Ciara, Russell Wilson and ex-Lululemon CEO launch fashion brand

Grammy Award-winning artist Ciara has launched a new fashion company alongside her husband, NFL star Russell Wilson, and former Lululemon CEO Christine Day. But the brand, called the House of LR&C, has a mission beyond just the clothes it sells, Ciara and Day told CNBC on Wednesday.

“We’re not only doing the fashion part. We’re also combining the passion for fashion but also the passion for impact. That was really important to both Russell and I and also Christine in creating our company. There has to be more to it than fashion,” Ciara said on “Closing Bell.”

In addition to an emphasis on environmental sustainability, 3% of each purchase goes to the Why Not You Foundation, which Wilson founded in 2014. It supports efforts on education access, poverty reduction and children’s health.

Day, who left Lululemon in late 2013 after more than five years at the athletic apparel company, said the launch of the brand during the coronavirus pandemic comes at an “inflection point” for the retail industry. “I think some of the things the consumers are looking for are really that sustainability, versatility, longevity in their garments,” said Day, also a former executive at Starbucks.

She said the House of LR&C is looking to fill a gap in the market with younger shoppers who are socially minded. “They want to see companies building business models that matter, that have inclusion and unity and sustainability and love, and there’s not enough of that in this world,” Day said.

The company’s two clothing lines for now are Good Man Brand, which Wilson founded in 2016, and the newly launched Human Nation, which sells casual, gender-neutral items. A women’s brand also is in the works, Day said.

The official launch of the House of LR&C this week comes during the holiday shopping season, which has been altered by the pandemic. Monday was the largest U.S. internet shopping day ever, according to Adobe Analytics data.

Clothes are for sale directly through its website, but Day said going beyond the direct-to-consumer route by inking partnerships with Kohl’s and Nordstrom also is critical. Ciara said the House of LR&C’s mission was aligned with the retailers that are known for their brick-and-mortar presence.

“If you look at the landscape and just how the world is changing, especially with … companies like Kohl’s, they’re also evolving with the times,” Ciara said. “I’ve been fortunate to do some really cool things with Kohl’s already. We just like where they were going with things. We sat down and talked about our vision for what we were doing, we really connected, and we felt that the plan they had really made sense for what we were trying to do and vice versa.”

Source Article

Read more

Kohl’s CEO Michelle Gass On ‘Game-Changing’ Sephora Tie-Up And Its Big Bet On Beauty

“Game-changing” is how Kohl’s CEO Michelle Gass characterized the partnership with Sephora it announced today, and the impact it will have on the retailer’s beauty business.

“It’s a massive deal,” Gass said in an interview. “We’ve been looking at the beauty opportunity for a long time. We’ve put a greater emphasis on beauty. We were doing [nicely.] We wanted to make much bigger, bolder progress.”

Sephora at Kohl’s, the 2,600-square-foot beauty destinations, are designed to look like Sephora’s own stores. At Kohl’s units with two doors – about 80% of the fleet – Sephora will have a dedicated entrance, its logo on the facade. “That’s how much we believe in this partnership,” said Gass.

The shops will be prominently located at the front of stores, with the first 200 Sephora at Kohl’s shops-in-shop bowing in fall 2021. Kohls.com’s online beauty selection will exclusively showcase an expanded Sephora assortment. The concept by 2023 will expand to at least 850 stores, Kohl’s said.

Sephora at Kohl’s will provide immersive and elevated experiences combining Kohl’s customer reach and omnichannel convenience with Sephora’s prestige service and selection of premium products.

“Beauty is expected to grow over the next five years,” Gass said. “We’re significantly under-represented. We’ll tap into that.” While beauty is only a modest low single-digit penetration of the business, Kohl’s has driven steady growth of nearly 40% over the past five years, Gass said during the retailer’s third-quarter earnings call last week. Gass also made the bullish pronouncement that Kohl’s has its sights on tripling sales and driving incremental traffic.

“As you would imagine, with a deal of this magnitude, we’ve been in conversations for a long time, many months,” Gass said.

Gass said Sephora at Kohl’s aims to make aspirational beauty products accessible to more consumers. “This is an extraordinary time of change,” said Gass. “I’m thrilled to partner with Sephora, a brand that shares our values and passion for innovation and reinvention. This is a perfect illustration of the bold moves Kohl’s is making to accelerate our growth and reimagine our future for the next era of retail.”

The new deal will allow both retailers to grow their respective customer bases. Sephora, which operates 500 stores in the Americas, will gain access to most of Kohl’s 65 million consumers who shop its 1,150-plus locations, with limited overlap between the two retail networks. Gass said, “We’re absolutely expecting younger customers.”

Kohl’s has been on a mission to attract younger consumers for several years, launching new brands such as LC Lauren Conrad, PopSugar, and creating the Pinterest-inspired, trend-oriented Outfit Bar. The retailer has also shown its propensity for innovation and taste for risk. Case in point, Kohl’s deal with Amazon
AMZN
to accept returns on behalf of the digital behemoth.

