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Overview: Designers' Musical Chair Dance in 2017

London - The musical chair dance occurring within the fashion industry, which sees a number of high profile designers leave their former roles as creative director for similar positions at rival fashion houses, continued well throughout 2017. Now that the year is almost over, Yankeemagazines takes a moment to review the most striking changes of artistic direction which happened over the course of the year. These are the designers which begun a new chapter at some of the industry’s main fashion brands.

January: Clare Waight Keller leaves role at Chloé

Overview: Designers' Musical Chair Dance in 2017

British designer Clare Waight Keller , who had overseen the creative direction at Parisian fashion house Chloé since 2011, announced she has chosen not to extend her contract at the fashion house in January. The designer recently moved from Paris back to London with her husband and three children. Her last collection for the French Maison was shown during Paris Style Week in March, as Waight Keller officially left her role at Chloé on March 31.

Photo credit: Chloé, website

February: Riccardo Tisci leaves position Givenchy

Overview: Designers' Musical Chair Dance in 2017

Celebrated designer Riccardo Tisci confirmed months of speculation when Givenchy announced he was set to leave his role as creative director. His exit came after a twelve-year tenure, during which the designer was able to modernize the fashion house and transform it into one of the most sought-after fashion labels. Tisci's final collections for Givenchy were its men's autumn 17 and haute couture, shown in Paris on January 20.

Three years after his initial appointment at the fashion house, the creative director was placed in charge of overseeing Givenchy's men's line. Tisci, who was inspired by club life, mixed in streetwear influences in his collections, making him one of the most influential designers. Friends with a number of leading celebrities, including Kim Kardashian-West, Kanye West, and Beyonce, Tisci boasts 1.8 million followers on Instagram. According to analysts, Givenchy has grown six times in value under Tisci creative lead, achieving an annual turnover of 500 million euros.

Although it was rumored that Tisci was set to take up a new role at Italian fashion house Versace, little has been said about his next appointment. However Tisci has not sat idly by since his exit from Givenchy - in October he unveiled his latest designs for his collaboration with sports brand Nike .

Photo credit: Jamie Mccarthy / Getty Images North America / AFP, Givenchy

March: Chloé appoints Natacha Ramsay-Levi as its new creative director Chloé - Givenchy hires Clare Waight Keller as its head designer Givenchy

Overview: Designers' Musical Chair Dance in 2017

At the beginning of March, Chloé confirmed it had hired its replacement for Clare Waight Keller: Natacha Ramsay-Levi . Ramsay-Levi had already been pegged as a potential successor to Waight Keller back in January. The designer previously served as creative director of Louis Vuitton's ready-to-wear women's collections, a role she had held since 2013. She worked closely alongside the fashion house's artistic director Nicolas Ghesquiere, having previously worked with him for 11 years at Balenciaga prior to joining the team at Louis Vuitton. Ramsay-Levi is set to continue the 'spirit' of Chloé, the Maison noted in a statement.

Following news of Ramsay-Levi appointment at Chloé, came news that Givenchy had tapped Clare Waight Keller to succeed Tisci. Waight Keller took over all creative responsibility at the fashion house, including the ready to wear collections of the men's and women's line, accessories and haute couture.

"The teams welcome Clare Waight Keller in the Givenchy family with me," said Ceo Philippe Fortunato in a statement to Vogue.com at the time. "I am very pleased to see Clare taking her unique sense of elegance and modernity to Givenchy. By discovering the 65-year heritage of our fashion house and the special savoir-faire of the studios, I am convinced that Clare will help Givenchy achieve its full potential. "

Photo credit: Natacha Ramsay-Levi, courtesy of Chloé

April: Jil Sander appoints dual creative directors Lucie and Luke Meier

Overview: Designers' Musical Chair Dance in 2017

Design duo Lucie and Luke Meier were hired by Jil Sander as its new co-creative directors earlier this spring, replacing former creative director Rodolfo Paglialunga, who announced his departure in March, after three years of service.

Jil Sander Spring/Summer 2018 was the first collection designed by the fashion duo for the German designer label. "Luke and Lucie have an intimate connection with and a deep knowledge of the brand. They have a vision that is modern, coherent and in touch with what is now relevant. They combine that beautifully with a subtle sense of textile, clothing construction and details," said Jil Sander CEO Alessandra Bettari in a statement on their appointment.

