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Debenhams names Richard Jones Trading Director, global sourcing

Debenhams has announced the appointment of Richard Jones as Trading Director, Global Sourcing starting February 5, 2018. The company added that his appointment follows the recent arrival of Steven Cook as Managing Director of fashion and home and will further strengthen Debenhams’ own brand product proposition. Jones’ responsibilities will include leading Debenhams’ product development and sourcing team, which includes overseas hubs in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

Commenting on the new appointment, Angela Morrison, Debenhams IT and supply chain Director, said in a media release: “Richard joins Debenhams with excellent knowledge and credentials in both sourcing and product development. He will undoubtedly be a real asset as he leads Debenhams UK and international teams to improve our product offer as we continue to implement the Debenhams Redesigned strategy.”

Jones, Debenhams added, joins with a proven track record of buying and merchandising roles along with optimised sourcing and supply chain experience. He has played a significant part in developing the Sainsbury’s Tu clothing apparel business and brand. He has also held senior commercial and operational roles at Marks and Spencer plc, Tesco plc and Target, Australia.

“I am delighted to join the team at Debenhams. The brand occupies a unique and trusted position with customers and has created a strong house of brands. I am excited to lead on developing sourcing capabilities and to be a part of the Debenhams Redesigned strategy,” added Jones.

Picture credit:Richard Jones via Debenhams

Marimekko names new head designer of ready-to-wear

Finnish design company, Marimekko, known for its original prints and colours, has named Satu Maaranen as head designer of ready-to-wear, bags and accessories, with immediate effect.

Maaranen, a graduate of Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture, is an international award-winning and experienced designer, she won the Grand Prix at the Hyères Style Festival in France, and has been designing clothes and prints for Marimekko since 2010, but will now join as the full-time head designer.

Succeeding Anna Teurnell, who exited as creative director last February, Maaranen will be responsible for the direction and visual aspects of the design for Marimekko's ready-to-wear, bags and accessories, and she will also work closely with Minna Kemell-Kutvonen, who is in charge of Marimekko’s print design and home collection. Both report to Marimekko president and chief executive Tiina Alahuhta-Kasko.

Commenting on the appointment, Alahuhta-Kasko said: “We wanted to find the most suitable approach to design management for us. Marimekko is known as one of the world's first lifestyle brands, and our design has been based from the start on the idea of a community in which designers from different backgrounds create something new together. We believe this is still unique in our field.

“Satu Maaranen's highly international profile and experience, and – above all – her fresh and modern views on the direction of Marimekko's ready-to-wear, bag and accessory design were decisive factors in her selection. Satu's vision and ambition are exquisitely combined with her knowledge of our form idiom and our heritage of design. I believe that this combination will be a great asset as we build Marimekko internationally as a phenomenon that engages an ever-wider clientele.”

Finnish label Marimekko appoints Satu Maaranen as head designer

Maaranen added: “I’m excited about my appointment and having the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of pioneering Marimekko designers. Marimekko has always been a brand of strong, independent women, which makes it more relevant now than ever before. I have lots of ideas about how to continue to develop Marimekko’s collections for international clientele.”

As well as designing in the past for Marimekko, Maaranen also worked for international brands including Petit Bateau and Exception de Mixmind. In addition, she is one of the founders of Pre Helsinki, an organisation focusing on the internationalisation of Finnish fashion designers.

Rebekka Bay, a member of Marimekko’s board of directors, commented: “Satu Maaranen, who was chosen from among several excellent international candidates, has the fresh vision and great passion to drive the development of the global relevance of Marimekko’s ready-to-wear, bag and accessory collections. She is already familiar with Marimekko’s creative community and has a deep knowledge of its art of print making, which I think is a major advantage.”

Marimekko, founded in 1951 is currently sold in around 40 countries and has 160 stores. In 2016, brand sales of the products worldwide amounted to 199 million euros and the company's net sales were close to 100 million euros. The label’s key markets are Northern Europe, North America and the Asia-Pacific region.

Image: Marimekko Facebook

Igedo Company appoints second managing director

Trade show firm Igedo Company has named Ulrike Kähler as its second managing director to sit alongside Philipp Kronen as the business divides responsibilities within its management team.

Kähler, who has been a member of the Igedo’s board of management since 2014, will continue to “shape the direction” of the Düsseldorf platforms Gallery and Gallery Shoes, said the company in a statement, focusing on trade show strategy and marketing, while Philipp Kronen will be in charge of finances, HR and corporate strategy.

“Intelligence and emotionality are fundamental in the fashion business and essential for the success of our trade fairs,” explains Kronen. “We have been working together for almost ten years and I have the utmost confidence in Ulrike Kähler. For her extraordinary commitment to her projects in Düsseldorf, this next step in her career is more than deserved.”

Commenting on her new role, Kähler said: “I believe in our formats, our service, our appeal and the potential of our framework, with which we are setting international benchmarks in terms of the scheduling and aesthetics of the events.

“In the coming years, I still want to achieve a lot with my management and team colleagues, both for Düsseldorf as a fashion destination as well as in the further development of the CPM in Moscow.”