“This is not a pop-up collaboration, but an investment our brand partners can rely on for the long-term,” said Jean-André Rougeot, president

Read more

Women in Film and TV U.K. Appoints Producer Katie Bailiff as CEO

Click here to read the full article.

Film and TV advocacy body Women in Film and TV (WFTV) U.K. has appointed award-winning producer Katie Bailiff as CEO.

Bailiff’s credits include Channel 4’s BAFTA-winning “Feltham Sings,” BBC Two’s RTS and Grierson-winning “The Secret History of Our Streets” and BBC Three’s “Abused by My Girlfriend.”

For the last two decades, Bailiff has worked at independent producer Century Films, where in her most recent role she was creative director. Working together with managing director and co-owner Brian Hill, she developed a company with a reputation for producing high-quality documentaries and dramas for all the major U.K. channels and platforms.

“I am enormously excited and honored to be taking on the role of CEO at WFTV and continuing to build on the hard work and success of the last 30 years,” said Bailiff (pictured, left). “It is such a privilege to lead an organization which makes a real difference within the industry. I passionately believe in the importance of nurturing, serving and representing all women working in film, television and digital media across the U.K.”

“We are delighted that Katie is joining us, as an award-winning producer and senior figure in the industry, she has tremendous knowledge and insight, which will be invaluable to the future development and success of WFTV,” said WFTV chair Liz Tucker (pictured, right). “Both the WFTV board and I are very much looking forward to working with her and building on the current growth of the organization.”

The last two years have been particularly successful for WFTV, with turnover increasing by 40% and membership up by 30%. During this time, it has launched the Pat Llewellyn Bursary fund, introduced three new mentoring schemes, developed an online event program, developed new diversity initiatives, and launched its #forgottenfreelancers campaign.

Source Article

Read more

J.Crew promotes the head of Madewell to take over the company, as its CEO exits after just one ‘brutal’ year leading the struggling clothing company



a person walking down a street in front of a building: Andrew Harnik / AP Images


© Andrew Harnik / AP Images
Andrew Harnik / AP Images

  • J. Crew promoted Madewell head Libby Wadle as its new CEO, the company announced Tuesday.
  • Wadle will replace Jan Singer, who took over in January after the struggling private-equity-backed retailer went more than a year without a leader while trying to revive its brand.
  • “The continued executive turnover at J.Crew adds to the turbulence of an already brutal year for the retailer,” Moody’s analyst Raya Sokolyanska told Business Insider.
  • The pandemic has added challenges for J.Crew, which recently emerged from bankruptcy. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

J. Crew Group has named Libby Wadle, the head of Madewell, as its next CEO, the company announced in a press release Tuesday.

Loading...

Load Error

Wadle’s promotion comes less than a year after outgoing CEO Jan Singer took over the struggling retailer and caps off an already tough year for the company, which emerged from bankruptcy in September.

The private-equity-backed J. Crew has seen extensive turnover at the top level, with Wadle becoming its fourth CEO in under four years.

Longtime CEO Mickey Drexler stepped down in 2017 as J.Crew fell out of favor with consumers and was succeeded by Jim Brett, who lasted just 17 months before stepping down in November 2018 amid a clash over the company’s direction, after which the retailer went more than a year without a CEO until Singer’s appointment in January.

“Moving forward as a company under unified leadership, we will harness the power of our collective platforms and talented teams to ensure our brands can continue to inspire and grow,” said Wadle, who has spent the last 16 years in senior leadership roles at various J.Crew brands.

Read more: How to avoid the critical mistakes made by Brooks Brothers and J.Crew — and follow the Louis Vuitton model to stay relevant with customers, generation after generation

Wadle takes over as economic fallout from COVID-19 has ravaged brick-and-mortar retailers, but J.Crew’s sales had been declining even before the pandemic hit. In May, J.Crew became the first major retailer to file for bankruptcy as a result of the pandemic, reaching a deal with its lenders to convert about $1.65 billion of its debt into equity.

“The continued executive turnover at J.Crew adds to the turbulence of an already brutal year for the retailer. The brand’s turnaround, which was in process during 2019, is now more challenging given the ongoing disruption in apparel spending, as the pandemic continues to radically alter US consumers’ shopping habits,” Moody’s vice-president and senior analyst Raya Sokolyanska told Business Insider in a statement.

Continue Reading

Source Article

Read more

J.Crew promotes Madewell head to CEO amid ‘brutal’ year

  • J. Crew promoted Madewell head Libby Wadle as its new CEO, the company announced Tuesday.
  • Wadle will replace Jan Singer, who took over in January after the struggling private-equity-backed retailer went more than a year without a leader while trying to revive its brand.
  • “The continued executive turnover at J.Crew adds to the turbulence of an already brutal year for the retailer,” Moody’s analyst Raya Sokolyanska told Business Insider.
  • The pandemic has added challenges for J.Crew, which recently emerged from bankruptcy. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

J. Crew Group has named Libby Wadle, the head of Madewell, as its next CEO, the company announced in a press release Tuesday.

