New Look names Esprit's Dumont López creative chief
New Look has named a new Chief Creative Officer to replace Roger Wightman. Paula Dumont López is currently Senior Vice-President/Head of Esprit Women and will join in September with her new role also seeing her taking a seat on the board.
Wightman, a 27-year veteran of the value-focused retailer, is moving to a part-time consultancy role but he too will stay on the board.
The appointment of Dumont López, who has been at Esprit since 2013, comes at a difficult time for the firm as it faces tough trading conditions in its core UK market as well as particular sluggishness in womenswear.
Its new CCO, who spearheaded a recovery in Esprit’s own womenswear business, was also previously head of product at Inditex’s Zara Basic and she spent 10 years in various roles at the dynamic Spanish retail giant. Combine with Esprit, that adds up to an alluring track record in buying, merchandise and design that should appeal to any fashion retailer looking to kick start a recovery.
New Look CEO Anders Kristiansen said: "Paula is an amazing addition to our team. Her expertise in identifying trends and leadership experience in product, buying and design will be a great asset to us. We… look forward to what we know will be her significant contribution to New Look and the execution of our strategy.”
He also thanked Wightman for his “invaluable contribution” in turning New Look into the global fast-fashion brand that it is today.
Earlier this month, the CEO had said that the company’s core womenswear offer was not strong enough in its its latest fiscal year and the firm had struggled to adapt to the buy now, wear now mentality of many of its customers.
While still a major force in fashion retail in its domestic market, as well as overseas, New Look’s profits plunged over 30% in the latest year and UK comparable sales fell almost 7%. Its total sales also dropped 2.4% to £1.45bn.
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