by Stephen Garner
Mario Grauso
Mario Grauso

Canadian luxury retailer Holt Renfrew has appointed Mario Grauso as its new president. A seasoned luxury fashion executive and current president of lifestyle brand Joe Fresh, Grauso will take over from Mark Derbyshire, who has decided to step down after seven years as president of Holt Renfrew to pursue new career opportunities. Derbyshire will support the transition and will continue to lead Holt Renfrew until September, at which time Grauso will become president of the company.

“I want to thank Mark for his significant contribution to Holt Renfrew over the years,” said W. Galen Weston, chairman of Selfridges Group. “Under his leadership, the business has enhanced its iconic status as a world class retail brand and a leader in the Canadian market. We wish Mark every success and all the best in his future endeavors.”

“It has been a privilege to lead Holt Renfrew and I am proud of what we have accomplished and the great team we have built,” said Derbyshire. “The company is in a great place and it is the right time for me to meet the next challenge. I want to wish the business continued success and thank everyone for their support.”

Grauso is a senior fashion and retail executive with over 20 years of experience leading some of the industry’s best-known brands. As president of the Vera Wang Group from 2009 to 2013, he was instrumental in expanding the brand into new global markets and spearheading the development of new product categories and co-branding partnerships. Grauso has also held senior executive positions at Céline, Calvin Klein and Giorgio Armani, and from 2004 to 2009 was President of Puig Fashion, the parent company of Carolina Herrera, Nina Ricci and Paco Rabanne.

“There are few senior leaders of Mario’s pedigree and proven track record of success in the luxury retail space, and we are delighted that he will bring his extensive experience to the leadership of Holt Renfrew,” said Weston. “Throughout his career leading some of the world’s most successful brands, Mario has demonstrated a superior ability to continually innovate and add value and we look forward to exciting new opportunities under his leadership to build on our premier position as a leading luxury retailer.”