FASHION FRIENDS FOREVER: Friends of the CFDA, a group of like-minded individuals who are passionate about philanthropy and fashion, has formed under the leadership of Jordan Roth, theater producer, couture collector and red carpet favorite, as chairman.
The idea behind Friends of the CFDA came from Thom Browne, chairman of the CFDA, when he first took over on Jan. 1. One of his first initiatives was to select a small group of fashion devotees in support of American designers.
Friends of the CFDA will provide this group unprecedented access to the American fashion industry, including exclusive benefits such as invitations to special events, private gatherings with industry leaders and recognition for their commitment to the CFDA’s mission.
The annual membership fee benefits CFDA’s philanthropic initiatives including emerging designer support, sustainable fashion initiatives, diversity and inclusion programs, and industry education and advocacy, among others.
“As chairman of the CFDA, my emphasis is on the importance of creativity in building successful businesses…American fashion can be magical and inspiring…with Friends of the CFDA, we hope to bring exclusive access to the talent and creativity of our designers…and benefit important CFDA initiatives and programs,” said Browne.
Roth said, “When Thom asked me to lead the Friends of the CFDA, I immediately and wholeheartedly agreed as I’ve seen firsthand the extraordinary work of the organization. The CFDA has long been a driver of the fashion industry’s creativity, innovation and growth. Its programs and initiatives have nurtured emerging talents, promoted sustainability and propelled New York City as a global fashion capital. However, the CFDA’s work could not be accomplished without the collective contribution of people who recognize and experience the transformative power of fashion.”
According to Steven Kolb, chief executive officer of the CFDA, it’s not an official membership program based on dues. Rather, it’s an invite-only charter with “Friends” making an annual donation of $10,000 to the CFDA Foundation.
Asked how they decided on Roth to become chairman of the group, Kolb said, “Jordan is an amazing friend of the CFDA and he embodies a love of fashion and creativity. His enthusiasm and passion make him a perfect leader of Friends of the CFDA.”
A fashion devotee, Roth is president and majority owner of the Jujamcyn Theaters in New York. He oversees five Broadway theaters including the St. James, Al Hirshfeld, August Wilson, Eugene O’Neill and the Walter Kerr. A frequent front-row attendee at fashion shows (who dresses according to each designer), Roth attended the CFDA and Spotify’s kick-off to New York Fashion Week at Gracie Mansion this month, where Mayor Eric Adams welcomed the fashion crowd.
Kolb said the goal is to start with 50 friends. “We want it to be intimate and engaging, but we are open to expanding if there is interest,” said Kolb. He said the activities will vary from networking to conversations with designers, studio visits, retail engagement and general access to CFDA events and programs. — LISA LOCKWOOD
ULTA NEW PRESIDENT: Kecia L. Steelman, Ulta’s chief operating officer who is viewed in industry circles as a potential successor to chief executive officer Dave Kimbell, has added president to her title.
In the joint roles, Steelman has responsibility for corporate strategy, information technology, store and services operations, supply chain, Ulta Beauty at Target, enterprise-wide transformation and loss prevention.
That includes inventory shrink — the difference between balance-sheet inventory and actual stock that is often blamed on organized retail crime — which has weighed on Ulta’s gross margin. As part of that, she has led Ulta’s move to lock up fragrance in cabinets in 70 percent of stores by the end of the year.
“What we’re seeing is in the initial stores that we rolled out the locked fragrance cases for, we actually saw sales improvement because we were in stock with the product,” she said during an August call with analysts to discuss Ulta’s most recent earnings.
Steelman was named chief operating officer in 2021 when Kimbell was appointed CEO. Prior to that, she has been chief store operations officer since 2015. Previously, she was group vice president at Family Dollar Stores from 2011 to 2014.
