Premium denim brand Rag & Bone announced Wednesday that Stefanie Strack has been named its chief executive officer.
Strack will officially take on the role as of Sept. 10, 2018, when she will also be appointed to the Rag & Bone board of directors. Current CEO Marcus Wainwright, will assume a new title as founder and chief brand officer.
After spending the last 14 years at Nike as an integral part of the Nike Corporate Leadership Team, Strack is expected to bring a fresh perspective to Rag & Bone. Describing Strack’s leadership style, Rag & Bone said it’s one that will help “cultivate an inclusive and purpose-driven brand.”
Most recently, Strack was vice president/general manager of Nike Express Lane, where she led a global effort to improve the brand’s speed to market. Strack’s vision led to the development of a new division within Nike tasked with transforming all key direct-to-consumer functions: consumer sensing, data and analytics, design, supply chain and manufacturing.
Nike reported in its Q4 2018 earnings that Express Lane is now the fastest-growing product engine, serving as a key focal point of Nike’s speed initiative.
Strack’s arrival comes as Rag & Bone prepares to accelerate its direct-to-consumer efforts. At Rag & Bone, she will focus on digital transformation and deepening the consumer connection globally across wholesale and direct-to-consumer channels. The company said Strack will “challenge the traditional product cycle and ignite the brand to become more personalized and responsive.”
“As a professional, I have been inspired by Rag & Bone for years, and as a customer the brand has held a unique place in my heart. Authenticity is the essence of Rag & Bone, and I see that reflected throughout the Rag & Bone team. I am excited to be a part of this incredible culture, one that has purpose, passion and inspiration. We will create a brilliant future for those inside our company and those we serve,” Strack said.
Rumors surfaced in March that Rag & Bone was quietly searching for a CEO. Wainwright denied the search at the time, but said he was “open to discussion.”
In a statement, Wainwright said, “I am beyond thrilled that Stefanie will be joining the company and I see her as a true partner. Stefanie brings us a wealth of experience in key strategic areas and personifies the Rag & Bone woman. Her coming on board allows me to focus on what I love, which is designing great product and continuing to build the rag & bone brand. Rag & Bone has always challenged the status quo, always trying new ways of doing things. I know that Stefanie will continue that tradition of challenge and innovation leading us to an awesome future as a brand with a purpose and a singular focus on the customer.”