In conjunction with the Fairchild Media Group’s Women in Power event on Sept. 13, the second annual WWD x FN x Beauty Inc 50 Women in Power list celebrates the achievements of the industry’s most powerful women on a global scale. Compiled by editors at WWD, Beauty Inc and Footwear News, this alphabetical list includes women who are creating impact — on their businesses, and on the world around them.
The 2022 list of 50 Women in Power features exclusively new names. For the inaugural list, please see the 2021 50 Women in Power report.
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WWD, FN and Beauty Inc asked the 50 Women in Power, “If you could have any power in the world, what would it be?” See here for their answers.
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Shannon Abloh, CEO and managing director of Virgil Abloh Securities
Shannon Abloh is CEO and managing director of Virgil Abloh Securities, a company started by her late husband, Virgil Abloh, which is dedicated to “spreading his ethos and essence globally.” Abloh leads the organization and spearheads initiatives and endeavors that Virgil Abloh laid the foundation for, including in art, architecture, engineering, creative direction, artistic direction, industrial design, fashion design, music, film writing and philanthropy. Abloh intends to launch a philanthropic foundation this year, and already awarded more than $1 million in “Post-Modern” scholarships from the Fashion Scholarship Fund that her late husband set up in 2020 to help Black students enter the fashion industry. Abloh has been heavily involved in his work, and helped orchestrate his final memorial Off-White show in February, and plan the “Virgil Abloh: Figures of Speech,” exhibition that opened at the Brooklyn Museum in July. — Lisa Lockwood
Jessica Alba, founder, The Honest Co.
One of the most prominent celebrities to enter the beauty business, Jessica Alba created a $1 billion-plus company that went public in 2021, inspiring many of her peers to follow in her footsteps. Alba founded The Honest Co. in 2012 with a focus on clean yet design-conscious and affordable baby products, before “clean” went mainstream, and the business has since expanded into household goods, skin and personal care. In July, Honest re-entered Ulta Beauty. Honest’s IPO last year fulfilled the goal of accelerating the company’s mission, “to drive the clean lifestyle conversation in the industry, inspiring everyone to love living consciously.” — Kathryn Hopkins
Delphine Bellini, CEO, Schiaparelli
Since Diego Della Valle kicked off the relaunch of the historic house of Schiaparelli a decade ago, the line has cycled through several designers. One constant, but discreet, presence since 2014 has been CEO Delphine Bellini, who has patiently orchestrated the brand’s return to the limelight. In the last 18 months, her methodical approach has paid off, with critically acclaimed creative director Daniel Roseberry dressing A-listers from Lady Gaga to Beyoncé, and the opening in July of a landmark exhibition at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs that was the toast of Paris Couture Week. — Joelle Diderich
Heidi Bivens, costume designer
Few costume designers have had as big of an impact on fashion recently the way Heidi Bivens has. The former WWD staffer is responsible for the coveted wardrobe in HBO’s hit teen drama “Euphoria,” which has set fashion and beauty trends since it debuted in 2019. Bivens’ strategy for the show combines nostalgia and vintage pieces with edgy, modern looks from high-end brands and emerging designers. Her work hasn’t just launched fashion trends — it has also gotten the attention of the awards circuit. Bivens has received two Costume Designers Guild Awards nominations and three Emmy nominations for “Euphoria.” — Layla Ilchi
Kristina Blahnik, CEO, Manolo Blahnik Ltd.
A former architect, Kristina Blahnik has used her creative and commercial skills to build a new, modern and more professional business framework for the brand founded by her uncle, Manolo Blahnik. Since taking up the CEO role in 2013, Kristina Blahnik has restructured the business and consolidated operations and manufacturing under one roof, expanded the number of full-time company employees from 10 to 217, and overseen an international retail rollout, with the brand currently counting 309 points of sale. She has accomplished it all with poise and emotional intelligence, putting an emphasis on mental and physical well-being among the brand’s staff worldwide. — Samantha Conti
Joann Cheng, chairman and CEO of Lanvin Group
It’s been a big year for Lanvin Group, which is on the path to an IPO later this year. Under chairman and CEO Joann Cheng the company recorded pro forma revenues of 339 million euros last year, a 52 percent gain compared to 2020. Its flagship brand, Lanvin, reported 108 percent year-over-year sales growth to 73 million euros, driven by leather goods and footwear. The brand achieved triple-digit growth in the North America and Greater China markets. The Shanghai-based luxury conglomerate is also home to Sergio Rossi, Wolford, St. John and Caruso. “I hope that Lanvin Group will become the first luxury company with headquarters in China that has a global reach,” Cheng told WWD recently. “We want to be perceived as a global luxury group.” — Miles Socha
Sun Choe, chief product officer, Lululemon Athletica Inc.
