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Shuffle Board: J.Crew Taps Men’s Creative Lead, L Brands Names CFOs, New Directors at Capri, Vera Bradley, Genesco, Tecovas

Retail

J.Crew

J.Crew Group appointed Brendon Babenzien, co-founder of Noah and former design director at Supreme, as creative director of J.Crew Men’s.

Babenzien will work alongside J.Crew Group CEO Libby Wadle to redefine the brand, merging the vitality and creativity of today’s style subcultures with an innovative appreciation of classic men’s wear.

J.Crew Group appointed Brendon Babenzie creative director of Men’s and Mack Weldon hired Talia Handler as first chief marketing officer.
Brendon Babenzie Courtesy

Babenzien will lead J.Crew Men’s design, instilling the brand with the free-thinking point of view and focus on responsible business models that have earned him critical acclaim throughout his career.

Babenzien will report directly to Wadle and his first full collection for the brand is scheduled to debut in the second half of 2022.

J.Crew Group is an international omnichannel retailer of women’s, men’s, and childrens’ apparel, shoes and accessories. The company operates 151 J.Crew stores, 143 Madewell units and 147 J.Crew Factory stores in nearly every state in the United States, and also maintains J.Crew, Madewell and J.Crew Factory websites.

L Brands

L Brands Inc. appointed chief financial officers (CFO) for the standalone Bath & Body Works and Victoria’s Secret businesses.

Upon the completion of the spin-off of Victoria’s Secret, which is targeted to occur in August, Wendy Arlin, currently senior vice president of finance and controller for L Brands, will become Bath & Body Works CFO, and Tim Johnson, previously CFO and chief administrative officer for Big Lots, will become Victoria’s Secret CFO. As previously announced, current L Brands CFO Stuart Burgdoerfer will retire at that time.

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L Brands, through Bath & Body Works, Victoria’s Secret and Pink, operates 2,681 company-operated specialty stores in the United States, Canada and Greater China, in more than 700 franchised locations worldwide and through its websites worldwide.

Brands

Mack Weldon

Men’s lifestyle brand Mack Weldon hired Talia Handler as its first chief marketing officer.

Handler joins Mack Weldon after holding leadership positions at agencies such as Ogilvy, Huge, and Saatchi & Saatchi. Most recently, she has served as a brand and strategy consultant for a variety of startup and Fortune 500 brands in the technology and retail space.

In her new role, Handler will oversee Mack Weldon’s integrated marketing, creative and communications teams. Specifically, she will lead the brand’s effort to execute holistic go-to-market strategies that double down on Mack Weldon’s product innovation leadership, while also broadening the conversation to encourage deeper brand engagement and cross-category product adoption.

Mack Weldon’s signature line of underwear, socks, T-shirts, sweats and polo shirts is engineered to promote comfort, mobility and performance.

Capri Holdings

Capri Holdings Ltd., a global fashion luxury group, announced that Marilyn Crouther will be appointed to its board of directors, effective June 1.

Crouther will join the Audit Committee, as well as the Compensation and Talent Committee. She is currently the CEO and principal of Crouther Consulting, a firm that provides consulting services to IT companies. Most recently, Crouther was senior vice president, general manager at DXC Technology Company.

In addition, Capri Holdings announced that M. William Benedetto intends to retire at the conclusion of his current term, which ends at the annual meeting of shareholders to be held on July 28. Benedetto has been a director since December 2011 and serves on the Audit Committee, Compensation and Talent Committee and as lead director.

Effective as of his retirement date, Robin Freestone will be appointed lead director. Freestone joined the board in January 2016 and also serves as the chairman of the Audit Committee.

Capri Holdings brands cover women’s and men’s accessories, footwear and ready-to-wear, as well as wearable technology, watches, jewelry, eyewear and a full line of fragrance products.

Tecovas

Austin, Texas-based western brand Tecovas added Elliott Hill, a former Nike executive, to its board as a director.

Hill served as Nike’s president of consumer and marketplace before retiring in 2020 after 32 years at the company.

Tecovas said its growing board mirrors its rise since its founding in late 2015. After three years of selling its cowboy boots, apparel and accessories exclusively online, Tecovas opened its first store in March 2019 and has opened 15 since then, including eight in 2020 and two more this year to date. While most Tecovas stores are in Texas, its 2020-2021 expansion included outposts in Arizona, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina and Alabama.

