GOLDEN IDEAS: Shoemaker Golden Goose thinks greater ideas are thought together.
The company, best known for its successful Superstar sneakers and intentionally distressed styles, held its first “ideathon” on Thursday, a 12-hour marathon involving 60 of the company’s corporate and retail employees from all geographies who came together to brainstorm on innovation and responsible projects with a sustainability bent.
The event, named “Move Forward Ideathon,” is part of the shoemaker’s Forward Agenda, its responsibility plan until 2025 unveiled earlier this year and built around four pillars, including care for the people and engagement with communities.
To be sure, an inclusive and open company culture is increasingly becoming an asset for firms aiming to attract fresh talent. In 2022, Golden Goose was named Italy’s “Top Employer 2022” by the Top Employer Institute.
“We will keep enabling people to share their ideas that are relevant and empowering for their communities, for the Golden Family and for others,” said Silvio Campara, chief executive officer of Golden Goose. “Every chance to come together is a step forward. Being part of the change means achieving great things, together,” he added.
Divided into six groups of 10, participants were tasked with developing ideas on one of the pillars, which also include innovation and the valuation of craft.
The marathon, held at the company’s Milanese headquarters unveiled in 2021, was based on the design-thinking methodology and puts customers’ social, emotional and physical needs at the center of brainstorming. The latter was articulated over four phases named “Innovative Business Concept,” “Market Segmentation,” “Business Model and Financial Plan” and “Pitch Preparation.”
At the end of the day, each team presented its project, competing against one another to win the prize consisting of a pair of bio-based sneakers from Yatay, the sustainable shoemaker Golden Goose forged ties with in April.
The winning team was also offered the opportunity to spend a day on Friday with Campara visiting Milan landmarks with sustainability credentials.
The Forward Agenda is a plan filled with different goals spanning responsible sourcing and manufacturing, circularity and traceability, social compliance and governance, retail transformation geared at circularity, as well as carbon neutrality. Campara told WWD earlier this year that many of those goals will be achieved by 2023. A new chief sustainability officer, Federica Ruzzi, joined the brand last year to help lead the transformation.
As reported, the brand, which has been owned by private equity fund Permira since 2020, saw 2021 revenues jump 45 percent to 385.6 million euros in 2021, representing a 46 percent improvement versus 2019. — MARTINO CARRERA
JOIN THE CLUB: Victoria Beckham and Zimmermann are among the new names joining the official calendar of Paris Fashion Week next season, organizers said on Wednesday.
At a meeting earlier this week, the Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode, French fashion’s organizing body, approved 11 new labels to join the schedule for the spring 2023 women’s ready-to-wear shows, which runs from Sept. 26 to Oct. 4.
Four will be staging runway shows in Paris. Beckham will be marking her return to the runway for the first time since the pandemic. Last season, the British designer staged an off-calendar showroom presentation in Paris, after previously showing her collections in London and New York City.
Meanwhile, Zimmermann will be making its runway debut in Paris after a showroom presentation in New York last season. The Australian label resumed its global retail rollout last year with the opening of a boutique in Cannes, and recently inaugurated a store in Madrid.
Also joining the runway schedule is Russian-born designer Natalia Alaverdian’s London-based A.W.A.K.E. Mode label, which made its entrée on the Paris fashion scene with a splashy party in 2014 co-hosted by Kim Kardashian.
The season also marks the official debut of Weinsanto, the buzzy label designed by Victor Weinsanto, who has been showing off-calendar since 2020 and selling his collection at the Dover Street Market Paris showroom. The French designer was a semifinalist for this year’s edition of the LVMH Prize for Young Designers.
Seven names will be joining the official presentations schedule, reflecting the international reach of the French capital.
They are French outdoor specialist Aigle; Ukrainian designer Anna October; Boutet, the French label founded by Constance Boutet; Austrian brand Florentina Leitner; London-based Spanish designer Paula Canovas del Vas; Pressiat, the brand founded by French designer Vincent Garnier Pressiat; and Chinese label Ruohan by Ruohan Nie.
The provisional calendar for Paris Fashion Week will be published the week of Aug. 22, the federation said. — JOELLE DIDERICH
SIGNING ON: Heidrick & Struggles, the global executive search firm, has hired Caroline Pill as a partner within its Consumer Markets Practice. She will serve as the organization’s fashion and beauty expert.
Pill’s goal will be to strengthen the brand and visibility of the Consumer Markets Practice while focusing on the global fashion, luxury and beauty industries, the company said.
Luis Urbano, regional managing partner of the Consumer Markets Practice, said Pill has “a truly diverse, global view of the industries that she serves, and will be a terrific addition to our company as a whole. Over the past 12 months we have seen great progress in this sector, and we are excited for what this means for our clients across the industry.”
Pill said her “passion for executive search within the fashion, luxury and beauty industries continues to be shaped by the exceptional leaders who take on its greatest challenges — from diversity and sustainability to innovation and technology. I have no doubt that the most exciting times for these sectors are ahead.”
Originally from Antwerp, Pill began her career as a mergers and acquisitions lawyer, and holds a master’s degree from Yale Law School. She later moved into the field of executive recruitment, and has spent more than a decade placing managerial talent at start-ups, and at top luxury, fashion and beauty brands.
Pill also holds a certificate in Life and Career Coaching from The World Coaching Institute and Henley Business School. She is fluent in French, English and Flemish.
Heidrick & Struggles said Pill’s approach is “unique and tailored to her clients, and is underpinned by a passion for problem-solving and analytical thinking.”
Heidrick & Struggles, which is quoted on the Nasdaq, says it provides “global leadership advisory and on-demand talent solutions, serving the senior-level talent and consulting needs of the world’s top organizations.” It was founded in 1953 and is headquartered in Chicago. — SAMANTHA CONTI