Lululemon is seemingly unstoppable, and Choe is the women behind much of the product heat. As the lifestyle brand tackles new territory, footwear is a major focus. Choe and team unveiled the brand’s first shoe, a women’s running style, in March, and a women’s cross trainer in July — and demand for the shoes has been higher than expected. Beyond footwear, Choe and Lululemon are accelerating the brand’s men’s category growth and expanding its tennis, golf and hiking assortments. — Katie Abel
Sandra Choi, creative director, Jimmy Choo
Blockbuster acquisitions. Countless management changes. A luxury footwear revolution. Sandra Choi is the one person who has been there for every chapter of Jimmy Choo’s storied 26 years. As the label continues its quest to become a billion-dollar brand under Capri Holdings Ltd., the creative director is tapping into the power of the sneaker business and capitalizing on renewed demand for elegant, sexy shoes. She’s also helming attention-grabbing collabs that send an inclusive message, including a collection with Billy Porter. — Katie Abel
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Joanne Crevoiserat, CEO, Tapestry
Joanne Crevoiserat has brought both Tapestry and accessible luxury to the forefront of the fashion industry under her leadership. The CEO of the luxury fashion house — which counts Coach, Kate Spade and Stuart Weitzman in its portfolio of brands — not only navigated the company through the pandemic but took over during a time of great uncertainty after the former CEO resigned abruptly in July 2020. And Crevoiserat has grown revenues at all three brands. These days, she’s focused on investing in all areas of the business, including talent, digital, data and analytics, fulfillment and marketing. “We’re a different company than we were two years ago based on these investments,” Crevoiserat said in May. — Kellie Ell
Brandice Daniel, CEO, Harlem’s Fashion Row
Brandice Daniel is working to bridge the gap between brands and designers of color with a strategy that includes a newly minted partnership with LVMH North America. Through brand strategy, collaborations, new media, experiential marketing, recruiting and pipeline programs, Daniel has established business opportunities for multicultural designers to showcase their skills and abilities to major companies including Target, Marriott International, Verizon, Prudential, CoverGirl, Pandora, Nissan and Macy’s. In June, HFR forged a partnership with LVMH North America through which the two organizations will work toward a more diverse, equitable and inclusive industry. In operation 15 years, HFR started Icon360 in 2020, which has granted $2.1 million to Black designers and Historically Black Colleges and Universities. — Lisa Lockwood
Marie-Claire Daveu, chief sustainability and institutional affairs officer, Kering
Now head of sustainability at Kering — parent company of Balenciaga, Gucci and Saint Laurent, among others — Marie-Claire Daveu was an early advocate of all things environmental, starting her career in government at the Ministry of Ecology and Sustainability before that was even a buzzword. At Kering, which she joined in 2012, Daveu is establishing transparency and reporting standards, as well as shaping the company’s roadmap to reduce its environmental footprint by 40 percent by 2025. — Rhonda Richford
Trish Donnelly, CEO, Calvin Klein Global & PVH Americas, PVH Corp.