“Kecia is a talented executive with a proven track record of driving operational excellence while fostering a caring and inclusive culture and creating exceptional guest experiences,” said Kimbell. “Over the last year, Kecia has increased her scope and influence within our organization, and this expanded role recognizes her value to the company and her many contributions to our success, while also demonstrating our ongoing confidence in her leadership to help us drive profitable growth for the company over the coming years.”
Last month, Ulta raised its full-year outlook on the back of a strong second quarter. The beauty retailer now expects net sales to come in at a range between $11.05 billion and $11.15 billion. Previously it had forecast $11 billion to $11.1 billion. Estimates for diluted earnings per share have been lifted to $25.10 to $25.60, from $24.70 to $25.40. — KATHRYN HOPKINS
DIOR DENIM: Fresh off dressing K-pop band Tomorrow x Together, aka TXT, at the 2023 MTV Video Music Awards, Dior menswear designer Kim Jones is launching a denim capsule collection aimed at a younger, more casual clientele.
The Dior Denim line, set to land in stores on Oct. 19, includes wardrobe staples such as pants, shirts and bucket hats made from eco-friendly cotton in washes ranging from indigo to gray and black, for those ready to swap their oblique suit for a Canadian tuxedo.
Prices range from 750 euros for a pair of slim jeans to 1,900 euros for an overshirt.
“This collection is the first capsule dedicated to denim. It is composed of casual and sophisticated pieces, which are the perfect match for a men’s wardrobe,” Jones said in a statement.
“I remember when I was young, I went through a phase where I wore Vans, jeans and a Stüssy T-shirt every day. Jeans are one of those basic that will stay with you for life. This is probably the last modern invention for men. It’s something cultural,” added the designer, who has a vast collection of vintage clothing.
The collection combines workwear-inspired details, like stitching on carpenter jeans and darts on back pockets, with house signatures like the Dior Oblique motif, which appears on certain linings, and leather patches embossed with the Dior logo. Accessories include the B33 sneaker and a cream and navy weekender bag.
The first denim designs for men at Dior were launched for spring 2003 by Hedi Slimane, the designer of Dior Homme between 2000 and 2007. — JOELLE DIDERICH
SHOUTING OUT: Historic British retailer Fenwick has launched its first advertising campaign, titled “Quiet No More.”
Targeted at a younger audience, the ads feature images from upcoming photography duo Pablo Estévez and Javier Belloso, as well as Ana Paganini.
Moody images overlaid with text will be displayed across the U.K., from Edinburgh to Bristol and Birmingham to London, as billboards and wild postings.
“The launch of our first Fenwick brand campaign is a monumental moment for us. As a traditionally discreet brand, this is our time to be quiet no more,” commented Fenwick’s chief marketing officer, Mia Fenwick.
“Our campaign reaches out to a new generation who want to engage with authentic brands, feel seen and welcomed. This is where we are spotlighting all the pioneers — young and old, every age and gender — who embody what Fenwick stands for,” she continued.
Accompanying the campaign is a pop-up shop in the department store, where customers can purchase limited-edition T-shirts printed with the slogans “Quiet No More,” “Unquiet Luxury” and “Wear Something With Volume.”
“This campaign concept embraces bold statements that upend the public perception of what Fenwick is or is supposed to represent. We will connect with younger people’s desire to be properly understood, by showing that anything old can be made new again and your style journey starts when you choose to live out loud,” explained Hank Park, creative director at MMBP, the agency responsible for the campaign.
It comes a little less than a year after the retailer announced it had sold its Bond Street store site and nearby London properties, in favor of funneling 40 million pounds into its flagship in Newcastle, England, where it has had a presence since 1882. — VIOLET GOLDSTONE
NRF HONOR: Ed Stack, executive chairman of Dick’s Sporting Goods, will receive The Visionary award from the National Retail Federation at its annual convention in New York City in January.
