The Direct 60 List | 2021

The Direct 60 List

Sixty Executives Mastering Direct-to-Consumer
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The Lead’s power list of executives defining ‘Direct-to-Consumer’. These leaders continue to embrace technology, innovation, and next-gen strategies to transform their businesses & the industry.
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Michael Africa

Chief Digital Officer
Eddie Bauer

Years in the Fashion/Retail Industry: 22
Location: Seattle, WA
Prior Companies: Wet Seal, GUESS?, Paula’s Choice Skincare

“What makes me excited about the future is that with the rapid and continued advancement of technology and analytics, we are getting to a point that a true 1-to-1 personalized experience can become a reality.”

Kyle Andrew

Chief Brand Officer
Athleta

Years in the Fashion/Retail Industry: 20
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Prior Companies: Kenneth Cole, Kate Spade, American Eagle Outfitters

Todd Belles

Head of E-Commerce, North America
Ralph Lauren

Years in the Fashion/Retail Industry: 14
Location: New York, NY
Prior Companies: Macy’s

“There is no finish line. Success is a continuous process to innovate, striving to seamlessly interconnect rich brand story-telling, amazing products, and friction-free commerce throughout the entire customer journey.”

Samie Barr

SVP Marketing
CB2

Years in the Fashion/Retail Industry: 23
Location: Chicago, IL
Prior Companies: Nintendo, Starbucks, Hyatt Hotels

Jason Berns

SVP, Innovation
Ralph Lauren

Years in the Fashion/Retail Industry: 22
Location: New York, NY
Prior Companies: Adidas, Salomon, Fisher-Price, Under Armour

“Now is an amazing time to be in the industry! Circular business models are being created. There is an incredible pursuit of innovation for more sustainable materials, operations, and processes. And technology is allowing for completely new ways of connecting with our consumers and enabling new business models.”

Holly Briedis

EVP, Chief Digital Officer
Fossil Group

Years in the Fashion/Retail Industry: 7
Location: Dallas, TX
Prior Companies: McKinsey & Company

“One of the most exciting parts of the D2C space, and part of our definition for success within it, is the bar for continual innovation, regular questioning, and honest assessment. Like, are we doing enough for our consumers? How can we shore up and remove friction from the experience? We continue to find opportunities to improve, and I expect we always will.”

Guido Campello

Co-CEO & Creative Director
Cosabella & Journelle

Years in the Fashion/Retail Industry: 18
Location: New York, NY

“Dedicate the time to listen and communicate with your loyal customers. Customer acquisition is always aggressive and at the forefront of any B2C business. However, customer retention and lifetime value should be the focus for every global luxury plan. Balancing these two is the most difficult.”

Ophelia Ceradini

VP, Digital Technology & Innovation
Estée Lauder Companies

Years in the Fashion/Retail Industry: 23
Location: New York, NY
Prior Companies: O-net Consulting

“An open, two-way exchange of information has been instrumental in creating honest and lasting relationships between our brands and customers. I am especially excited about how we can further personalize our consumer experiences and product recommendations with the rapid advancements in technology.”

VFCorp

Dan Cherian

VP, Transformation
VF Corporation

Years in the Fashion/Retail Industry: 13
Location: Denver, CO
Previous Companies: Pfizer, Nike

“Innovations in customer experience — such as 3D avatars, virtual sizing, virtual try-on, immersive 3D shopping, etc. — that make shopping an entertaining, personal experience make me most excited about the future.”

Ekta Chopra

Chief Digital Officer
e.l.f. Beauty

Years in the Fashion/Retail Industry: 6
Location: Dublin, CA
Prior Companies: Charming Charlie, The James Irvine Foundation

“It’s about anticipating what the consumer needs are even before they know and being in an organization that moves in tandem with this speed while creating the story, creative and products.”

Carey Collins Krug

SVP, Head of Marketing
Abercrombie & Fitch

Years in the Fashion/Retail Industry: 19
Location: New York, NY
Prior Companies: Donna Karan, Ralph Lauren, David Yurman

James Connell

Chief E-Commerce & Customer Experience Officer
Roots

Years in the Fashion/Retail Industry: 23
Location: Toronto, Canada

“I am looking forward to more opportunities to blend technology, creativity, and physical interactions in an incredibly organic way, to deliver exceptional omni-channel experiences where the product is equally as important as the experience.”