Before stepping down from her role as CEO, Calvin Klein Global & PVH Americas, Trish Donnelly had been “leaning into the strengths of the Calvin Klein brand,” to achieve results, as she told investors in April. After joining the business from Urban Outfitters Inc. in 2021, Donnelly began the brand’s push toward $5.4 billion in revenues by 2025, up from $3.7 billion last year. “We are building on the strengths in Europe. We are accelerating the growth in Asia Pacific, and we are unlocking the opportunity in the Americas,” she said. — Evan Clark
Nathalie Dufour, managing director, ANDAM
Since founding the ANDAM prize in 1989, Nathalie Dufour has nurtured an entire generation of fashion designers, beginning with the winner of the inaugural edition, Martin Margiela. The award has served as a springboard for creative directors who would go on to achieve international recognition, including Viktor & Rolf, Anthony Vaccarello and Jeremy Scott. Not content to sit on her laurels, Dufour has worked to steadily expand ANDAM’s remit, with the addition this year of a Special Prize worth 100,000 euros alongside its Grand Prize of 300,000 euros, and the arrival of two digital powerhouses, Instagram and Mytheresa.com, as sponsors. — Joelle Diderich
Allyson Felix, Olympian, co-founder, Saysh
As an 11-time Olympic medalist, the most decorated U.S. track and field athlete ever and a mother of two, Allyson Felix believes that you don’t have to choose between motherhood and anything else. Felix advocates for mothers publicly and through her footwear start-up, Saysh, which she cofounded with her brother, Wes, in 2021. Saysh styles are cushioned and designed specifically for women’s feet, and the brand offers a “Maternity Returns Policy” that allows mothers whose feet change size to exchange their sneakers for another one. The brand has already attracted investor interest, and earlier this year raised an $8 million Series A, including a $1 million investment from Gap Inc.’s Athleta. — Rosemary Feitelberg
Jennifer Foyle, president and creative director of AE, Aerie and Unsubscribed, American Eagle Outfitters
In addition to running many of American Eagle Outfitters’ day-to-day operations, Jennifer Foyle is the brainchild behind the Aerie, Unsubscribed and Offline by Aerie brands. She’s also second in command at American Eagle Outfitters, serving as right-hand woman to the company’s chairman and CEO. Foyle was the first to use non-airbrushed models for the Aerie Real campaign — a practice that’s become an industry norm nearly a decade later. Under her leadership, Aerie has posted more than 30 consecutive quarters of growth, surpassing the billion-dollar revenue mark, with a $3 billion target. During the pandemic, the seasoned retail executive also spearheaded the launch of activewear subbrand Offline by Aerie and slow retail brand Unsubscribed. Both have since opened brick-and-mortar stores. — Kellie Ell
Nyakio Grieco, co-founder, Thirteen Lune
Nyakio Grieco is refreshing beauty retail 20 years after she founded her eponymous brand. In just two years she has built Thirteen Lune into the beauty retailer to watch with a brand matrix that features 90 percent lines from people of color, and plans to roll out her shop-in-shop concept in 600 JC Penney doors by 2023. The business is also evolving and launched a private-label skin care brand for all skin tones called Relevant: Your Skin Seen, based on the all-inclusive ethos that attracted buzzy brand partners like Briogeo and Ami Colé to her in the first place. As she told Beauty Inc this year, “Our mission at Thirteen Lune is to create generational wealth through the lens of beauty. The more brands you onboard, you’re truly helping others achieve.” — James Manso
Catherine Holstein, founder and creative director, Khaite
With her six-year-old women’s label Khaite, designer Catherine Holstein has created a dark glamour so potent it’s become an attitude, one that celebrities Hailey Bieber, Meghan Markle, Katie Holmes, Scarlett Johansson and many more can’t get enough of. But with its versatile denim, cashmere knits, bodysuits, leather coats and classic accessories, Khaite is the kind of brand where a lot of women can find themselves and buy into the New York attitude that has been exported worldwide. Yet there is also something about Holstein’s look that’s European in its studied nonchalance, and one could imagine her leading a big luxury heritage brand one day. For now, she’s been talking to investors and considering a possible sale to fuel Khaite’s growth, including her own retail stores, which are sure to be dark and glamorous. — Booth Moore
Jenna Johnson, president, Patagonia, Inc.
