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Jonathan Saunders steps down from CCO role at DVF

TIMELINE London - Jonathan Saunders has stepped down from his role as Chief Creative Officer at DVF with immediate effect. His exit comes days after Diane von Furstenberg confirmed she was seeking out an internal investor to take a stake in the fashion company.

Saunders first joined the fashion company in May 2016, after closing his eponymous label at the end of 2015. He was in charge of DVF's overall creative direction, including product design, store design, website layout in addition to developing a new brand identity for DVF.

Jonathan Saunders exits role at DVF

“I am grateful for Diane’s support and for the opportunity of guiding this iconic brand. I am so proud of everything we have accomplished in the past 18 months. I thank the incredible team for their dedication and support, and will continue to be a friend and admirer of the brand,” Saunders said in a statement to WWD.

The Scottish designer's final collection for DVF will be pre-fall 2018, shown earlier this month. “I am so thankful for Jonathan’s beautiful work and the effort and dedication he has put into DVF in the last 18 months. He will leave an important and lasting heritage to the brand,” added von Furstenberg.

Saunders was the first-ever CCO and planned successor at DVF, and was given full creative license across the brand, including overseeing its advertising and marketing campaigns. At the time of his appointment, von Furstenberg stressed that Saunders new role at DVF helped facilitate her moving away from the daily duties linked to the role of a creative director, giving her more time to focus on her philanthropic work as well as her role as chair of the Council of Fashion Designers of America.

DVF has yet to reveal if it has begun its search for a successor. Saunders sudden departure from the New York-based fashion brand comes as it faces a number of challenges concerning its position in department stores. The label has been operating without a Chief Executive Officer since November 2016, with former CEO Paolo Riva left the brand. Von Furstenberg stressed that her family would become more involved with the business at the time.

Saunders departure comes as DVF seeks out a new investor. Its founder previously hired Michel Dyens & Co, a leading independent investment banking firm, to explore future options as she seeks out an investor to help attract leadership to ensure DVF becomes disruptive in the digital world and "create a real legacy brand."

FashionUnited has contacted DVF for additional commentary concerning the exit of Jonathan Saunders. Following Saunders exit from DVF, FashionUnited has gathered together milestones from his career in the timeline below.

Use the arrows to navigate through the events ordered by date or click on a time frame (in the gray bar) to learn more.

Photo: Jonathan Saunders SS16 © Catwalkpictures.com

Deckers says stockholders voted to re-elect all its directors

After a 10-month battle with shareholder Marcato Capital Management that owns an 8.5 percent stake in the firm, Deckers Brands has announced that based on the preliminary vote count following its 2017 annual meeting of stockholders.

The company said in a statement that the outcome reaffirms that the company is on the right track. “We remain focused on continuing our strategic transformation as we optimize our retail strategy, improve operating profits, refresh our board and return capital to stockholders,” it added.

Deckers further said that stockholders have voted to re-elect all of Deckers’ directors – John M. Gibbons, Karyn O. Barsa, Nelson C. Chan, Michael F. Devine III, John G. Perenchio, David Powers, James E. Quinn, Lauri M. Shanahan and Bonita C. Stewart – to the Deckers board.

Picture:Deckers Brands website

David Pastrana named President, White House Black Market

Chico's has appointed David Pastrana as President of its White House Black Market brand, effective January 10, 2018. In this role, the company said, Pastrana will oversee all business activities for White House Black Market and will report directly to Shelley Broader, President and CEO of Chico's FAS. Pastrana will succeed Donna Colaco who is leaving the company to pursue other opportunities.

"David is a proven leader who complements White House Black Market's existing leadership, including a new head of design and seasoned merchandising associates," said Broader in a media release, adding, "Given its differentiated market position and loyal customer base, White House Black Market is uniquely positioned for success."

David Pastrana to step in as President of White House Black Market

The company added that Pastrana brings to White House Black Market more than a decade of retail experience. Over the course of his career, Pastrana has held senior leadership positions at Zara, Topshop/Topman and most recently at Sears Holding Corporation, where he served as president of apparel since 2014.

