LONDON, United Kingdom — H&M group’s second-biggest brand is losing several top executives, according to internal emails viewed by The Business of Fashion, as the once high-flying minimalist brand struggles to maintain momentum.
The reshuffle at Cos represents some of the biggest leadership changes since the brand was launched in 2007. In addition to Managing Director Marie Honda — who has held her position for eight years — the brand’s Head of Communications, Atul Pathak, and finance and operations director Michael Marth are also departing, the emails said.
Honda is shifting into a new role within the H&M group and will be replaced by Arket’s Managing Director, Lea Rytz Goldman.
The fast-fashion giant confirmed the changes, describing Marth and Pathak’s departure as part of normal, periodic turnover, and congratulating Honda for her eight-year tenure growing the business.
“We are very proud of all these achievements and Marie will now take all this experience to contribute across the wider group,” the company said in a statement.
The changes come as Cos struggles to maintain momentum in a challenging market. The brand was the first to launch after H&M, and represented an important evolution for the fast-fashion giant. Based in London, it gave the company a toe-hold in one of fashion’s capitals, and, with its elevated and more expensive designs, signalled ambitions to establish H&M group’s credentials within the fashion world.
It was a savvy move that initially paid off; the brand’s minimalist but chic selection earned Cos the moniker ‘high-street Celine’ in fashion circles. In 2018, the brand was available online in 21 markets and operated 270 stores across 41 countries. But more recently, the brand’s star has faded, while newer additions to H&M group’s stable of brands, like Arket, have begun to attract more attention.