Jenna Johnson stepped up to the plate as president of Patagonia, Inc. two years ago, and has been going strong overseeing the apparel and equipment division of the sustainable apparel brand. Nearly a decade ago, Johnson worked her way up through the ranks from product line manager for Patagonia’s alpine division to leading its technical outdoor business. A lifelong climber in her personal life, she embodies the brand’s deep roots in sports communities and advocacy work. No stranger to speaking out on climate activism and inequity in the outdoors, Johnson has been a featured speaker at numerous events, such as The Nature Conservancy’s Earth Day Summit last year. — Kaley Roshitsh
Ulla Johnson, founder and creative director
Ulla Johnson’s business is booming, and it’s a testament to her continued connection with a widening audience through her luxe bohemian, feminine designs and a global, artisanal ethos. The founder and creative director imbues her collections with rich inspirations and thoughtful craft, while uplifting and celebrating global artisan and craftsman communities from countries including Peru, Uruguay, India, Kenya, Brazil, Ghana and the Philippines through ongoing collaborations across ready-to-wear and accessories. The company works closely with these global artisans to provide work and sustainable economic development while sharing their craft through luxury fashions designed to be generational heirlooms. — Emily Mercer
Jenni Kayne, designer
The L.A. tastemaker’s namesake brand is on track to reach $140 million in sales in 2022 on the strength of its priced-right classic apparel, its fast-growing home category and its new, entry-level Oak Essentials wellness products. Kayne has developed a clever marketing strategy of staging homes that are for sale through her husband’s real estate business. She uses them to showcase her rustic-modern, California-natural world, and to create online and social media content. She brings customers through them on tours, which generate hundreds of thousands of dollars in sales, and eventually lead to the sale of the home itself. With 20 stores doing $2,000 a square foot, a new Jenni Kayne Home loyalty program, and repeat customers driving 65 percent of revenue, she is now on the road to a public offering. — Booth Moore
KRISSY SALEH/COURTESY PHOTO
Karlie Kloss, model, founder, Kode With Klossy
Karlie Kloss is a model, businesswoman, philanthropist and a force on social media, leading and inspiring young women around the world. In addition to walking the runways for leading fashion houses, Kloss has served as a global brand ambassador for Estée Lauder and appeared in several international campaigns, including with Adidas, where she created the Adidas x Karlie Kloss collection of activewear. Kloss took her first coding class in 2014 and was so inspired she launched Kode With Klossy in 2015 to empower girls to learn to code and become leaders in tech. The organization hosts free two-week summer coding camps where girls ages 13 to 18 explore concepts in front-end and back-end software engineering. — Lisa Lockwood
Lizzo, singer/founder, Yitty
The multi-hyphenate singer, executive producer and host of Amazon Prime’s Emmy-nominated “Watch Out for the Big Grrrls” is a body-positive style icon whose song lyrics, dance moves and fashion choices are daily affirmations of female empowerment. She’s also a crusader for inclusion and justice who in 2020 launched the Lizzo Loves You website to support Black communities. This year she added Planned Parenthood to her fundraising, pledging $500,000 of her tour proceeds for abortion funding. And now she’s on her way to mogul status, too, with her growing Yitty clothing brand, launched in April in partnership with Fabletics, selling shapewear and loungewear that’s “no-shame, smile-inducing and size-inclusive.” — Booth Moore
Nili Lotan, founder, creative director, CEO, Nili Lotan
Nili Lotan has built her brand on the idea that women should have more support to navigate the various aspects of their lives with ease and comfort. Over the years she has supported Women Wage Peace and Every Mother Counts, and has responded to critical issues as they arise in real time, making masks for NYU Langone at the height of the pandemic and more recently donating to the UNRRA in response to the ongoing Ukrainian refugee crisis. “Just as I design clothing based on the needs I see around me, I make business decisions based on community issues that feel relevant,” she said. “As my business expands, I’ve been able to do this more and more and can hopefully devote even more energy to causes that I care about.” — Jean E. Palmieri
Lalisa Manobal, Blackpink
When Lalisa Manobol turned up at Celine’s men’s show last June, thousands of fans of the Blackpink star swarmed the venue, screaming with delight when she finally arrived, waving and smiling sweetly. The normally blasé fashion crowd waiting inside rushed to the windows to catch a glimpse — along with luxury kingpin Bernard Arnault of LVMH. The Thai rapper, also a solo artist, has talent — and what the French call je ne sais quoi — in spades. Fashion brands, headlined by Celine and Bulgari, can’t get enough of the K-pop superstar, and the admiration is mutual. “Fashion is very attractive and fun,” Manobal told WWD when she signed up as a juror for the 2021 ANDAM fashion prize. “I’ve always loved to wear and play with clothes ever since I was a child.” Her ambitions stretch further. She recently told Rolling Stone: “I have so many things I want to try. I love photography, I want to try acting, and more.” — Miles Socha
Tracy Margolies, chief merchandising officer, Saks
Tracy Margolies has reshaped the buying culture at Saks to be more fashion forward and take more risks when launching designers, doing it wholeheartedly, with windows, exclusives, intensified marketing and greater floor space. Over the last year in particular she’s used her expertise to expand several categories, including wellness, home, kids, swimwear and active. Under her guidance Saks launched an emerging designer accelerator program, The New Wave, in 2021, providing access to mentorship and entrepreneurial workshops. “I’ve spent my career, and particularly the past year, furthering Saks’ role as a platform for many designers and merchants to flourish throughout their careers. I strive to open doors at Saks and across our industry — giving opportunities for top and emerging talent to shine,” Margolies said. — David Moin
Nicola Mendelsohn, VP of global business, Meta
Nicola Mendelsohn is busy. Busy — as one of few women doing so — leading conversations around the metaverse as vice president of global business group at Meta. Busy supporting Meta’s #SheMeansBusiness program, training women for digital prowess, to secure capital and facilitating the kinds of business connections that will help them shatter long-standing barriers. Now she’s championing digital as democratization for women, providing opportunities for women in countries where working can be less accessible to them, and allowing women to put their business and its offerings first without having to be unjustly judged as a woman founder, she said. — Tara Donaldson
Sarah Mensah, VP & general manager, North America, Nike Inc.