"White House Black Market has already begun to make important improvements, including returning to the brand's core and shifting the assortment focus back to work wear, black and white and work-appropriate dresses. I look forward to partnering with Shelley and the entire White House Black Market team as we continue to strengthen the brand and deliver for our customers," added Pastrana.

Before joining Sears, Pastrana served as president North America for Topshop/Topman, where he managed the North American retail, wholesale and online businesses and led the commercial, retail, buying, merchandising, HR, finance, technology and operations teams. Prior to Topshop/TopMan, he spent eight years at Inditex, including serving as the managing director and CEO of Inditex USA, overseeing strategy and financial operations for Zara and Massimo Dutti. Earlier, he served as managing director for Zara Canada and western region director for Zara USA. He began his career at Inditex in stores and at headquarters in Spain.

Picture:White House Black Market website

David Pastrana named President, White House Black Market

Chico's has appointed David Pastrana as President of its White House Black Market brand, effective January 10, 2018. In this role, the company said, Pastrana will oversee all business activities for White House Black Market and will report directly to Shelley Broader, President and CEO of Chico's FAS. Pastrana will succeed Donna Colaco who is leaving the company to pursue other opportunities.

"David is a proven leader who complements White House Black Market's existing leadership, including a new head of design and seasoned merchandising associates," said Broader in a media release, adding, "Given its differentiated market position and loyal customer base, White House Black Market is uniquely positioned for success."

David Pastrana to step in as President of White House Black Market

The company added that Pastrana brings to White House Black Market more than a decade of retail experience. Over the course of his career, Pastrana has held senior leadership positions at Zara, Topshop/Topman and most recently at Sears Holding Corporation, where he served as president of apparel since 2014.

"White House Black Market has already begun to make important improvements, including returning to the brand's core and shifting the assortment focus back to work wear, black and white and work-appropriate dresses. I look forward to partnering with Shelley and the entire White House Black Market team as we continue to strengthen the brand and deliver for our customers," added Pastrana.

Before joining Sears, Pastrana served as president North America for Topshop/Topman, where he managed the North American retail, wholesale and online businesses and led the commercial, retail, buying, merchandising, HR, finance, technology and operations teams. Prior to Topshop/TopMan, he spent eight years at Inditex, including serving as the managing director and CEO of Inditex USA, overseeing strategy and financial operations for Zara and Massimo Dutti. Earlier, he served as managing director for Zara Canada and western region director for Zara USA. He began his career at Inditex in stores and at headquarters in Spain.

Picture:White House Black Market website

Frank Beeck to join as COO of C&A Europe

C&A has announced that as of January 15, 2018, Frank Beeck will join the European board of the fashion house based in Dusseldorf as Chief Operating Officer (COO). Beeck, the company said, will take on the leadership for Switzerland, Italy, Austria, as well as Croatia, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, the Czech Republic and Hungary.

"I'm delighted to have Frank on board - a proven expert in the textile retail industry, he knows how to combine pragmatism with strategic vision," said Alain Caparros, CEO of the company in a statement.

The company added that in the future Bart Brenninkmeijer will act as COO for France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain and Portugal, as well as Germany. Tjeerd van der Zee, who was responsible for France in the European Executive Board and who successfully restructured the German business thus far, will focus on his duties as Chief Financial Officer. In addition, Brenninkmeijer will continue to look after C&A Europe’s entire online business.

Beeck studied in Giessen and began his career in retail as a buyer for Peek & Cloppenburg KG in Dusseldorf. Throughout his tenure, he has held key leadership positions, including his roles as managing director of various countries for Mango and as head of the Swiss fashion retailer Vögele. Most recently, Beeck was the CEO of NKD, where he was responsible for their successful restructuring.

Picture:Frank Beeck via C&A

Kinnevik proposes Dame Amelia Fawcett as its new Chairman

Kinnevik has said in a statement that its nomination committee will propose the election of Dame Amelia Fawcett as new chairman of the board at the annual general meeting 2018. Fawcett has been a director of the Kinnevik board since 2011 and has served as deputy chairman since 2013. She succeeds Tom Boardman who has decided not to stand for re-election at the 2018 AGM.

