In an era that has emboldened — and encouraged — women at a seemingly unprecedented rate to speak up about instances of mistreatment at work, companies are facing immense pressure to swiftly and aggressively address issues of internal misconduct.
As a result, headlines of executive resignations are becoming more commonplace following an initial wave coming from the entertainment industry and the scandal surrounding disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein.
Now fashion firms and their leaders are being thrust into the conversation — although in some cases, the nature of the alleged misconduct is unclear.
Here are four industry leaders who exited their posts this year amid claims of inappropriate behavior.
Guess Co-Founder Paul Marciano
In February, the board of directors for the Los Angeles-based brand formed a special committee to investigate claims of sexual misconduct by Marciano.
While the Guess co-founder denied the allegations — which came from supermodel Kate Upton — in February, he relinquished his day-to-day responsibilities on an unpaid basis, pending the completion of the investigation.
“I have pledged my full cooperation to the company and I have the utmost confidence in our CEO, Victor Herrero, to continue leading the company during this time,” Marciano said in a February statement.
Stuart Weitzman Creative Director Giovanni Morelli
Just one year after making a grand entrance as the creative director of storied shoe label Stuart Weitzman, Giovanni Morelli made a surprise exit from his post this month.
Stuart Weitzman parent Tapestry Inc. said Morelli — who landed in the creative director slot in May 2017 as the first person other than Stuart Weitzman to hold the title — had behaved inappropriately during his time at the company.
“While we greatly admire Giovanni’s creative talents, Tapestry is committed to an environment where every individual feels respected, and at times his behavior fell short of these standards,” said Tapestry CEO Victor Luis.
Lululemon CEO Laurent Potdevin
The athletic apparel retailer’s chief resigned in February after the company’s board determined that he had engaged in unspecified behavior that “fell short” of Lululemon’s “standards of conduct.”
“While this was a difficult and considered decision, the board thanks Laurent for his work in strengthening the company and positioning it for the future,” executive chairman of the board Glenn Murphy said at the time. “Culture is at the core of Lululemon, and it is the responsibility of leaders to set the right tone in our organization.”
Multiple reports have emerged suggesting Potdevin carried on a relationship with a female designer he oversaw.
Nike Brand President Trevor Edwards
While Nike has yet to publicly connect the dots, in March, Edwards was the first of roughly 10 executives to exit the brand as it worked to clean house amid an investigation into alleged internal misconduct.
Nike had also said it was reviewing its human resources practices and system for reporting complaints as it became aware of behavior that was “inconsistent” with its values.
Nike VP and GM of global categories Jayme Martin’s exit came within two days of Edwards’ resignation. In the weeks that followed, Greg Thompson, VP of footwear, Vikrant Singh, senior brand director for basketball in North America, and Daniel Tawiah, VP of global brand digital marketing innovation, were among those to depart the athletic behemoth.