Lucie Meier used to work under Nicolas Ghesquière at the design studios of Balenciaga and Louis Vuitton before she was made head of Dior's ready-to-wear and couture women's collections. When Raf Simons left his role as creative director at Dior, she temporarily led the design team until Maria Grazia Chiuri took over the role. Her Canadian husband, Luke Meier, was head of design at Supreme in New York for eight years. He went on to establish his own menswear label OAMC, which he currently oversees alongside his work for Jil Sander.

Photo credit: Jil Sander, Facebook

May: Paul Surridge is named the new creative director of Roberto Cavalli

Overview: Designers' Musical Chair Dance in 2017

Roberto Cavalli found its successor to Peter Dundas , its former creative director. The Italian fashion house named Paul Surridge as its new creative director . The British Surridge studied at Central Saint Martins in London and previously worked as a creative consultant at Acne Studios, where he was head of design for its men's line. He was creative director of Z Zegna between 2011 and 2014 prior to that design director at Jil Sander, reporting to Raf Simons. It was there that he met Gian Giacomo Ferraris, the current CEO of Roberto Cavalli.

CEO Gian Giacomo Ferraris intentionally left more than half a year gap between the departure of its former creative director Dundas and the appointment of Surridge as he wanted the new creative director to start their role after the company's restructuring. "It must be a clean slate for him."

Photo credit:Roberto Cavalli

June: Brioni appoints Nina-Maria Nitsche as creative director

Men's wear label Brioni named Nina-Maria Nitsche as its new creative director this summer. She replaced Justin O'Shea, who left the label last October after working for the label for less than six months. Prior to taking over the creative direction at Brioni, Nitsche worked at Martin Margiela for 23 years. "Ever since I met her in 1996, I have been impressed by her creative approach, starting from a clearly defined concept and then transforming that into products that accurately resonate with the customer,” said Brioni CEO Fabrizio Malverdi in the statement.

July: Olivier Lapidus replaces Bouchra Jarrar at Lanvin

Overview: Designers' Musical Chair Dance in 2017

Lanvin made it know at the start of July that artistic director Bouchra Jarrar would be leaving the fashion house after serving for sixteen months and creating two collections. Her exit came as no big shock - Lanvin had been struggling since the departure of its predecessor Alber Elbaz in October 2015, and faced a declining turnover.

Elbaz was the creative director of the iconic French label for more than 14 years. During his tenure at Lanvin, his handwriting became synonymous with that of the fashion house. Jarrar's designs were less exuberant and more tailored than that of her predecessor, creating an image which did not necessarily appeal to customers. The results were disappointing: Lanvin reported 23 percent decrease in sales in 2016 to 162 million euros and a net loss of 18.3 million. A sharp contrast with 2015: a profit of 6.3 million was booked in 2015.

A week after the unexpected departure of Jarrar, Lanvin announces that Olivier Lapidus has been appointed as creative director.

Photo credit: Bouchra Jarrar, Lanvin SS17. Credit: Catwalkpictures.com

October: Creative Director Christopher Bailey announces his impending exit from Burberry

Overview: Designers' Musical Chair Dance in 2017

Creative director Christopher Bailey announced his impending departure from Burberry this October, catching the entire industry off-guard. From March 2018 onwards, the chief creative officer aims to take a step back from his creative role at the luxury fashion house, before leaving the company by the end of 2018.

His departure marks the end of an era at Burberry. Bailey has been working for the British fashion house since 2001. During his years at Burberry, he has been credited for the revival of the brand, which under his leadership became one of the major global luxury powerhouses. "It has been the great privilege of my working life to be at Burberry, working alongside and learning from such an extraordinary group of people over the last 17 years," said Bailey in a statement. "Burberry encapsulates so much of what is great about Britain. As an organization, it is creative, innovative and outward looking. It celebrates diversity and challenges received wisdom...It has been a truly inspiring place to work and the decision to leave was not an easy one."

Burberry has yet announced who will succeed Bailey.

