to-wear, footwear and leather goods operations.

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Alberto Fasanotti will join Valentino as global chief financial officer starting next month. He was most recently chief financial officer at Chanel U.K. and Region, which comprises Ireland, Canada and Central and South America.
At Valentino, Fasanotti will be responsible for leading the finance strategy globally through the transformation of the organization and the digitization of internal processes to optimize business performance, and facilitate strategic decisions. He will also be in charge of areas ranging from accounting, tax and treasury to controlling and purchasing.
The arrival of De Mori and Fasanotti is “a fundamental step in our pathway from a professional and value system perspective,” said Venturini.
“We are set on building together the next chapter of the brand, streamlining the business as well as repositioning Valentino in its natural sphere: the most established Italian maison de couture,” he underscored. “With energy and enthusiasm, we are charting a new course for the future with a common goal: elevating the company’s pillars, implementing a colleague and client-centric culture that places the human being at the center, and consolidating a culture of creativity, innovation and sustainability.”
Valentino is owned by the Qatar-based investment firm Mayhoola.
Since his arrival as CEO of Valentino in June 2020, Venturini has appointed several executives, often in new positions. Examples include the new chief client and digital acquisition officer Enzo Quarenghi, signaling Valentino’s increased focus on digital and an acceleration of its strategy to place customers at the center of its business; chief brand officer Alessio Vannetti, in charge of communication and marketing activities; chief human resources officer Rosa Santamaria Maurizio; Marco Giacometti as chief commercial officer; Mitchell Bacha as CEO for Greater China; Laurent Bergamo as CEO, Americas, and Masumi Shinohara as CEO, Japan and Korea.

Swarovski Names a New Board, With Non-Family Members

Swarovski Names a New Board, With Non-Family Members

LONDON — Swarovski is rethinking the way it runs and governs the business and has, for the first time, opened its board to non-family members.The new board includes Robert Singer, the former president and chief executive officer of Abercrombie & Fitch, and former chief financial officer of Gucci Group; Manuel Martinez, chairman of the board of Bally; Annalisa Loustau Elia, a former P&G, L’Oréal, and Cartier executive, and Luisa Delgado, whose title is lead operating director of the German toy company Schleich.
They join Swarovski family members and shareholders Robert Buchbauer, Markus Langes-Swarovski, and Mathias Margreiter on the board. Delgado has been elected to the role of chair, while Buchbauer will assume the role of vice-chair.

Swarovski said the new board took up its responsibilities earlier this week and will carry forward the already-initiated process for reappointing a new CEO and CFO. The company said the appointments will be made “with the utmost diligence,” and as quickly as possible.

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As reported last month, Swarovski confirmed that Buchbauer, who took up the CEO role in 2020 following a company-wide shakeup, and Margreiter, the former CFO, were resigning, and the search for their respective successors had begun.
The company, which is based in Wattens, Austria, is working toward separating “control and management roles,” which have historically been run by the descendants of founder Daniel Swarovski.
As a result of the new strategy, Buchbauer and Margreiter, both of whom are members of the family, withdrew from day-to-day operations, but are continuing “to help shape the future of the company” as members of the board.
As a result of the sweeping governance changes, Swarovski’s next CEO and CFO could well be executives from outside the founding family for the first time in the company’s 126-year history.
Swarovski said last month that it is open to the possibility of non-family management and that it plans to reorganize and expand the various boards of the company “to qualified, independent persons.”
The family interests, meanwhile, will be bundled in the newly established family holding company.
Buchbauer’s departure was unexpected: He took over as CEO last April in a major reshuffle that saw his relative Nadja Swarovski leave the day-to-day operations of the company.
The London-based Nadja Swarovski immediately turned her attention to the Swarovski Foundation, which she created in 2013 and which has sustainability, environmental and social issues at its core.
Shortly after taking up the top role last year, Buchbauer culled some 600 positions as part of his restructuring plan, with the COVID-19 crisis adding urgency to his efforts at the family-owned crystal-maker.

Vera Bradley Picks Nancy Twine for the Board

Vera Bradley Picks Nancy Twine for the Board

Vera Bradley Inc., bringing more diversity and some additional entrepreneurial expertise to the company, has nominated Nancy Twine, the founder and chief executive officer of Briogeo Hair Care, to its board. 
Twine, who is 36, will succeed director Michael Miller, who is retiring from the Vera Bradley board next month. She will become the 10th member of the board, pending shareholder approval at the June 2 annual meeting. With this appointment, the company will have 60 percent female board representation and will be one of a few public companies with a female majority board.
“Nancy brings diversity of thought around a couple of key areas,” said Rob Wallstrom, CEO of Vera Bradley, the 40-year-old Fort Wayne, Ind.-based designer and retailer of women’s handbags, gifts, luggage and accessories. “She’s younger than the average age of our board members. She can speak to what the consumers are looking for as the demographics of the country continue to change. Vera Bradley has a broad customer profile. We want to make sure we are listening and aware of what different groups are looking for, from an age and ethnicity standpoint. Both Vera Bradley and Pure Vita are multigenerational brands, starting with teenagers. It’s critical that we stay multigenerational.”