Hill joins a board led by CEO Paul Hedrick, a former McKinsey consultant. The rest of the Tecovas board includes Brian Spaly, founder of Bonobos and Trunk Club; Andy Hunt, co-founder of Warby Parker and Elephant, Tecovas’ lead investor; Roy Seiders, co-founder of Yeti, and Julie Effron partner at Elephant.

Vera Bradley

Vera Bradley Inc. announced that Nancy Twine, founder and CEO of Briogeo Hair Care, was nominated to join its board of directors.

Twine will replace director Michael Miller upon his retirement from the Vera Bradley board in June, and with this appointment, the company will have 60 percent female board representation.

Vera Bradley Inc. operates two lifestyle brands–Vera Bradley and Pura Vida. Vera Bradley, based in Fort Wayne, Ind., is a designer of women’s handbags, luggage and other travel items, fashion and home accessories, and gifts. In July 2019, Vera Bradley Inc. acquired a 75 percent interest in Creative Genius Inc., which also operates under the name Pura Vida Bracelets. Pura Vida has a differentiated and expanding offering of bracelets, jewelry and other lifestyle accessories.

Genesco Inc.

Genesco Inc. appointed Deckers Brands former chairman and CEO Angel Martinez, former DSW CFO Mary Meixelsperger; and former Tractor Supply Company CEO Greg Sandfort to its board of directors, effective immediately.

The footwear company said current directors Kathleen Mason and Marty Dickens will retire from the board at the start of Genesco’s 2021 annual shareholders meeting. Martinez brings expertise in business transformation, corporate strategy, product and marketing innovation and a track record of recognizing and shaping trends with multiple brands in the footwear industry over his 40-plus year career.

Meixelsperger brings to Genesco a wealth of experience in capital allocation, finance, accounting, portfolio optimization, regulatory reporting, treasury, financial planning and analysis, risk management, business development, strategic planning and information technology stemming from her tenures as CFO of multiple private and public companies.

With a career spanning over 40 years, Sandfort has held a number of senior executive positions in the retail industry and brings a depth of knowledge of all facets of strategic growth, shareholder value creation and the business, including merchandising, marketing, brand management, operations, strategic planning, human capital and resource management and logistics.

Based in Nashville, Genesco is a specialty retailer and branded company selling footwear and accessories in more than 1,455 retail stores throughout the U.S., Canada, the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland, principally under the names Journeys, Journeys Kidz, Little Burgundy, Schuh, Schuh Kids, Johnston & Murphy. It also operates branded e-commerce sites.

Textiles

Culp

Culp Inc. named Jeff Tsacoumangos as head of global strategic transformation, supply chain and service for Culp Home Fashions (CHF), the company’s mattress fabrics division.

Tsacoumangos has served as director of quality assurance and continuous improvement since 2016, where he has been responsible for oversight of quality and continuous improvement initiatives for CHF’s manufacturing plants. He will continue to report to Sandy Brown, president of CHF.

The company also named Jeff Veach as vice president of sales and marketing for CHF. Veach previously held the position of vice president of CHF Cut & Sew.

He joined CHF in 2012 as a manager for the cut and sew operation and played leading roles in opening the Haiti production facility in August 2017 and integrating the Asia cut and sew platform. Veach will also report to Sandy Brown and will work closely with Mike Cottonaro, senior vice president of sales and marketing for CHF.

Culp is a marketer of mattress fabrics for bedding and upholstery fabrics for residential and commercial furniture. The company markets a variety of fabrics to its global customer base of bedding and furniture companies, including fabrics produced at Culp’s manufacturing facilities and fabrics sourced through other suppliers. Culp has manufacturing and sourcing capabilities in the United States, Canada, China, Haiti, Turkey and Vietnam.

Legal

Katten

Katten announced that Ilana Lubin joined its Mergers & Acquisitions and Private Equity practice in New York and will advise companies in a range of industries on domestic and cross-border mergers and acquisitions, and divestiture and joint venture transactions, particularly those in the retail, apparel, footwear, accessories and beauty sectors.

J.Crew Group appointed Brendon Babenzie creative director of Men’s and Mack Weldon hired Talia Handler as first chief marketing officer.
Ilana Lubin Courtesy

In addition, Lubin counsels clients on other strategic corporate and commercial matters. Her practice often sits at the intersection of traditional retail operations, digitization and entertainment.

Lubin represents retailers, consumer products companies and brand owners in connection with the development of celebrity-branded and -founded consumer product lines. Additionally, she provides counsel on implementing the revival and expansion of brands internationally, including in Europe, Asia and South America.

Katten is a full-service law firm with nearly 650 attorneys in locations across the United States and in London and Shanghai.