Photo credit: Christopher Bailey. Credit: Daniel Leal-Olivas / AFP

December: Jonathan Saunders exits role at DVF,

Overview: Designers' Musical Chair Dance in 2017

Jonathan Saunders resigned from his role as Chief Creative Officer at Diane von Furstenberg earlier this month, effective immediately. The pre-fall 2018 collection from DVF will be Saunders' final collection for the fashion house. Saunders previously joined the team at DVF in May 2016 and was responsible for the rebranding of the brand. Saunders was the brand's first-ever CCO and planned successor at DVF, and was given full creative license across the brand. At the time of his appointment, von Furstenberg stressed that Saunders new role at DVF helped facilitate her moving away from the daily duties of the brand. DVF has yet to announce his successor.

Photo credit: Jonathan Saunders SS16. Credit: Catwalkpictures.com

Leading Style Influencers the Industry Lost in 2017

OVERVIEW London - 2017 saw it’s fair share of high points and low points within the global fashion industry. New careers were launched as some leading fashion houses welcomed in new creative heads, while part of the older generation of fashion movers felt the time was right to step down and retire. Although we welcomed a number of new designers, influencers, and experts into the scene, the sector also said goodbye to some of its most influential creators, who helped form the fashion industry as we know it today.

In honour of their passing and the impact they made on the industry, Yankeemagazines takes a moment to remember the leading fashion influencers the industry lost in 2017 in the interactive map below. Even though they are physically no longer among us, the impact they left on the industry will be remembered for generations to come.

Photo credit: Azzedine Alaia, © Peter Lindbergh, courtesy of the Design Museum

Phoebe Philo parts ways with Céline: the end of an era

The fashion industry stumbles in sheer surprise as Céline puts an end to an era: its acclaimed creative director, French designer Phoebe Philo, leaves the luxury powerhouse after a decade dictating what the world wears.

“What Phoebe has accomplished over the past 10 years represents a key chapter in the history of Céline. We are very grateful to Phoebe for having contributed to the great momentum of this maison. A new era of development for Céline will now start and I am extremely confident in the future success of this iconic maison,” summarised Bernard Arnault, chairman and chief executive of LVMH, Céline's parent company, the new headwinds shaking the French luxury fashion powerhouse.

Philo took the reins of the iconic luxury label in 2008, after a five-year tenure as creative director at Chloe. Until that moment, the world’s most understated luxury house barely had a presence on the fashion scene since Michael Kors' reign in the nineties.

“Working with Céline has been an exceptional experience for me these last 10 years,” said Philo in a statement. “I am grateful to have worked with an incredibly talented and committed team and I would like to thank everyone along the way who has been a part of the collaborations and conversations… it’s been amazing” the designer further added.

What will the future bring for Philo?

The news has taken the industry by storm, as after such a prolific relationship, very few – if so – can imagine a future for Céline without its soulmate. As an example of how deep the relationship has gone for the designer and her playhouse, LVMH, the world’s largest luxury goods group which owns the house, transformed working practices and moved the atelier from Paris to London to accommodate Philo's desire to be closer to her family.

Industry sources have echoed the rumours about the designer’s possible move to another luxury fashion giant: Philo has been much dubbed as a likely successor to Christopher Bailey at Burberry. However, sources close to the matter quoted by ‘WWD’ assured she “will not work for another label in the near future.”

Although financial results for Céline alone are not available, Philo is thought to have helped fuel a rise in sales from 200 million euro to more than 700 million euro, highlighted the ‘New York Times’.

Furthermore, Philo has returned Céline to the forefront of trendsetting, from ugly shoes to the ‘woman dressed by women’ philosophy that has seen a revival of understated elegance and practicality; an essence that has been copied and emulated by everyone in the fashion world, from Victoria Beckham to Zara and Forever21.

Photo Credits: Andrew H. Walker / Getty Images North America / AFP

Destination Maternity appoints Peter Longo to its board of directors

Destination Maternity has announced the addition of Peter Longo, previously president of Macy's logistics/operations, to its board of directors, effective immediately.

"As a board, we have been actively evaluating our composition and size. Following significant study and engagement with stockholders, we decided to recruit individuals, who possess diverse skills and experience, to help further the company's turnaround and drive long-term profitable growth. With this in mind, we are pleased to welcome Peter to the Destination Maternity Board," said Barry Erdos, Chairman of Destination Maternity in a media release.

