Today’s Fashion Headlines. March 22, 2012

March 22, 2012 • Fashion, Fashion Blog

Urban Outfitter’s New CFO

Urban Outfitters Inc. named its chief accounting officer Frank Conforti as its next chief financial officer. “Since he started at [the company] five years ago, Frank has been a star and an invaluable partner to the executive leadership team,” said Richard Hayne, chairman and chief executive officer.

Conforti takes over from Eric Artz, who will step down effective April 3. “I want to thank Eric for his service to the company over the past two years and wish him the very best in his return to the West Coast,” Hayne said.

Hayne, who co-founded the firm, took back the reins when then-CEO Glen Senk departed for David Yurman in January. And Tedford Marlow rejoined the firm last month as CEO of the Urban Outfitters Group with global responsibility for the brand.

Macy’s Changing Strategy for Youth

Macy’s Inc. wants to learn the lessons of youth. On Wednesday the department store chain unveiled a series of initiatives over the next three years to capture more of the Millennial customer, an age group that the retailer said has estimated annual spending power of $65 billion. If all the programs are implemented, the moves will impact not only the products Macy’s offers but also its entire organizational structure. The Millennial customer is, in Macy’s view, in two distinct groups, with one, the mstylelab shopper, between the ages of 13 and 22 and the other the Impulse consumer between the ages of 19 and 30.

One of the biggest new implements will be realigning Macy’s internal organizational structure to speed up decision-making, product development and alignment of resources that has central office buying staff, private brand developers, merchandisers and other support staff collaborating more closely so they execute the same strategy and message.

This is particularly important given Macy’s faces significant competition in the Millennial market from fast-fashion retailers like Zara and H&M. In Zara’s case, it can develop and produce a collection within two weeks and get it into its stores.

‘American Idol’ Comes to Kohl’s

First, “American Idol” added an official image adviser with Tommy Hilfiger; now, the hit television show on Fox is getting its own clothing line. On Wednesday, Kohl’s Corp., in a joint statement with FremantleMedia Enterprises, LF USA and Bravado, said that it will be launching an “American Idol”-themed apparel collection under the Authentic Icon moniker in junior and young men’s departments next month.

“This launch brings together a national retailer and award-winning television show to create a new collection for customers,” Kohl’s chairman, president and chief executive officer Kevin Mansell said, adding that the “partnership makes Kohl’s an immediate consumer destination this spring.” Kohl’s inked a multiyear agreement to distribute the line.

The “American Idol” pieces have a distinct Americana feel with a denim, rock ’n’ roll edge, including such looks as a striped skinny jeans with a touch of punk teamed with an off-the-shoulder T-shirt fit for a groupie, graphic T-shirts with Op Art-like HotPants, and, for men, casual blazer and jeans combinations. The line, which launches exclusively at Kohl’s stores nationwide and on on April 20, will be available through June, which is shortly after the May 23 finale of the show’s 11th season. Kohl’s didn’t disclose price points for the collection.

– Taneisha Jordan

Source & Photo: WWD

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