Barneys New York CEO Mark Lee wants a fashion director after all.
Following Monday’s news that store veteran Julie Gilhart would be leaving the company, WWD reports that Lee is said to be searching for a fashion director. His two top candidates? Lane Crawford’s Sarah Rutson and Vogue‘s Virginia Smith.
Both choices makes sense, Rutson more so. But the woman who transformed Lane Crawford into a serious fashion player has been living in Hong Kong for the 15 years. Will she want to transplant herself to New York?
Smith, who is the fashion market/accessories director at Vogue, might not have a retail background, but she certainly has the eye Lee is looking for. While Barneys needs to maintain its edge, it also needs to offer a broader range of product. Remember, Barneys’ main problem–from an investor’s standpoint–is that it’s not selling enough clothes.