In this role at Macy’s, Longo, the company said, was pivotal in leading the business plan development and implementation for the logistics and technology infrastructure to support Macy's e-commerce efforts as well as the company's transition to omnichannel involving the analytics, operations, and systems for a flexible fulfillment network. Prior to this role, he functioned in a senior level capacity during the significant integrations of then Federated Department Stores with Macy's and the May Company, and the administrative and organizational restructuring of the company.

Longo has also served as co-chair of VICS (Voluntary Industry Collaboration & Solutions) and served on the Board of Governors for GS1-US and GS1-Global. In 2015 he received the Roger Milliken Award for outstanding contribution to industry collaboration and for his leadership in bringing RFID technology to the retail supply chain.

Picture:Destination Maternity website

Columbia Sportswear Company appoints Director, investor relations

Columbia Sportswear Company has appointed Christian Buss as Director of investor relations, reporting to the company’s Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Jim Swanson.

"I'm confident that Christian's professional background, intellectual horsepower and focus on financial insights will enhance the success of our investor relations activities. He joins us with tremendous experience and brings a unique point of view having covered the outdoor industry, global apparel retailers, and Columbia Sportswear Company (COLM) as a sell-side investment analyst for many years," said Swanson in a media release.

The company said that Buss joins the firm from Credit Suisse, where he was director of global apparel research. Buss has been in equity analysis since 2005, previously at ThinkEquity where he covered a broad range of lifestyle retail and apparel manufacturers, and before that at Thomas Weisel Partners where he covered the hardline and automotive retail groups. He will be based at Columbia Sportswear Company's headquarters in Portland, Oregon.

Picture credit:Christian Buss via Columbia Sportswear Company

Inditex appoints Antonio Flórez Head of Bershka

After Marco Agnolin moved to Diesel from Bershka, parent company Inditex has appointed Antonio Flórez as the brand’s new CEO, reports Style Network. The Inditex-owned brand, recently also roped in Pau Orts as Head of digital strategy.

Flórez is already familiar with the group’s working, most recently having served as the company’s director in Italy. He has also earlier held various positions including the commercial manager of Zara in Europe. Lorenzo Marcheselli, the former director of the group in the United Kingdom and most recently, commercial director of Zara in Europe, will now be the director of Inditex Italy, in place of Flórez, add a report by Expansion.

Considered as number two in terms of sales, after Zara, Bershka managed to cross the 2 billion euros (2.3 billion dollars) revenue mark for fiscal 2016. Bershka added 1,081 stores at the end of 2016, of which 919 were owned and 162 franchised. According to Expansion, so far this year, the brand opened 21 new stores, taking the total count to 1,102 worldwide. In addition, Bershka has an online store in 35 markets, after it launched online platforms in South Korea, the US and Japan this year.

Picture:Bershka website

Steven Cook to join Debenhams as MD fashion and home

Debenhams has announced that Steven Cook, former chief merchant of Canada’s luxury retailer, Holt Renfrew is joining the company as Managing Director of fashion and home.

Commenting on Cook’s appointment, Debenhams CEO Sergio Bucher said in a statement, “Steven’s appointment comes following a comprehensive global search to find the right candidate to drive Debenhams’ product offer forward. Steven brings great credentials to the role and by organising under three business units, our managing directors will have more visibility and accountability for delivering the customer experience.”

Steven Cook assumes role of MD fashion and home at Debenhams

The company said, taking up the position from early January 2018, Cook will lead the business unit that oversees the organisation’s buying, design and merchandising divisions for these categories as it continues to implement the Debenhams redesigned strategy and Cook’s appointment follows a global search and sees Debenhams commence plans to structure around three business units: beauty and beauty services, fashion and home and food and events.

On joining Debenhams, Cook said, “I am hugely excited to become part of the Debenhams team at this time of transformation. I look forward to leading the team in delivering both product development and a retailing experience which drives the Debenhams Redesigned strategy.”