Paulie Dery

VP, Marketing
YETI

Years in the Fashion/Retail Industry: 2
Location: Austin, TX
Prior Companies: R/GA, Uber

Kristen Dolzynski

SVP, Brand Concept & Design
Marquee Brands

Years in the Fashion/Retail Industry: 16
Location: New York, NY
Prior Companies: Abercrombie & Fitch, Gap, Victoria’s Secret

“Success is the small wins for my team and me. What have we learned, what did we build on, how did we think differently? Did we delight and inspire our customer? Did we infuse JOY? Did we think collectively for the better of all? When we have answered these questions, re-addressed and re-imagined, then we have been successful.”

LaNiece Douglas

VP, Retail
adidas

Years in the Fashion/Retail Industry: 19
Prior Companies: Saks Fifth Avenue, Gilt.com

“The most challenging piece of building a DTC business right now are macro factors that affect business but are beyond your control. We have a great team that works to combat and mitigate as much as possible in this ever-changing environment.”

Elizabeth Drori

CMO
Sperry

Years in the Fashion/Retail Industry: 14
Location: Boston, MA
Prior Companies: Converse, Shoes.com, Walmart

“In a DTC world, you make progress by testing and learning. Ultimately, you aim to foster brand love. Nothing else matters in the long term if you don’t have that. The challenge is scale — how to balance winning in the short term vs building a brand for the long term.”

Michelle Frank

GM, Global E-Commerce
Logitech

Years in the Fashion/Retail Industry: 15
Location: New York, NY
Prior Companies: Bloomingdale’s, Louis Vuitton, The Jones Group, Harman

“The most challenging part of building a DTC business within a traditionally run organization is changing the mindset within the organization. It’s about getting the organization on board with reasons to believe in DTC and then ultimately giving the consumers reasons to buy direct.”

Andrew Gerberi

VP, Technology
PAIGE

Years in the Fashion/Retail Industry: 9
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Prior Companies: Walt Disney Co., Apple, BCBGMAXAZARIA

Whitney Goldman

VP, Global Digital, Commerce & CRM
bareMinerals

Years in the Fashion/Retail Industry: 19
Location: New York, NY
Prior Companies: Avon Cosmetics, Conde Nast, NBC Universal, StriVectin, Bookspan, Modell’s Sporting Goods

Heath Golden

Chief Financial & Strategy Officer
Randa Apparel & Accessories

Years in the Fashion/Retail Industry: 12
Location: New York, NY
Prior Companies: Bendon Group

“As an industry in which we reinvent ourselves each season, we are accustomed to change… we have a distinct advantage. By leveraging our comfort with change and consumers’ need for our products, we will pivot as needed to give consumers what they want in the manner they most desire it.”

Kelly Goldston

VP, Growth Marketing & E-Commerce
SPANX

Years in the Fashion/Retail Industry: 15
Location: Atlanta, GA
Prior Companies: Groupon, Quidsi, ELOQUII

“The most challenging part of building a DTC business is also the most rewarding: Building and maintaining an incredible team. You could have the best idea in the world and the best product-market fit, but if you don’t have a stellar team to bring the vision to life, it’s not going to work.”

David Gold

VP, Head of Global Business Strategy
Vans

Years in the Fashion/Retail Industry: 6
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Prior Companies: The Boston Consulting Group

David Hayne

Chief Technology Officer, URBN
President, Nuuly

Years in the Fashion/Retail Industry: 20
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Prior Companies: Free People

“The dynamics are very different in DTC. Obviously, the scale of the audience you can activate online is much greater than physically. But it’s also much more challenging to break through and capture someone’s attention amidst all the online noise and harder to build a strong connection with customers.”