Sarah Mensah joined Nike in 2013 after 19 years with the Portland Trailblazers. She was the first Black female to hold the role of vice president/general manager for the company’s Asia, Pacific & Latin America region, as well as Nike North America. During her career Mensah has embraced equality, inclusivity, diversity and the fight against climate change. She helped spearhead Nike’s Juneteenth programming and was instrumental in the company’s four-year $40 million commitment on behalf of Nike, Jordan Brand and Converse, focused on building a more just and equitable society for Black Americans, and the Jordan Brand and Michael Jordan’s donations of $50 million each over the next 10 years as part of the Black Community Commitment. On the business end, since being elevated to the North America role two years ago, Mensah helped the company achieve its first $5 billion quarter. — Jean E. Palmieri
Sherri McMullen, founder and CEO, McMullen
The influential Oakland, California, retailer (and a stylist to Steph and Ayesha Curry, among others), has an eye for spotting new talent from New York to Nigeria, and has made it part of her ethos to support and elevate designers of color at her inclusive luxury specialty store, McMullen. It’s made an impact beyond the four walls. Product sold through a section on her e-commerce site highlighting “Our Black Partners” is the fastest growing segment of the business, with more than 35 percent of her sales generated from Black-owned brands in 2021, up from 11 percent the year before. “Investing in those businesses is important — not just giving them my platform, but investing in our community as a whole,” she said. —Booth Moore
Séverine Merle, CEO, Celine
Like Celine’s creative, artistic and image director Hedi Slimane, its CEO Séverine Merle shuns the limelight and simply gets on with the job. And while it took a few seasons for the LVMH-owned house to find its new groove, Celine now cites “exceptional growth in all markets and all categories.” The company has been active on multiple fronts: opening a flagship on New Bond Street in London, and prepping a high-profile corner location on Rue Saint Honoré in Paris; launching a line of made-to-order crocodile leather handbags, a range of pet accessories, a Plein Soleil capsule for summer, plus two more scents in its Celine Haute Parfumerie collection, and promoting its couture offering on the red carpet at the Cannes Film Festival. The brand also finally returned to the catwalk last June for the men’s spring 2023 season. Merle is a veteran of LVMH, having worked at Louis Vuitton as its general manger for France and womenswear merchandising director, and at Berluti under Antoine Arnault before taking the management helm at Celine in 2017. — Miles Socha
Kimberly Lee Minor, president and chief commercial officer, Bandier
Before joining Bandier, Kimberly Lee Minor spent 25-plus years working for Macy’s, L Brands, Foot Locker and Iconix. She created the Women of Color Retail Alliance, which offers women of color working in the retail sector skills training, leadership development and networking opportunities, and supports industry employers that are seeking true representation and inclusion. WOCRA’s efforts are meant to enable companies to reimagine diversity by bringing sponsorship into the open and giving people a platform to share their stories with the organization’s network. Taking the long view as a leader and a mentor, Minor encourages people to not only surpass personal career goals but to have a positive impact on organizations. — Rosemary Feitelberg
Elizabeth A. Morrison, chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer, Levi Strauss & Co.