Stack, who served as chairman and chief executive officer of the sporting goods retailer from 1984 to 2021, will receive the award during the ninth annual NRF Foundation Honors event on Jan. 14. He is being celebrated for growing the business founded by his father from two stores in upstate New York to the country’s largest omnichannel sporting goods retailer. Dick’s has more than 850 stores and also owns Golf Galaxy and Moosejaw.
Stack stepped into the role of executive chairman in 2021, with Lauren Hobart taking over as president and CEO.
“Starting his retail career at a young age, Ed Stack has led Dick’s Sporting Goods through decades of remarkable growth with tremendous business acumen and ingenuity,” said Matthew Shay, NRF’s president and CEO. “His story demonstrates how retail is unmatched in opportunity. Throughout his tenure, Ed has stood by his convictions and dedication to making a difference, and NRF is honored to recognize him with The Visionary award.”
“I have spent my life in retail, and I am honored and humbled to be recognized as The Visionary by the National Retail Federation,” Stack said. “This recognition is on behalf of the more than 50,000 associates with Dick’s Sporting Goods who have helped build the company over the last 75 years.”
Past recipients of The Visionary award include Lowe’s chairman and CEO Marvin Ellison; Target Corp. board chairman and CEO Brian Cornell; former Kohl’s CEO Michelle Gass; Nike chairman, president and CEO Mark Parker; Walmart president and CEO Doug McMillon; and Levi Strauss & Co. president and CEO Chip Bergh.
Stack will also participate in a fireside chat with Shay on Jan. 14 during the NRF’s convention: Retail’s Big Show. — JEAN E. PALMIERI
MORE SOCIAL: Be Social and Socialyte have merged to create The Digital Dept.
The two influencer agencies were acquired by Dolphin Entertainment — a marketing, publicity and production company headquartered in Florida — in 2020 and 2022, respectively. The new branch will be overseen by co-chief executive officers Ali Grant, founder of Be Social, and Sarah Boyd, formerly the president of Socialyte.
“In building this group of world-class marketers over the past six years, we have continuously held that the future of marketing is in creating and influencing culture, sparking two-way conversations and earning a place in consumers’ lives,” said chief executive officer Bill O’Dowd, who founded Dolphin Entertainment in 1996. “That is impossible to achieve today without the best leaders, tastemakers and relationship builders in the creator economy — and the merger of Be Social and Socialyte does just that, by creating an influencer relations powerhouse.”
In unifying, the aim is to “facilitate brand partnerships and creative strategy across diverse social media verticals,” according to Dolphin Entertainment, connecting pop culture and entertainment across industries.
With PR houses 42West, The Door and Shore Fire Media as subsidiaries, Dolphin Entertainment services brands in film, television, music, gaming and hospitality. The Digital Dept. will be able to tap into Dolphin Entertainment’s network. Meanwhile The Digital Dept., which now has a portfolio of more than 200 creators with a combined social reach of more than 200 million, provides Dolphin Entertainment with access to influencers and know-how in social media.
“Uniting our teams will deliver continued growth and immediate value to our creators and brands,” said Boyd. “Together, we will have even greater capabilities such as organic and paid influencer strategy for brands, coupled with production, marketing, earned media and crisis management offered by many of the Dolphin subsidiaries. Match that with a diverse talent management roster and additional experiential and event capabilities to continue to reinvent the approach to digital awareness and advance our overall company agenda and mission.”
“By coming together, we are creating and extending new opportunities in the way of brand relationships, connections and reach for our collective partners and creators,” added Grant. “Our growing team and roster paired with our Dolphin portfolio of agencies allows us to better serve our client’s needs in ways that simply haven’t existed before.”
The Digital Dept. has offices in Los Angeles, New York, Nashville and Miami. — RYMA CHIKHOUNE
MORE PRADA ART: Miuccia Prada is furthering her commitment to Fondazione Prada by revealing that she is formally taking on the role of director of the cultural institution that she established alongside her husband Patrizio Bertelli in 1993.