Prior to the position at Holt Renfrew, a division of Selfridges Group, Cook was divisional vice president and general manager, apparel and accessories for Sears Canada. His retail, fashion and manufacturer experience spans a number of leading brands including Calvin Klein, Badgley Mischka as well as Polo Ralph Lauren, J. Crew and Nike.

Richard Cristofoli, the company aaded, formerly Debenhams’ marketing director becomes Managing Director of beauty, beauty services and marketing and the company’s retail director, Ross Clemmow will broaden his role as Managing Director for retail, digital, food and events.

In May 2017 Debenhams also appointed Sally Hyndman as HR Director and Angela Morrison as Technology and Supply Chain Director and international director, David Smith who joined the organisation in February 2016 has been now named Managing Director, International.

Picture:Steven Cook via Debenhams PR office

Marco Agnolin appointed CEO of Diesel

Diesel has announced the appointment of Marco Agnolin to the post of Chief Executive Officer. The company said in a statement that having spent several years at Inditex, the last seven of which at the helm of Bershka, Agnolin has extensive global industry experience, specifically in retail.

Commenting on Agnolin’s appointment, Renzo Rosso, Founder of Diesel and President of parent company OTB said in a media statement: “I am proud to welcome Marco on board, one of the most talented fashion executives worldwide and a professional whose career I have followed for a long time. His experience and personal attitude, matched with our vision of the brand, will bring about a successful future for Diesel.”

“All my life I have looked up to and have been inspired by one brand, and that was Diesel. Today I am happy to be part of it, looking forward to giving my contribution to the next chapters of its unique story,” added Agnolin.

Picture credit: Marco Agnolin via Henri+Frank PR

John Gunn named CEO of Joseph Ribkoff

Canadian women’s fashion brand Ribkoff has announced the appointment of John Gunn as the company’s new Chief Executive Officer. The development happened after private equity investor, Novacap acquired a majority stake in the company.

"We continue to emphasize Joseph Ribkoff's continued commitment to the brand to develop the best ready-to-wear collections and to offer our customers the best service, " said Gunn in a press release.

Ex-CEO John Ferraro to shoulder creative duties

Gunn most recently served as CEO and president of Bentley since November 2013, where he supervised the development and implementation of long-term and short-term strategies and goals. Previously he was president of Esprit America, and has for nine years as executive vice president for Tommy Hilfiger.

In addition John Ferraro will remain active within Joseph Ribkoff, both as a manager and as a partner, overseeing the creative aspect of the brand, added the company. Ferraro has been with Joseph Ribkoff since 1993, in which he was active as CEO during the last seven years. The company added that he played a big role spreading Joseph Ribkoff’s presence in more than 64 international markets. He also modernized the company and the strategy adapted by him resulted in doubling of the company’s turnover.

"We want to take the company to a higher level and it is important for us to find at what level our expertise should be to achieve that. Design and product development are two things that make me enthusiastic and I think that this is the right time for me to join the creative team and focus more on creating collections than the operational part,” Ferraro added.

Picture:Facebook/Joseph Ribkoff

Macy’s appoints Chief Product and Digital Revenue Officer

Macy's has appointed Jill Ramsey as Chief Product and Digital Revenue Officer, effective January 8, 2018. The company said in a statement that this role was established to focus on reimagining how people shop, bridging the physical and digital worlds through seamless customer experiences.

"I am extremely excited to have Jill join the Macy's team. She is a strong fit for our business given her experience in product and digital leadership. Jill's expertise in ecommerce and multichannel retail perfectly aligns to our goal to integrate technology through all aspects of the customer journey," said Hal Lawton in a media statement.

Ramsey, the company added, will have oversight of both product and revenue for Macys.com and the Macy's app and her specific responsibilities will include digital revenue, enterprise product management, the enterprise portfolio, digital merchandise management, site production, and the user experience. She will also have responsibility for the product management teams that support both Macy's and Bloomingdale's. Ramsey will report to Hal Lawton, President of Macy's.

Ramsey has over 20 years of experience leading product and digital teams that deliver digital growth in ecommerce. Most recently, she was vice president, GM of vertical businesses at eBay. Prior to joining eBay in 2015, Ramsey held various leadership positions at Walmart.com, where she most recently served as vice president (corporate officer) - merchandising.

Picture:Macy's website