Elizabeth Morrison joined Levi Strauss in 2020 and has been quick to sharpen the already socially conscious firm’s stance on diversity, equity and inclusion. Proof points include the company’s first annual DEI Impact report and two new talent development programs, one for senior women leaders and one for our Black and Latine employees. Under her leadership the company has built on its talent acquisition team and has been “making progress on 50 percent diverse candidate slates.” Levi’s has also published its demographic, representation and pay equity stats and will update the information annually, and Morrison has made it her mission to see progress on inclusion across all points in the organization — and to be transparent about it. — Evan Clark
Sue Y. Nabi, CEO, Coty Inc.
Sue Y. Nabi has been achieving what no CEO has been able to do in years: jumpstart and successfully steer Coty’s turnaround. The company’s growth has so far been driven by Cover Girl’s about-turn, the consumer business’ rebound and the luxury division’s repositioning in three key categories, fragrance, makeup and skin care. Nabi has been trailblazing in other ways, too. She was the first woman to take the helm of a major freestanding beauty company and is being paid more than the male CEO at Coty before her. Nabi, a transgender woman, works to champion equality and diversity, and spread a message of inclusivity. — Jennifer Weil
Gwyneth Paltrow, founder and CEO, Goop
More than a decade ago, when Gwyneth Paltrow founded Goop, wellness was a nascent industry. But since then Paltrow has introduced her audience to new concepts — sometimes fringe ones — and was an early-adopter of now-mainstream movements like sexual wellness. Now she’s translating her forward-thinking approach into supporting other women entrepreneurs in beauty and wellness, opting for collaboration over competition. Paltrow was an early investor in inclusive retail platform Thirteen Lune; in clean makeup brand Saie, and in Sephora hair care brand Crown Affair. She even collaborated with a key competitor, the Kourtney Kardashian-founded Poosh, on a candle earlier this year called “This Smells Like My Pooshy” — a spin-off of viral candle sensation “This Smells Like My Vagina.” — James Manso
Christiane Pendarvis, co-president and chief merchandising and design officer, Savage x Fenty
Christiane Pendarvis leads Rihanna’s Savage x Fenty, which is valued at $3 billion, and is spearheading efforts to make innerwear more inclusive. The lingerie start-up has had rapid growth in its four-year lifespan, thanks in part to Pendarvis’ insights in product innovation, store openings and fundraising. In January, the firm secured an additional $125 million in investor funds, bringing its total funding to $310 million to date. Pendarvis said more stores and product categories are coming. So is international expansion. “We’re very focused on meeting our customer needs, figuring out how far we can extend the brand, looking for new opportunities, opening retail stores, perfecting what we’re doing in the European market,” she told WWD in August. “We’ve got so many strategic initiatives on our plate that we’re just not focused on what’s going to happen in terms of an equity [IPO or acquisition] event.” — Kellie Ell
Marta Ortega Perez, chair, Inditex Group
Marta Ortega Perez has made it her life’s mission to lead the family business into the future. “I have always said that I would dedicate my life to building upon my parents’ legacy…and serving the company, our shareholders and our customers where I’m most needed,” she said last year shortly after being named chair. For the past 15 years she has been working on the creative, image and fashion ends of the Zara brand, tapping talents including Steven Meisel and Luca Guadagnino to collaborate on campaigns and special projects. She has also launched premium collections, including Zara Srpls and Charlotte Gainsbourg by Zara, and last year opened a major Peter Lindbergh retrospective, in Inditex’s hometown of A Coruña, Spain. She’s following up that show later this year with “Steven Meisel 1993 A Year in Photographs” which will open in A Coruña in November. The exhibition is part of her ongoing initiative to bring “world-class culture to A Coruña,” and to promote “Galicia’s rich cultural spirit to the world.” —Samantha Conti
Vasiliki Petrou, CEO, Unilever Prestige
With longevity and purpose in mind, Vasiliki Petrou has been slowly but surely building up a stable of prestige beauty brands at Unilever since 2014. Today, Unilever Prestige counts nine, including Hourglass, Tatcha and Ren, and generates $2 billion in retail sales, helping the group maintain its second-place positioning among beauty makers globally. Petrou enjoys putting creativity at the core of the organization and focuses on imperfection in the beauty universe that’s traditionally so hung up on perfection. Petrou seeks to create a new culture of beauty, comprised of new language and business models. — Jennifer Weil
Michelle Poole, president, Crocs Inc.
