Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen's luxury clothing label, The Row, is known for having triumphed over the stereotype of celebrity-turned-designer vanity projects. Last night's announcement — that they'd tapped Prada's current president and CEO, François Kress, to be their new president and COO — only further confirms their status as a burgeoning major fashion house. This is also a clear signal of the label's plans to expand, which were already obvious (they recently added handbag and sunglasses lines). Kress's start date has yet to be determined; prior to working at Prada, he was the CEO of Bulgari North America and also worked at LVMH. He'll report to the Olsens and to Jill Collage, president of Dualstar Entertainment Group, which owns The Row.
They replied to me on Twitter after I asked them if they were still going to do menswear and here is what they said: "Mens was temporarily suspended in order to focus on the accessories. We will concentrate on menswear in the future". While their original offer for menswear was less than impressive, I'm positive they'll come up with something more interesting like they already proved. I would love to wear such comfortable things!
François Kress has been named president and chief operating officer at The Row, a newly created post at the label designed by Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen.
A starting date for Kress at The Row has not been determined. He will join from Prada USA Corp., where he currently is president and chief executive officer, a position he has held since early 2010. Before that, he was ceo and managing director of Bulgari Corp. of North America, Latin America, and Bulgari Retail USA, and, prior, held several positions at LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, including that of president for Fendi North America.
“His experience and sensibility will add great value to The Row in its next phase of development,” Ashley Olsen said.
Mary-Kate Olsen echoed the sentiment. “He quickly became the obvious choice for us and for the brand, having experience in multiple categories which we feel is essential for growth of The Row,” she said.
The Olsens, looking to find the perfect T-shirt, launched The Row in 2007. Since then, they have expanded into a complete designer sportswear collection and added categories such as sunglasses and handbags.
Kress will report to the Olsens as well as Jill Collage, president of Dualstar Entertainment Group.
wwd / january 26, 2012
Last edited by kimair; 26-01-2012 at 11:19 PM.
Reason: posted wwd article
Am I the only one that feels that The Row has downsized the collection in the presentation of yesterday? Fall is always the biggest and most important collection of the year... and for me, the collection, the presentation and safety style shown yesterday looks like a Cruise/Prefall collection... thoughts?
Just thinking, may this be possible to the focus of the girls in their other brands and their development? Business-wise, shouldn't they make a biggest effort in assuring the top position of The Row, consolidate the style, refine the details, perfectionate the finishies... and later diversificate into other lines? (they are already thinking about expanding into menswear and go further in Textile, Superga, Olsenboy, etc...)
Diversification is good to assure incomes and survival of the business, but they are doing pretty good with the Row and their sales increase every year... Plus, they have just hired a new CEO from the Luxury world... meaning, they want to grow bigger there...
Without much knowledge of their business, I would try to hire good talents to improve the Row.
This are just thoughts.
Last edited by JunyaSchick; 14-02-2012 at 06:56 AM.