Industry Moves: August 2017

Aug. 24, 2017: Don Watros, president of international at Hudson’s Bay Co., is exiting the firm at the end of September. The company did not disclose the reason for his departure. Watros, who was appointed to his most recent role in 2015, has worked for HBC for nearly a dozen years.

Aug. 24, 2017:  Paul Stuart Inc. is putting the spotlight on its men’s accessories business with the appointment of Javier Suarez as head of design and production development. In his role as consultant, Suarez will drive growth in men’s shoes and belts. For nearly three decades, the industry veteran worked at Ferragamo, where he was eventually named EVP global product director of men’s shoes and leather goods. Suarez began his career in Switzerland and held design and product development roles at Cole Haan.

Aug. 21, 2017: As part of a larger effort to turn around its business, Macy’s Inc. announced that it has tapped former SVP of eBay North America Hal Lawton to serve as its new president, effective Sept. 8.  Lawton will be responsible for all aspects of the Macy’s brand, including merchandising, marketing, stores, operations, technology and consumer insights and analytics. He will report to CEO Jeff Gennette.

Macy’s also said it is taking further action “to balance the ‘art and science’ of retail” by  restructuring its merchandising operations and strengthening consumer insights and data analytics capabilities. The restructuring includes the consolidation of three functions — merchandising, planning and private brands — into a single merchandising function to be led by 35-year Macy’s veteran Jeff Kantor, who previously oversaw macys.com. Currently, Kantor serves as chief stores and human resources officer. He will report to Lawton.

Aug. 17, 2017: Hudson’s Bay Co.  has hired Edward Record as its CFO, effective Aug. 28. Record will report to company CEO Jerry Storch and serve as a member of HBC’s operating committee. He joins the company more than three years as CFO for J. C. Penney Co. Inc. He succeeds Paul Beesley.

Aug. 14, 2017: Historic ballet shoe maison Repetto has named Gilles Assor as its new CEO of the Americas, effective immediately. Assor previously spent several years in Paris working with brands such as Jean Paul Gaultier, Maison Margiela and Marc Jacobs before he moved to the U.S. in 2010. He spent the last five years as VP of Robert Clergerie. With the appointment of Assor, Repetto will launch a special collaboration during the SS/18 Fashion Week in New York, as well as two capsule collections exclusive to the Northern American market that will be unveiled during Fashion Week in Paris in September.

Aug. 10, 2017: Following the  completion of the company’s Chapter 11 restructuring, Payless CEO Paul Jones will retire from his post. The company announced today that is emerging from bankruptcy protection, for which it filed in April. The post-emergence board of directors will begin a search to identify a new CEO. In the interim, Payless will be led by a newly appointed executive committee comprising CFO Michael Schwindle and COO Mike Vitelli, and headed by Martin R. Wade III, chairman of Payless’ post-emergence board and interim CEO.

Aug. 2, 2017: Former Iconix Brand Group marketing and communications veterans Dari Marder and Maria Dolgetta partnered with entertainment-and celebrity-branding expert Nicole Winnaman to launch a new branding and marketing agency, Creative Playground, LLC. The company will specialize in celebrity branding, marketing and communications across the fashion, entertainment, beauty and wellness industries. In addition, the firm has announced Creative Playground Productions, a strategic partnership with production company 3 Ball Entertainment for projects involving long and short-form video content. Before forming Creative Playground, Marder was the longtime global chief marketing officer for Iconix Brand Group where, for more than two decades, she led branding for the portfolio of more than 30 brands including Candie’s, Badgley Mischka and London Fog. She also created and launched Madonna’s fashion brand, Material Girl. Dolgetta oversaw global public relations and corporate communications during her tenure at Iconix Brand Group and helped build brands such as Danskin, Op and Candie’s. Winnaman has negotiated high-profile partnerships for several celebrities including Justin Timberlake for Myspace, Fergie for Wet n Wild and Ellen DeGeneres for American Express. Creative Playground has offices in New York City as well as Santa Monica, Calif.

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