LONDON, United Kingdom – BoF compiles the most important professional moves of the week.
Sebba Retires as Net-a-Porter CEO
Mark Sebba, the chief executive of online luxury fashion retailer Net-a-Porter, has retired after 11 years helming the company. Sebba joined Net-a-Porter in 2003, only three years after it was founded, and focused his efforts on developing and enhancing its global infrastructure. During his long tenure, he saw the company launch The Outnet and Mr Porter, and watched the business grow from a promising start-up to a major global online fashion retailer, with sales growing from around £6 million in 2003 to around £120 million by 2009, before the company was acquired by Richemont in 2010. Massenet, the group’s founder and chairman, called Sebba her “greatest ally” and a “true partner.” Sebba will continue to serve as the non-executive director on the company’s board, providing strategic guidance as the group expands internationally. No successor was immediately announced.
RCA Hires New Head of Fashion
The Royal College of Art has named Zowie Broach its new head of fashion, succeeding Professor Wendy Dagworthy, who is retiring from the position after 16 years. Dagworthy was formerly head of fashion at Central Saint Martins for nine years, before joining the RCA in 1998 as course director and professor, teaching MA students. In only two years she became head of the school’s fashion and textile department, training designers such as Erdem and Holly Fulton. Newly appointed Broach spent 12 years teaching at both BA and Master’s levels, at institutions such as Parsons School of Design in New York, SAIC in Chicago, and Bezalel Academy of Arts in Jerusalem. She is also the co-founder of British fashion house Boudicca, the first independent British fashion house to be invited as a guest member of the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture in 2007. Broach will join the college at the start of the new academic year on Oct 1.
Target Names Pepsi Executive as CEO
American retailer Target has named Brian Cornell as the company’s chief executive and chairman of the board of directors, effective August 12. The announcement comes three months after Target CEO Gregg Steinhafel resigned, following a large data breach that compromised personal data of millions of customers in the holiday shopping season last year. Cornell, 55, most recently served as chief executive of PepsiCo Americas Foods, where he oversaw the company’s global food business. Prior to that, he was president and CEO of Sam’s Club, a division of Wal-Mart Stores. As the Minnaepolis-based company fights to redefine itself to American shoppers, questions have been raised about bringing in an “outside” CEO with little experience in e-commerce. “Outside perspective is what Target needs, in our view, given the need to rebuild trust,” said Greg Melich, head of consumer research at ISI Group. Cornell will take over from chief financial officer John Mulligan, who has been looking over the spot since May. His top priorities will be improving the company’s performance in the U.S. and Canada, and moving it forward as an omni-channel retailer.
Ports 1961 Taps Menswear Director
Luxury fashion label Ports 1961 has tapped Milan Vukmirovic as its new creative director for menswear, a newly created position, as the brand looks to develop its men’s division. Fiona Cibana, the label’s creative director, was previously in charge of both the womenswear and menswear categories; however, Vukrimonic will now oversee all menswear collections. According to Ports 1961 CEO Salem Cibana, the designer would continue to be based in Miami, but travel to Milan, where the company is headquartered. Vukmirovic has held various design roles for brands such as Jil Sander, Chevignon, Gucci and Trussardi, as well as numerous retail positions including art director and buyer at Colette, and co-founding The Webster concept store in Miami. His first collection for Ports 1961 will be unveiled for autumn/winter 2015.
Linda Lee Departs Macy’s
Group vice president and founder of the ‘By Appointment’ Personal Shopping and Corporate Sales services at Macy’s, Linda Lee, is concluding her 35 year career at the department store. Lee’s career began at Bergdorf Goodman as an assistant sales manager and as co-owner of Connie’s Racket, a sportswear shop in Westport, Connecticut. She joined Macy’s in 1979 as a fashion consultant and help transformed a special department at Macy’s Herald Square, from an eclectic boutique into a burgeoning luxury designer space with collections from Geoffrey Beene, Yves Saint Laurent, Thiery Mugler and Calvin Klein, among others. Macy’s soon offered Lee a team of assistants to build a personal shopping business for the store. Ultimately, Lee became widely associated with Macy’s, as her picture appeared in the company’s ad pages in The New York Times and Playbill.
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