Commenting on the development, Cristina Stenbeck, Chairman of the nomination committee, said in a media release: "Since her election in 2011, Amelia has been an active member of the board. She has contributed her experience from leading global companies across multiple industries, including financial services, media and telecommunications. She also has led for many years the work of Kinnevik and its investee companies on governance, risk, compliance and remuneration, as a board member and chairman of relevant board committees."

Kinnevik board nominates Dame Amelia Fawcett as its next chairman

Dame Amelia Fawcett has been a Director of the board of Kinnevik since 2011 and was appointed deputy chairman in 2013. She is also Chairman of the Standards Board for Alternative Investments, a board director of State Street Corporation in Boston, USA and Chairman of its risk committee, and a member of the board of the UK Treasury. She is also Deputy Chairman and a Governor of the London Business School, Chairman of The Prince of Wales's Charitable Foundation and a trustee of Project Hope UK.

She held managerial positions within Morgan Stanley during 1987-2006 and was vice chairman and chief operating officer of its European operations during 2002-2006. She was a board director of the Guardian Media Group during 2007-2013, and chairman during 2009-2013. In 2010 she was awarded a DBE (Dame Commander of the British Empire) by HM Queen Elizabeth II for services to the financial services industry.

"On behalf of the board and the nomination committee, I would like to extend our deepest gratitude to Tom Boardman for his significant contribution during his seven years on the board of Kinnevik and his leadership during his last two years as Chairman," Stenbeck added.

Picture:Facebook/Zalando

Macy’s Executive Chairman Terry Lundgren to retire in January 2018

Macy's has announced that its Executive Chairman Terry Lundgren will retire from the board of directors effective January 31, 2018. The board has appointed Jeff Gennette, who has been CEO since March 2017, to fill in the role of Chairman after Lundgren’s retirement. The company added that Marna Whittington remains Lead Independent Director and following Lundgren's retirement, the board will have 10 directors.

"I am proud of our company's growth, accomplishments and the talent we developed during the 14 years I have led Macy's," Lundgren said in a statement, adding, "I have worked closely with Jeff and his team over the past two years, focusing on the changes and vision required for future success. I am confident that the company has the strategies, resources, talent and leadership to capitalize on the fundamental shifts in consumer shopping patterns we have all experienced."

"We thank Terry for his many contributions to Macy's," said Whittington, adding, "Jeff has the full confidence of the board and we look forward to him executing on the company's strategic plan intended to return the company to growth."

"We've made good progress this year on the path to return Macy's to growth and drive shareholder value for the long term. We are working hard to close the year out strong and head into 2018 with momentum," added Gennette.

Picture:Facebook/Macy's

Coach appoints presidents for Europe and North America

Coach has announced the appointment of Laura Dubin-Wander as President, North America and Fredrik Malm as President, Coach Europe and Coach International, reports Footwear News. Both will join the company in the new calendar year and will report to Joshua Schulman, Coach President and CEO.

Dubin-Wander joins the brand from Givenchy, where she currently holds the role of US president. Prior to that, she has held leadership roles at Christian Dior Couture, American Eagle Outfitters, Liz Claiborne and Victoria’s Secret, the report added.

Quoting the company statement, the report further said that Malm’s role will encompass oversight of Coach’s directly operated retail and wholesale businesses in Europe, as well as the global franchise, distributor and travel retail businesses. He joins Coach from Ralph Lauren, where Malm currently holds the role of president, sales EMEA. Prior to Ralph Lauren, he served as VP of global retail at ECCO.

Picture:Coach website

Tapestry adds Doreen Toben and Anne Gates to its board of directors

Tapestry has appointed Doreen Toben and Anne Gates to its board of directors. The company said, appointments of Toben and Gates to the board brings the membership to ten.

Commenting on the new appointments, Victor Luis, Chief Executive Officer of Tapestry, said in a statement: “We are extremely pleased that Doreen Toben and Anne Gates have agreed to join our board. As Tapestry continues to evolve as a house of brands, we are confident that their respective business experience, strategic insight and leadership skills will prove particularly valuable to us.”