Igedo’s senior management team will be completed by project manager Christian Kasch, who has been at the helm of CPM Moscow for almost 15 years.

Image: Ulrike Kähler courtesy of Igedo Company

Jaanuu names Dave Beveridge new CMO

As they continue to capitalize on strong demand and significant growth plans for 2018, Jaanuu has appointed Dave Beveridge as its first chief marketing officer. The brand has also grown its investor group to include footwear company Olukai's co-founder Matt Till and current CEO Jim Harris. The announcement was made today by Shaan Sethi, founder and CEO of Jaanuu, the direct-to-consumer brand for the medical apparel space.

Having served as a marketing advisor to Jaanuu since 2014, Beveridge segues into a senior staff position with the company following nearly three years as vice president of eCommerce for Planet Blue, where he was integral in improving topline revenue by 75 percent and operating profit 100 percent for the beach apparel company. He previously served as vice president of marketing for video sharing app maker Whipclip and in a similar capacity for the fashion subscription service ShoeDazzle. From 2010-12 Beveridge worked in the entertainment industry as chief of staff, digital for the media production company BermanBraun (now Whalerock Industries) in the wake of his role as vice president of eCommerce & business development for Sportnet, assisting with its merger with GrindTV to form the largest global action-sports community/commerce destination.

"Dave is a proven leader and one of the most well-respected veterans in eCommerce, having led marketing at both Planet Blue and ShoeDazzle," said Sethi, who launched the fashion-forward scrubs lifestyle company five years ago with his sister, Dr. Neela Sethi Young. "This is the right time to build out our leadership team, and we know that Dave will be integral in reaching new audiences while stoking the loyalty of our existing customers."

"Dave Beveridge is the guy you bring in when you're ready to kick your marketing into high gear," said Brian Lee, founder of ShoeDazzle and co-founder of The Honest Company. "Having worked with him for over two years at ShoeDazzle, I know he will bring unequaled creativity and tenacity to his new CMO post at Jaanuu."

photo:via PR Newswire
Steinhoff CFO Ben la Grange steps down

Steinhoff has announced that its current CFO and member of the management board, Ben la Grange has stepped down to focus on the preservation and procurement of liquidity in the group, in addition to the finalisation of the company’s audited 2017 consolidated financial statements and comparative statements. The company added that Philip Dieperink will replace Ben as acting CFO pending formal appointment to the management board of the company.

Dieperink has been with the group in various CFO positions since 2001, and will remain as the CFO of Steinhoff UK. The company added that nomination of Dieperink will be submitted to the general meeting of the company for appointment in due course. It is further intended that an external independent debt restructuring expert (a chief restructuring officer) will be contracted to assist with these matters.

Earlier on December 19, 2017, Steinhoff had strengthened the management board through the designation of Danie van der Merwe as acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and the nominations of Alexandre Nodale as Deputy CEO and Louis Du Preez as Commercial Director.

Picture:Facebook/Pep & Co

Nathan Jenden returns to DVF

Please call it a comeback. Nathan Jenden, who spent over a decade working alongside DVF in the early 2000s, will be returning to the brand as chief design officer and vp, creative. Jenden takes over for Jonathan Saunders who left the post after just eighteen months with the brand.

“It is with joy and pride that I look forward to welcoming Nathan back at DVF,” von Furstenberg said in a statement. “Nathan is an extremely talented and technically skillful designer who also has a great gift at surrounding himself with young, emerging talent. He totally embraces the DVF woman and the brand enjoyed its greatest commercial success during his tenure.”

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In 2010, Jenden left the brand to focus on his own label, but has mostly operated behind the scenes for other brands since. Most recently, he served as creative director of Bebe.

Nathan Jenden joins DVF as chief design officer, vp creative

After Jenden's departure, the creative director positions at DVF was held briefly by Yvan Mispeleare followed by Michael Herz. Saunders joined the brand in 2016, and although his stint with the brand was also very brief, during his time there he changed the logo, switched to a presentation format rather than runway show for Style Week, and made the design aesthetic more modern.

While his collections were very successful, once DVF announced she would be selling equity stake in her company, he opted to leave. Jenden is already hard at work on the next collection for the brand, which will debut next month.

“The fundamental essence of DVF that Diane created is an identity that has empowered women everywhere, delivering accessible style, confidence, independence, and a sense of self-worth,” he said in the statement. “Diane delivers that message not only through fashion, but in her approach to life, her love of art, culture, diversity and philanthropy. I see DVF as being more relevant today than it ever was in its message of self-empowerment while being dynamic and modern. I want to give the DVF girl what she wants when she wants it, and with the joie de vivre and sense of purpose that epitomizes Diane, DVF the brand, and the spirit of women today.”

Now the question remains, will he take the early '00s approach to design, or create something new and modern for DVF's customer today?

