2020 vision: what top executives are doing to move their business into the next decade

by Karen Alberg Grossman

Emanuel Chirico, Chairman and CEO, PVH Corp

Izod

“Throughout my career at PVH, we’ve made it a priority to be held accountable as the caretakers of our business. This means not just delivering strong financial results but also ensuring that we do it in the right way: for our people, for the environment and for all those in our supply chain. I’m most proud that our company’s success is measured by more than just our bottom line. The way we conduct our business by always trying to do the right thing is the thread that connects all of our 38,000 associates around the world. We understand that the global challenges we face today are bigger than PVH and that our Forward Fashion corporate responsibility strategy must contribute to a more sustainable and responsible future for the fashion industry while also positioning PVH for long-term success. Together, we’re driving fashion-forward—for good.

Earlier this year, we announced the next evolution of our global Corporate Responsibility (CR) strategy—Forward Fashion, our vision for the future, setting a new level of ambition and transparency for CR, and reinforcing our long-standing commitment to sustainable business. This strategy focuses on three areas that aim to reduce our company’s negative impacts to zero, increase positive impacts to 100 percent and improve the over 1 million lives throughout our value chain.

More specifically, PVH’s ambitions are: 1) for its products and business operations to generate zero waste, zero carbon emissions and zero hazardous chemicals, and for its products to be truly circular; 2) for 100 percent of its products and packaging to be ethically and sustainably sourced, and for 100 percent of its suppliers to respect human rights and be good employers; and 3) for its business to improve the over 1 million lives across its value chain, focusing on education and opportunities for women and children, ensuring access to clean water for all, and continuing to champion inclusion and diversity so everyone can achieve their full potential.

Within these three focus areas, 15 priorities have been selected based on where we can make the biggest impact. These include combatting climate change, safeguarding water resources, addressing waste and hazardous chemicals, ensuring worker safety and providing development programs to women in our supply chain. We are setting specific and measurable targets for each priority to ensure accountability, increase transparency with our stakeholders and provide greater authenticity in how we track and report our progress.

These targets give all of us a shared roadmap to drive fashion-forward—for good.”

Oscar Feldenkreis, President and CEO, Perry Ellis International

Original Penguin

“The apparel and retail industries continue to evolve at speeds we have not witnessed before, mostly due to the effects of technology. There is no end in sight to the changes technology will bring to our industry, and in order to succeed in this brave new world, companies and brands must fully embrace technology and adapt to meet consumer demands.

Virtual reality, artificial intelligence, and 3-D renderings are all becoming vital tools for apparel companies to succeed in the market. We at Perry Ellis International are fully embracing these throughout our business to take full advantage of the opportunities we see for our strong portfolio of brands. Technology has also helped open the doors for many brands to compete better on a global scale. Globalization of our strong North America brand equity to a similar level worldwide is a goal on which we are heavily focused.

Corporate social responsibility, including sustainability, is also one of our key initiatives both because it is the right thing to do and because today’s consumer places a high value on it. One way we do this is through brand initiatives devoted to the environment and sustainability, such as Original Penguin supporting World Penguin Day by donating $1 every time Original Penguin’s World Penguin Day video was shared, and designing an eco-friendly Jack Nicklaus golf collection using fabrics made from recycled plastic bottles. We’re also very conscious of reducing our facilities’ environmental impact, by installing solar panels to power our facilities, by reducing samples of products, by moving to 3-D renderings and by shifting all design presentations to a digital format.

I believe that the changes in our industry have forced disruption, but if this disruption is fully embraced and implemented correctly, it can lead to more successful businesses and brands.”

John Tighe, President, Peerless Clothing

Tallia
Tallia

“We at Peerless are very excited about the future…2020 and beyond. Our strength has always been our manufacturing prowess, nimble supply chain, top brands, and our amazing team, so these will not change.