Doreen Toben and Anne Gates join Tapestry’s board of directors

Toben has served as executive vice president of Verizon Communications from February 2002 until her retirement from the company in June 2009. From 2002 to February 2009, she was Verizon’s CFO and was responsible for its finance and strategic planning efforts. Prior to 2002, Toben was senior vice president and chief financial officer with responsibility for finance and strategic planning for Verizon’s Telecom Group. The company added that she brings over 25 years of experience in the communications industry. Toben is also a member of the boards of directors of Arris Group and The New York Times Company. Previously, she has served on the board of directors of Kate Spade from 2009 until the company was acquired by Tapestry in 2017.

Upon her appointment, Toben said: “The brands that comprise Tapestry’s portfolio are built upon a history and heritage of authenticity, with shared values of optimism, innovation and creativity. I’m excited about joining the Board at this unique moment in time, to help build on the foundation they have created as they evolve into a true house of brands.”

Gates was president of MGA Entertainment, a privately-held developer, manufacturer and marketer of toy and entertainment products for children, a position she has held from 2014 through her retirement in 2017. The company said, Gates held roles of increasing responsibility with The Walt Disney company from 1991-2012 including that of executive vice president, chief financial officer for Disney Consumer Products, managing director for Disney Consumer Products Europe and emerging markets, and senior vice president of operations, planning and analysis for The Walt Disney Company. Prior to joining Disney, she worked for PepsiCo and Bear Stearns and holds over 25 years of experience in the retail and consumer products industry.

In addition, the company added, Gates has a broad business background in finance, marketing, strategy and business development, including growing international businesses. She serves on the board of directors of The Kroger Company. She is also chairwoman of Big Sunday and a member of the boards of the University of California, Berkley Foundation, Columbia University School of Engineering, Cadre and PBS SoCal (KOCE-TV Foundation).

"I am delighted to be joining the Tapestry Board. I look forward to contributing to the sustained health and future growth of this home of great brands, all of which resonate with consumers globally," Gates added.

Commenting on their appointment, Jide Zeitlin, Chairman of the board of Tapestry added to the statement: “We conducted an in-depth search for directors who would further strengthen and diversify our board’s breadth of expertise and perspectives. We are delighted to have identified two such exceptional individuals.”

Picture:Tapestry website

Laurence Nicolas appointed head of Sotheby's global jewelry and watches

Sotheby's has announced that Laurence Nicolas has been named executive vice president, global managing director, jewelry and watches. This puts her at the forefront of Sotheby's two fastest growing categories. She will report to the company's CEO, Tad Smith. Nicolas will oversee Sotheby's jewelry and watch business including auction, private, e-commerce and retail sales, as well as the company's diamond venture, Sotheby's Diamonds.

Nicolas has over 25 years of experience in the luxury sector managing leading international brands. She joins the company from Christian Dior Couture where she was named CEO of Dior Timepieces & Fine Jewelry in 2001. There, she created the "Fine Jewelry" division in 2001, followed by the "Timepieces" Division in 2008. She's also occupied key positions at Cartier between 1990 and 2001, where she helped drive international retail and marketing operations.

“Our jewelry and watch businesses operate in markets much larger than the art market and this newly-created role has been designed to strengthen our cross-platform strategy and take advantage of the significant opportunity,” said Smith. “Laurence’s creativity, energy and experience will no doubt be inspirational for the talented teams she will lead, while also further enhancing our clients’ experience and fostering Sotheby’s growth in these two key areas.”

Laurence will join the company on February 1 and be based in New York.

“I am thrilled to start a new challenge within such a leading and venerable Company and look forward to working with Tad and the Sotheby’s team to further develop the jewelry and watch businesses,” said Nicolas. “Given the smart and passionate people that I have already met in the company, and the amazing history and expertise Sotheby’s has built since 1744, I believe the potential for growth is tremendous. I am confident that together, we can conceive and execute plans to drive consistent sales and growth.”

photo: courtesy of Sotheby's