Photo: Mark Mainz / Getty Images North America / AFP

The Bon-Ton Stores has appointed Michael Culhane to the position of Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer of the company, effective immediately. The company said, Culhane will be responsible for accounting, treasury, tax, credit, investor relations, legal and internal audit. He succeeds Nancy Walsh, who is leaving the company effective as of January 22, 2018, to take a position at another company.

Commenting on Culhane's appointment, Bill Tracy, Bon-Ton’s President and Chief Executive Officer, said, "We look forward to leveraging his extensive financial expertise and significant department store retail experience as we continue to execute on our initiatives to drive improved performance and strengthen our financial position. We are confident he will be an asset to our team as we continue to engage with our debt holders in our efforts to establish a sustainable capital structure for the company."

The company added that Culhane brings more than 30 years of finance and accounting experience and knowledge of the retail industry to Bon-Ton, having held several roles at retail companies throughout his career, including as chief financial officer. He was most recently president and co-founder of TMAG, Inc., providing CFO consulting services. Prior to TMAG, Inc., he served as chief financial officer at Hudson's Bay Company and has also held various executive roles with Lord & Taylor and May Department Store Group.

Burberry appoints Orna NiChionna to its board of directors

Burberry has appointed Orna NiChionna to the company’s board as a Non-Executive Director and member of the remuneration and nomination committees, with effect from 3 January 2018. The company further said that Fabiola Arredondo has decided to step down as chair of the remuneration committee to focus on her US professional commitments.

Commenting on NiChionna’s appointment to the board, Sir John Peace, Burberry’s Chairman, said in a statement: "We are delighted to welcome Orna to the board. In addition to the experience she brings on remuneration matters, her strong UK plc and business experience will be a great asset to Burberry as we continue to focus on delivering long-term shareholder value.”

UK-based NiChionna, Burberry added, is an experienced remuneration committee chair and will succeed Arredondo as Chair of the remuneration committee on February 6, 2018 at the next scheduled remuneration committee meeting.

NiChionna is currently Senior Independent Director at Saga plc and Royal Mail plc, where she also chairs the remuneration committee, as well as Deputy Chairman at the National Trust. She is also Chair of client service at Eden McCallum and spent almost two decades with management consultancy firm McKinsey & Company, where she co-led their European retail practice. She was previously senior independent director at HMV Group plc, Northern Foods plc and Bupa.

Picture:Burberry website

Savile Row tailor Richard James and Nicholas Wheeler, founder of Charles Tyrwhitt shirts are among the fashion names recognised on Queen Elizabeth II’s annual New Year Honours list.

Both are set to be awarded an Order of the British Empire, or OBE, James for his services to men’s fashion, while Wheeler for his contribution to retail.

Wheeler’s wife, Chrissie Rucker, founder of The White Company was also recognised in the New Year Honours with an OBE for her services to retail.

Other fashion names to be honoured includes former British Vogue editor Alexandra Shulman, who stepped down from her role earlier this year, she will receive a Commander of the Order of the British Empire, or CBE, for her services to fashion journalism, and she expressed her delight on Instagram by saying she “couldn’t be more pleased”.

This isn’t Shulman’s first royal honour, she received an OBE in 2005 for her services to the magazine industry.

There was also an OBE for legendary fashion PR Lynne Franks, who was recognised for her services to business, fashion and women’s empowerment. Franks, who inspired Ab Fab, made her name in the 1970s and 80s representing clients including Katharine Hamnett, Jasper Conran and Harvey Nichols.

Commenting on Twitter, Franks said: “Really thrilled to receive OBE for work with women and social change. 2018 - The Year of the Woman!!”

For services to higher education, Professor Hilary Joyce Grainger from the London College of Style also received an OBE.

Primark names Paula Dumont Lopez trading director

Budget retailer Primark has confirmed that Paula Dumont Lopez has been appointed as trading director and will join the company on January 12.

Dumont Lopez who Primark describes as having a “wealth of international fashion experience” joins from Esprit, where she served as senior vice president and head of women’s clothing, a role she has held since 2013, and where she received praise for helping to turn around the retailer.

Prior to Esprit, Dumont Lopez spent 10 years at Inditex in several roles, including as head of product at Zara Basic.

As trading director of Primark, Dumont Lopez will lead the buying, merchandising and design of our womenswear business, said the retailer.

Primark names Paula Dumont Lopez trading director

Esprit’s Paula Dumont Lopez to join Primark

The appointment comes after a turbulent 2017 for Dumont Lopez, as in June she was announced as the chief creative officer of New Look , set to replace Roger Wightman in September.

However, when New Look’s chief executive Anders Kristiansen, who had confirmed her appointment, abruptly left his role, the retailer released a statement that Dumont López would “no longer join the company” and that Wightman would continue in his role.

Initial reports thought her appointment signalled that Primark were looking to shift away from its budget offering, however, it is thought that the Associated British Foods-owned retailer is instead looking to her expertise to assist them in their strategy to grow internationally.

In November, Primark reported that revenues increased 19 percent year-on-year to 7.05 billion pounds for the year ending September 16, which was helped by the opening of 30 stores totalling 1.5 million square foot of space across nine countries.

Images: courtesy of Primark SS18