Just in time for the kickoff of New York Fashion Week on Thursday, Roopal Patel has been named the fashion director of Saks Fifth Avenue, effective immediately. In her new role, she'll report directly to Tracy Margolies, chief merchant of Saks, and will be involved in trend forecasting, formulating fashion focuses each season and scouting new designers.
Since 2012, Patel has put her expertise in trends and retail to work as the founder of her namesake creative consulting firm. She was also the former fashion director at both Moda Operandi and Bergdorf Goodman, as well as the senior accessory market editor at Neiman Marcus. "When I was asked about the role, it wasn't even a question. I spoke with Tracy about her vision for Saks and I felt like I had a real partner to do some great things with. I'm eager to learn more about the Saks culture and customer," said Patel, who already hit the ground running with New York Fashion Week.
"Roopal is a respected force in the industry with high energy and a deep understanding of today's luxury fashion consumer, and we are so pleased to welcome her to Saks," said Marc Metrick, president of Saks Fifth Avenue who recently replaced Marigay McKee (who was at at the company for just 15 months).
During McKee's tenure, Saks struggled with women's ready-to-wear, but Patel's new position could certainly help elevate the luxury retailer in the market. This strategic hire also comes with additional plans to revamp the department store: WWD previously reported that the Saks team finalized a three-year, $250-million overhaul of its Manhattan flagship.