Daniel Heaf

VP, Nike Direct
Nike

Years in the Fashion/Retail Industry: 7
Location: Portland, OR
Prior Companies: BBC, Channel 4, Burberry

Kambiz Hemati

VP, Customer Experince & Environments
American Eagle Outfitters

Years in the Fashion/Retail Industry: 15
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Prior Companies: BCBCMAXAZRIAGROUP, Starbucks, Nike, Verizon, Foot Locker

Liz Hershfield

SVP, Head of Sustainability J Crew Group
SVP, Sourcing Madewell

Years in the Fashion/Retail Industry: 27
Location: New York, NY
Prior Companies: JCPenny’s, Gap, Bonobos, Walmart

“There is momentum in the industry, towards more sustainable practices, across people and planet. What I find truly inspiring is the collaborative approach the industry is taking — we all know we need to work together to make a positive impact. Seeing that come to life with so many brands partnering together to achieve aggressive goals around the environment and people is super exciting!”

John Hill

Chief Digital & Information Officer
Carhartt

Years in the Fashion/Retail Industry: 6
Location: Detroit, MI
Prior Companies: General Motors, Roche, Grainger

“From a technology perspective, the most challenging part of building a D2C business at Carhartt has been the sheer magnitude of the efforts that we embarked upon in order to speed up our digital transformation… we have simultaneously replaced our ERP, the POS, the eCommerce platform, and opened new distribution capabilities, all while building out a more comprehensive data analytics program.”

Daren Hull

President
Vera Bradley

Years in the Fashion/Retail Industry: 12
Location: Fort Wayne, IN
Prior Companies: L’Oreal, Amazon, PepsiCo, Outdoor Voices, Williams-Sonoma

“Customers change quickly and it is challenging to step away from what has made you successful to build what will be the next chapter in your success. I’m excited for the next decade of customer experiences. The pace of evolution in the next decade of retail will be fantastic.”

Jackson Jeyanayagam

VP & General Manager, DTC
The Clorox Company

Years in the Fashion/Retail Industry: 12
Location: New York, NY
Prior Companies: Boxed

“The change is so rapid right now and the market continues to adapt to the realities of what consumers want — which means more options for DTC leaders, including improved and more nimble supply chains and more variety of solutions and technology partners. Everything is much more scalable.”

Clorox
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Heather Kang

President, International eCommerce for Tools & Storage
Stanley Black & Decker

Years in the Fashion/Retail Industry: 26
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Prior Companies: Campbell Soup, McCormick, Mars

“The biggest opportunity is leading a shift in the organizational capability to think and act customer first. Fortunately, Stanley Black & Decker already centers around the customer and operates with agility to adopt transformative initiatives. We see D2C as an organic growth driver, both a source of new revenue streams and an opportunity to deepen our customer relationships throughout their omnichannel shopping journey. D2C enables us to extend this customer-first mindset from product to experience.”

Josh Krepon

President, Global Digital
Steven Madden

Years in the Fashion/Retail Industry: 15
Location: New York, NY
Prior Companies: Polo Ralph Lauren, Victoria’s Secret, Tory Burch, Cole Haan

“If D2C were easy, everyone would be doing it. What makes it difficult is also what makes it exciting. The challenge is staying ahead of a hyper-competitive market where consumer behaviors are ever-changing. The level of talent that this industry attracts, both on the brand and partner side, is inspiring.”

Anisa Kumar

SVP & Managing Director, US DTC
Levi Strauss & Co.

Years in the Fashion/Retail Industry: 11
Location: Dublin, CA
Prior Companies: Target, Mervyns, Walmart

“Keeping up with innovations and consumer requests is simply not enough. To build a leading DTC business, we need to think of the unimaginable. We need to foresee the challenges and obstacles that lie ahead and bring forward new solutions and offerings that help our fans across every aspect of their shopping journey.”

Robin Kurkhill

SVP, Retail
Citizen Watch America

Years in the Fashion/Retail Industry: 37
Location: New York, NY
Prior Companies: Saks Fifth Ave, Escada, Adrienne Vittadini, Polo Ralph Lauren, Gracious Home, Basler Fashion, Dooney & Bourke

“Investing in human capital is the fundamental ingredient of a successful business. With a strong team, you can embrace and embark on strategies to develop and apply solutions to challenges that may stem from the environment, technology, data, the economy, or even a pandemic”

Lisa Laich

Chief Marketing Officer
The Rockport Company

Years in the Fashion/Retail Industry: 14
Location: Boston, MA
Prior Companies: Gillette, Ocean Spray Cranberries, FAGE

Mario Lang

VP, Digital Innovation
PVH Corp.