Already president of Fondazione Prada, which operates three outposts in Milan and Venice, Prada said: “Right from the start, through the Fondazione’s activities I aspired to investigate human culture in all its variety and complexity. Over these 30 years, I have wondered in different ways how artistic and intellectual research can impact people’s lives. Searching for increasingly topical answers to this question is the fundamental objective I have set myself with the foundation.”
After relinquishing her role as co-chief executive officer of the Prada Group, which she shared with Bertelli, as part of her company’s succession plan that saw Andrea Guerra join the Italian luxury firm in the role of group CEO, Prada is restating her personal commitment to Fondazione Prada’s present and future projects, after de facto leading it for the past 30 years.
The institution concurrently unveiled the creation of a steering committee tasked with identifying “research areas to develop multidisciplinary projects that can impact the contemporary cultural debate and indicate possible lines for experimentation and education.”
Comprising professionals across different disciplines, the committee will work in tandem with Prada, as well as general manager Cristian Valsecchi and head of programs Chiara Costa.
The committee includes Giuliana Bruno, Emmet Blakeney Gleason professor of visual and environmental studies at Harvard University; Giancarlo Comi, honorary professor of neurology at the Università Vita-Salute San Raffaele in Milan; Theaster Gates, artist, activist and professor at the University of Chicago in the Department of Visual Arts; Alejandro González Iñárritu, film director, screenwriter and film producer, and Salvatore Settis, archaeologist, art historian and professor emeritus at the Scuola Normale Superiore in Pisa, Italy.
Fondazione Prada counts three permanent locations overall including a stately multicomplex venue on Largo Isarco, in southeastern Milan, in 2015 and completed in 2018 with the addition of the Torre [tower], and the Osservatorio [observatory] inside the city’s Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. The third location is headquartered in Venice at Ca’ Corner della Regina. — MARTINO CARRERA
NEW ROLE: Chioma Nnadi has been named British Vogue’s head of editorial content, taking over responsibilities from Edward Enninful.
As WWD reported over the weekend, Nnadi was said to be the frontrunner for the post.
Unlike her predecessor Enninful, Nnadi will not hold the title of editor in chief. Rather, as head of editorial content, she will look after the day-to-day running of the magazine, mirroring the situation at all of Condé Nast’s titles.
The overall editorial direction of Vogue is set by Condé Nast global chief content officer and Vogue editor in chief Anna Wintour, who has solidified her dominance over the company’s editorial operations over the last few years.
“Chioma is beloved among her colleagues at Vogue, and is an editor and writer with an impeccable reputation — both here and in the fashion industry at large. I’m so grateful to Edward Enninful for everything he’s accomplished at British Vogue, and we’re all looking forward to a productive and creative relationship with him in his new role,” Wintour said in a statement.
“I can’t think of a more worthy person to follow in his footsteps than Chioma, who has proven herself adept at speaking to our digital audience and has found ways to extend Vogue’s reach, authority and influence across all of our platforms. She is passionate about fashion, music and culture, and I couldn’t be happier that she will be leading our editorial and creative teams in London,” she added.
Enninful, who will be taking on two new roles at Condé Nast, said he was thrilled about Nnadi’s appointment: “She is a brilliant and unique talent with real vision, who will take the publication to ever greater heights.”
Nnadi, whose parents are Nigerian and Swiss German, is a Vogue veteran. She first joined the title in 2010 as a writer, based in New York. She later became fashion news director, and most recently assumed the role of editor of vogue.com, where she was charged with directing digital content.
“I’m beyond excited and honored to have been appointed as British Vogue’s head of editorial content. As someone who was born and raised in London, the energy of the city — its boundary-pushing style and creative scene — has shaped the way I look at the world,” Nnadi said.
“Now, more than ever, it feels like a moment to look beyond borders while also celebrating the broad scope of what it means to be British. I’m looking forward to engaging a loyal and inspired digital community that is energized by our access, point of view, and storytelling,” she added. — V.G.