Vera Bradley is looking to grow through acquisitions, following its 2019 purchase of a majority stake in Pura Vida which sells bracelets, jewelry and other lifestyle accessories. Twine will be important in that endeavor. “Having somebody on the board who is a founder and who has done an amazing job scaling a company is very important. We wanted someone who has that recent experience,” Wallstrom told WWD during an interview.

Wallstrom also cited Twine’s Millennial perspective, her financial and retail experience, and diverse background as “invaluable.”
In 2014, Twine launched Briogeo Hair Care, described by the company as a prestige line of clean hair care for persons with every hair type, hair texture and ethnicity. Twine previously worked as vice president of commodities sales and trading at Goldman Sachs in New York City. Twine is an adviser to the Sephora USA Accelerate Council.
Growing up, she learned to create simple, clean, homemade beauty products alongside her mother in their kitchen, using natural ingredients from the local health food store. That experience, coupled with her own beauty industry research, encouraged Twine to start her own company. Briogeo retails in over 3,000 beauty stores globally, including Sephora, and is an independent Black-owned prestige beauty brand. All Briogeo products are cruelty-free, gluten-free, and mostly vegan.  
“Diversity is something I am incredibly passionate about,” Twine told WWD. “Diversity really creates the foundation for strong creativity, innovation and growth which translates into greater sales and profits. There are so many reasons why diversity should be an executive priority.”
50/50 Women on Boards, which advocates toward gender-balanced corporate boards, last year named Vera Bradley a “gender-balanced” company for its commitment to board diversity. 50/50 Women on Boards’ research shows that out of the 2,940 companies in the Russell 3000 Index nationwide as of Dec. 31, just 31 percent still had zero or only one woman on their boards. 

Wallstrom made the point that Vera Bradley, besides being known for its bold colors and patterns, has a reputation for including women and not just on its board. Asked to what degree women comprise senior management at Vera Bradley, Wallstrom said, “It’s just under 60 percent of the vice president level and above.” The company, which generated $468.3 million in revenues last year including $112.5 million from Pura Vida, was founded in 1982 by friends Barbara Bradley Baekgaard and Patricia R. Miller.
Wallstrom said Michael Miller has been “an invaluable board member since the company went public in 2010, and an integral part of the Vera Bradley family since his wife, Patricia R. Miller, cofounded the company nearly 40 years ago. He has made an enduring impact on Vera Bradley.”
Vera Bradley Inc.’s nine other board members are: Wallstrom; Baekgaard; Kristina Cashman, former chief financial officer of restaurant group Upward Projects; Robert J. Hall, chairman of the Vera Bradley board and president of Green Gables Partners; Mary Lou Kelley, former president, e-commerce for Best Buy; John E. Kyees, lead director of the Vera Bradley board and former chief financial officer of Urban Outfitters; Frances P. Philip, former chief merchandising officer of L.L. Bean; Edward M. Schmults, CEO of Calyx Peak Cos., and Carrie Tharp, vice president of retail and consumer for Google Cloud.

MF Brands Names Marie Schott CEO of The Kooples

MF Brands Names Marie Schott CEO of The Kooples

PARIS — MF Brands Group has named Marie Schott chief executive officer of The Kooples, recruiting a retail executive with extensive experience in the lingerie segment to succeed Romain Guinier, who has left the group.
“Her entrepreneurial background and product expertise are major assets,” said Thierry Guibert, president of MF Brands Group, which also owns Lacoste, Gant and Aigle.
Schott created the Undiz brand before becoming CEO of Etam, and last year founded lingerie label AnaShaf, designed to meet demand for comfortable and stylish pieces that fit a wide range of body types.
A graduate of the HEC business school in France, Schott started her career in management consulting.

The executive is charged with increasing the creativity and desirability of The Kooples and continuing with its digital and global development, according to a company statement.
The discrete, Switzerland-based family retail company, formerly known as Maus Frères, bought the contemporary French fashion brand in 2019, with the expectation that its urban rock positioning would fit well into the group.
Founded in 2008 by brothers Alexandre, Laurent and Raphaël Elicha, The Kooples was known for youthful rock-tinged looks for men and women, including suit jackets and miniskirts as well as short, airy, floral dresses.
In October, newly recruited artistic director Tom Van Dorpe offered a 1990s-flavored, minimalist collection for the label that included a focus on floral prints, and also introduced a range of pastels, offering the metal-tipped Emily bag in lavender, for example. Van Dorpe, who studied art and business in Belgium before working as a stylist for magazines in New York, brought the men’s and women’s collections even closer together in his debut collection.
MF Brands Group warmly thanked Guinier, previously CEO of Aigle, noting he left to pursue new professional projects.

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