Years in the Fashion/Retail Industry: 13
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Prior Companies: Ralph Lauren, Gap

“The most challenging part of building a direct-to-consumer business is listening to the consumer and not assuming, interpreting that data but also understanding the human emotions and intentions behind it (e.g. community, belonging, etc.) What’s exciting is that the consumer is becoming part of the brand and has more influence than ever.”

Damien Leigh

SVP, Direct to Consumer
New Balance

Years in the Fashion/Retail Industry: 17
Location: Brookline, MA
Prior Companies: Staples

Jeff Lord

VP, Consumer Direct
Burton Snowboards

Years in the Fashion/Retail Industry: 11
Location: Burlington, VT
Prior Companies: Columbia Sportswear, GoPro

“I believe the most challenging thing in building a direct-to-consumer business is a mental shift from being emotionally driven to data-driven. Our customers are the best validation team that we have and our direct-to-consumer business is the biggest source of truth into the quality of our work.”

Jarid Lukin

Market Director, M&Ms Digital
Mars

Years in the Fashion/Retail/Consumer Industry: 21
Location: New York, NY
Prior Companies: Lego, Brooks Brothers, The Jones Group, Harman, KIND

“Selling to consumers is very different than selling to customers… shipping a small package to grandma requires different resources, skillsets, technologies, etc. than shipping a pallet of product to Target. This not only requires significant investment but also a willingness to think differently about how you do business.”

Chris McGrath

VP, Global Footwear Design
Timberland

Years in the Fashion/Retail Industry: 20
Location: Boston, MA
Prior Companies: Speedo, Nike, Clarks, PUMA Group, MUSTO, Pentland Brands

Chad McCutchen

VP, Global E-Commerce
Deckers Brands

Years in the Fashion/Retail Industry: 14
Location: Flagstaff, AZ

Danielle Mancini Davis

VP, E-Commerce Acceleration
L’Oreal USA

Years in the Fashion/Retail Industry: 17
Location: New York, NY
Prior Companies: Avon

“The key challenges to overcome in building a strong business are — creating differentiation for the consumer to purchase directly on-site, driving demand & traffic, having the right supply chain to meet consumer demands & shipping requirements, maintaining & building the right website to drive conversion, and driving profitable growth.”

Tara McRae

Chief Marketing Officer
Clarks

Years in the Fashion/Retail/Consumer Industry: 15
Location: Boston, MA
Prior Companies: Bose, PUMA

Cindy Miller

Chief Digital & Information Officer
Hanes Brands

Years in the Fashion/Retail/Consumer Industry: 17
Location: Salem, NC
Prior Companies: Sara Lee Hosiery

“I’m excited that our industry is more and more focused on sustainability and the larger role we play in both serving our consumers and this planet. Apparel is a part of people’s everyday lives — a vehicle for expression, comfort, and purpose. And I’m thrilled that we are focusing on the innovation that aids in health and wellness, adaptive clothing, and sport as we enable our consumers to be the best ‘me’.”

Adam Michaels

Chief Digital Officer
Crocs

Years in the Fashion/Retail Industry: 10
Location: Boulder,CO
Prior Companies: Reebok

Parinda Muley

VP, E-Commerce & Innovation, North America
Richemont

Years in the Fashion/Retail/Consumer Industry: 4
Location: Jersey City, NJ
Prior Companies: Time Inc., Macy’s

“Living through a pandemic has truly been an awakening for many brands who learned more about their customers’ habits, preferences, and ways of shopping. The new retail environment has merged many industries and practices together forcing everyone to relook at their current operations and shift them pretty dramatically. “

Johanna Murphy

SVP, Consumer Marketing & Global Digital Commerce
Michael Kors

Years in the Fashion/Retail Industry: 15
Location: New York, NY
Prior Companies: Kate Spade New York, IT Swimwear, rag & bone

Kelly O’Reilly

VP, DTC & Digital Commerce
John Hardy

Years in the Fashion/Retail/Consumer Industry: 19
Location: New York, NY
Prior Companies: Calvin Klein, New York & Co. Bloomingdale’s, ALEX AND ANI

Noam Paransky

Chief Digital Officer
Tapestry Inc.