Wadle’s promotion comes less than a year after outgoing CEO Jan Singer took over the struggling retailer and caps off an already tough year for the company, which emerged from bankruptcy in September.

The private-equity-backed J. Crew has seen extensive turnover at the top level, with Wadle becoming its fourth CEO in under four years.

Longtime CEO Mickey Drexler stepped down in 2017 as J.Crew fell out of favor with consumers and was succeeded by Jim Brett, who lasted just 17 months before stepping down in November 2018 amid a clash over the company’s direction, after which the retailer went more than a year without a CEO until Singer’s appointment in January.

“Moving forward as a company under unified leadership, we will harness the power of our collective platforms and talented teams to ensure our brands can continue to inspire and grow,” said Wadle, who has spent the last 16 years in senior leadership roles at various J.Crew brands.

Read more: How to avoid the critical mistakes made by Brooks Brothers and J.Crew — and follow the Louis Vuitton model to stay relevant with customers, generation after generation

Wadle takes over as economic fallout from COVID-19 has ravaged brick-and-mortar retailers, but J.Crew’s sales had been declining even before the pandemic hit. In May, J.Crew became the first major retailer to file for bankruptcy as a result of the pandemic, reaching a deal with its lenders to convert about $1.65 billion of its debt into equity.

“The continued executive turnover at J.Crew adds to the turbulence of an already brutal year for the retailer. The brand’s turnaround, which was in process during 2019, is now more challenging given the ongoing disruption in apparel spending, as the pandemic continues to radically alter US consumers’ shopping habits,” Moody’s vice-president and senior analyst Raya Sokolyanska told Business Insider in a statement.

Source Article

Read more

Cigna’s CEO and Board Sued for ‘Black-Ops-Style’ Tactics to Kill Merger with Anthem

Cigna Corp.’s chief executive officer and board used “black-ops-style” tactics in a covert campaign to “blow up” a $48 billion merger with rival insurer Anthem Inc., Cigna investors claim in a lawsuit.

A Massachusetts-based pension fund alleges that Cigna CEO David Cordani sought to “poison” the deal after failing to secure the top post in the merged company. He hired lawyers and public relations specialists to help in a “Trojan Horse” campaign, the fund claims. The deal, which would have created the largest U.S. health insurer, collapsed in 2017.

“The board supported his sabotage and placed Cordani’s personal interests over the best interests of the company” in order “to protect their jobs at the expense of shareholders,” according to the lawsuit, filed under seal on Nov. 17 in Delaware Chancery Court and made public on Monday.

Representatives of Cigna, based in Bloomfield, Connecticut, and Indianapolis-based Anthem didn’t immediately return emails seeking comment on the suit.

‘Trojan Horse’ Campaign

The Massachusetts Laborers’ Annuity Fund is seeking unspecified damages to be returned to the company on behalf of all Cigna investors. Such derivative lawsuits, as they’re called, typically target directors for failing to properly oversee operations.

The fund claims that Cordani hired the public relations specialist Teneo, which it also names as a defendant, to scuttle the merger while making it look like Cigna was working to consummate it.

“Throughout this litigation, Cigna’s fiduciaries took pains to hide their disloyalty, such as making misleading public statements” and “proffering non-credible testimony,” according to the suit.

Teneo was tasked with making targeted leaks to news media portraying Anthem’s efforts to win antitrust clearance as bumbling, the pension fund alleges. Cordani and board members worked to keep the “Trojan Horse” campaign a secret, according to the complaint.

Representatives of Teneo didn’t immediately return calls and emails seeking comment on the lawsuit.

‘Corporate Soap Opera’

Anthem offered to buy Cigna in 2015 to bulk up and gain negotiating power, lowering reimbursement rates to health care providers. The U.S. Justice Department’s antitrust division sued the following year to block the merger, arguing it would further consolidate an already concentrated market and lead to higher costs for employers and consumers.

The deal’s collapse set off a legal battle between the two insurance giants to collect billions of dollars from each other, providing an inside look at one of the largest busted corporate deals in U.S. history and featuring competing narratives of how the transaction failed.

Read More: Judge’s Denial of Anthem Injunction Effectively Kills Cigna Merger

In a hearing last November, Delaware Chancery Judge Travis Laster urged the companies to end their “corporate soap opera.” In August, he rebuffed both of them, saying Cigna had breached its obligations but that the union was likely to have been blocked on antitrust grounds anyway.

“This outcome leaves the parties where they stand,” he wrote. “Neither side can recover from the other. Each must deal independently with the consequences of their costly and ill-fated attempt to merge.”

Earlier this month, Cigna,

Read more