Our biggest opportunity is to stay ahead of the consumer as his needs for tailored clothing evolve. He is dressing differently and what he now requires from his wardrobe will be the catalyst for our future growth. This will involve the correct combination of fashion, fit, soft construction, sustainability, and technology. In addition to using the finest wools, we’ve added interesting blends to our mix, providing winning combinations of performance properties including stretch, cooling, wrinkle control, odor control, and wash-ability.

Although few men in 2020 will be wearing suits every day, they’ll still dress up for the high-stakes occasions in their life: job interviews, important meetings, weddings, graduations, banquets, first dates, funerals, etc. And younger guys are first discovering the magic of wearing a great suit! Our job is to provide our retail partners with the best-possible tailored clothing at the best price. We will always to be a fashion house and our Tallia line continues to be a fashion leader. For 2020, this means wider lapels, pleated and cuffed pants, double-breasted models, bold plaids, interesting stripes and creative prints, fashion direction that is reinforced in our line extensions of sportswear, shoes, belts, socks, dress shirts and ties.”

Jeff Goldfarb, EVP, GIII Apparel Group

Vilebrequin

“G-III Apparel is constantly working on new initiatives to best position the company for future success. We continue to balance appropriate supply chain shifts to meet our business needs without compromising our commitments. We explore new opportunities, as we always have, with our long-term business partners in both existing and new regions. These partners understand our values and as we move forward and approach new challenges.

Our industry is facing many changes with sustainability being at the forefront. Our strategic plan includes a deeper analysis of our brands, measuring each of their impact within the supply chain, and identifying sustainability initiatives to address those needs. We are proud that Vilebrequin is using textiles with recycled plastics in select swimwear, that students are learning sustainable efforts at FIT with our support, and that we are constantly looking at new sustainable initiatives in each area of our business.”

Ron Rheingold, President, Weatherproof Vintage

Weatherproof Vintage

“Our 2020 Vision is analogous to playing poker: you need the ante (necessary business components) just to play and a flexible strategy with the ability to quickly shift direction in order to win. The apparel business is continuously evolving. If you do not move with the consumer, your business will not sustain itself.

The challenges today are not just consumer-driven but are also driven by many outside forces: potential government tariffs, international brand building, licensing, digital business models and reducing the overall carbon footprint in a global marketplace that includes sustainable/recycled product. We are concentrating on all of this.

We are very pleased with the initial launch and expansion into Weatherproof Vintage women’s and the incredible growth of our licensing business. Today we have over 16 licensees–exceptional companies that are leaders in their respective categories and that have talented people who understand the overall DNA of the Weatherproof Vintage brand. We believe this to be a key component in building a leading global brand.

To face the future, we have positioned ourselves to not just sustain our business model but to grow in each of these areas and more.”

Jarrod Weber, Lifestyle Group President, Authentic Brands Group

Spyder

“At ABG we are totally reinventing our business model. We’re a brand management company that acquires brands in the fashion, sports and celebrity arenas. We develop the marketing and positioning for large segments of the wholesale and retail industries, delivering strategic plans for successful implementation on a global basis.

For example, we expanded the boundaries for Shaquille O’Neal, an amazing individual of great stature and a positive force in the world of sports. Through our partnership with Shaq, ABG launched a Shaq XLG line exclusively at JCPenney. This put a face to the entirety of JCPenney’s big and tall universe. The rollout of this collection has proven extraordinarily successful, creating a business that heretofore did not exist.

Another example is ABG’s negotiation of a long-term agreement to outfit the U.S. Ski Team in Spyder apparel. These types of partnerships provide new business opportunities as well as remarkable ways to collaborate and reach consumers.

For 2020 and beyond, we’ll continue to expand into new fields. Our recent acquisition of Sports Illustrated is allowing us to integrate media and publishing into our model. This extensive reworking of a business model that integrates sports, media, publishing, brand development and celebrity under one roof provides new opportunities for partnerships, both large and small. Our brands look to our strategic vision to provide leadership and strength in a complex and fast-changing global environment.”