Years in the Fashion/Retail Industry: 21
Location: New York, NY
Prior Companies: Gap, Kurt Salmon, AlixPartners

“During the pandemic, we learned that the customer wants more humanity and human engagement. Digital engagement offers a treasure trove of data. The ability to leverage that implicit and explicit feedback to improve the customer’s experience and to see the resultant business outcomes is very energizing.”

Tracy Parrillo

VP, Development & Sourcing
rag & bone

Years in the Fashion/Retail/Consumer Industry: 15
Location: New York, NY
Prior Companies: Target, Li & Fung, J.Crew

“I am excited about innovation as it relates to sustainability. We are at a turning point in the industry and the decisions we make today don’t just affect the company or businesses sector we are in, they truly have an impact on a global scale.”

Matt Powell

Chief Technology Officer
FTD

Years in the Fashion/Retail/Consumer Industry: 1
Location: New York, NY
Prior Companies: KBS, Kinship Systems

“What’s challenging is building something truly differentiated and defensible — and that has big enough “legs” that it can remain relevant as the market evolves. What’s exiting is that we’re entering a world where even small businesses can — with the right technology and support — compete online and thrive alongside the massive enterprises in the space.”

James Ramirez

VP, Stores & Operations
J. Jill

Years in the Fashion/Retail Industry: 31
Location: Boston, MA
Prior Companies: Gap, Charlotte Russe, Lane Bryant

Matthew Schiff

VP, Global E-Commerce
Marc Jacobs

Years in the Fashion/Retail/Consumer Industry: 11
Location: New York, NY
Prior Companies: Li & Fung, The Frye Co., Bendon Group

“Growth and achievement aren’t linear or even obvious — people are discovering new ways of working, new ways of defining success, and new ways to engage customers.”

Betsy Seale

VP, E-Commerce
Frances Valentine

Years in the Fashion/Retail Industry: 15
Location: New York, NY
Prior Companies: W Hotels, Flight 001, HSN

“There are so many customer touchpoints and so many opportunities to optimize their experience. The challenge is doing everything I want to do — not enough time in the day.”

Brian Seewald

SVP, E-Commerce
Express

Years in the Fashion/Retail/Consumer Industry: 26
Location: Colombus, OH
Prior Companies: Abercrombie & Fitch, Ralph Lauren, Tween Brands, The Limited, DSW

“It’s easy to get caught up in what everyone else is doing. It’s difficult to make sure that the strategies and roadmap you have built are right for your business and your customer. We have always said that we are all about the customer, but now if you’re not about the customer, you aren’t going to succeed.”

Mila Talabucon

Head IT – Connected Experince, Digital Services & Enterprise Architecture
CHANEL

Years in the Fashion/Retail Industry: 19
Location: New York, NY
Prior Companies: Bed Bath and Beyond, L’Occitane, New York & Company, Coach

Sarah Warnes Rasmusen

EVP, Chief Customer Officer
Lands’ End

Years in the Fashion/Retail/Consumer Industry: 19
Location: Madison, WI
Prior Companies: Bloomingdale’s, Saks Direct, Kohl’s Department Stores

Sophie Weitzman

SVP, Strategy, Data & Analytics, PVH Supply
PVH Corp.

Years in the Fashion/Retail Industry: 13
Location: New York, NY
Prior Companies: Macy’s, Noi Solutions

“To bridge the gap between supply and demand, it is critical that we invest in regional supply chains, reduce leadtimes with responsive models, drive innovation in logistics, and continue to rethink and reinvent traditional ways of operating.”

Takafumi Yamaguchi

VP, E-Commerce, UNIQLO USA
UNIQLO

Years in the Fashion/Retail/Consumer Industry: 10
Location: New York, NY
Prior Companies: AKQA

Ricardo Zapata

VP, Business Development
Bath & Body Works

Years in the Fashion/Retail Industry: 21
Location: New York, NY
Prior Companies: Universal Gear