Everyone is talking about Crocs — and Poole is a central force in one of the footwear industry’s most compelling growth stories. The president helped engineer revenue growth of 50.5 percent in the second quarter — the latest in a string of big financial wins for the firm. In addition to being a go-to comfort style for consumers of all ages, Crocs’ quintessential Classic Clog has been the subject of multiple high-impact collaborations with celebrities and luxury brands, from Justin Bieber to Balenciaga. Poole credits the success of the brand, which turns 20 in 2022, with its unwavering focus on “being different.” — Katie Abel
Deirdre Quinn, co-founder and CEO, Lafayette 148
Since joining with fashion veterans Shun Yen Siu and Ida Siu to found Lafayette 148 New York in 1996, Quinn has established a rare, vertically integrated fashion brand that produces garments in their directly owned Chinese factory in Shantou. Quinn has served as a board member for the School of Dreams, a subsidized private school for elementary aged children in Shantou, which is funded by the brand. Under her leadership, Lafayette 148 moved its headquarters to the Brooklyn Navy Yard, creating a sustainably built loft space, and during the pandemic, the team designed, manufactured and distributed thousands of medical gowns to needy hospitals in New York City. While growing rapidly in department stores, Lafayette 148 also has been moving into its own retail with stores from New York to California. — Lisa Lockwood
Amira Rasool, founder, The Folklore Group
Amira Rasool is making sure there’s no room for excuses when it comes to retailers supporting and stocking Black-owned brands. The founder and brainchild behind The Folklore Group, now a conglomerate, has evolved the business in a few short years from an e-commerce platform featuring luxury and emerging African and diasporic designers at launch in 2018 to one that comprises a wholesale component, a shopping aggregator to aid consumers in finding these brands and an editorial site to keep the world abreast of what’s happening on the continent and among those connected to it. In April 2022, Rasool became one of the youngest Black women (age 26 at the time) to secure $1.7 million for a fashion and lifestyle brand in a pre-seed funding round. — Tara Donaldson
Ditte Reffstrup, creative director, Ganni
With her upbeat, colorful and accessibly priced designs, Reffstrup has helped fuel the fortunes of Copenhagen Fashion Week and defined a fresh and decidedly un-minimalist Scandinavian fashion aesthetic. Her youthful, laid-back look of clashing patterns, loose silhouettes and low heels — all with a vintage edge — has become a uniform for nostalgic Millennials and Gen Z, while her message of women’s empowerment, and a sustainable approach to the business she runs with her husband Nicolaj Reffstrup, continues to resonate. On her watch the company has partnered with Vestiaire Collective, Depop and the rental platform Hurr, and has also launched Ganni Repeat, a service for its own, very active Ganni Girls community to buy and sell secondhand pieces. Circularity is now a priority — an unusual move for a contemporary label. — Samantha Conti
Tracee Ellis Ross, CEO and founder, Pattern Beauty
After 10 years in the making, and two years of testing, the actress, producer, comedian and activist in 2019 launched Pattern Beauty, a hair care brand for the underserved curly, coily and tight-textured community, fulfilling her dream for everyone to have access to their most beautiful selves in the bathroom. This summer, the actor began to achieve her goals of taking the brand international, launching in the U.K. in an exclusive partnership with Boots. She is eyeing more countries as she continues her mission to celebrate Black hair, on top of serving as Ulta Beauty’s diversity and inclusion adviser as the retailer looks to further its efforts. — Kathryn Hopkins
Marine Serre, designer
When Marine Serre won the LVMH Prize in 2017, one year after graduating from Belgian school La Cambre, she was only just embarking on her journey toward sustainability. In the last few years, she has streamlined a method for creating “regenerated” garments from upcycled materials while gradually lowering prices, in what could become a blueprint for other brands trying to solve this complex equation. To coincide with her return to the runway in March, she showcased the process with a free exhibition at the Lafayette Anticipations contemporary art foundation that drew more than 4,000 visitors in two days. — Joelle Diderich
Jill Sando, EVP and chief merchandising officer, Target
Jill Sando’s eye for emerging trends has helped turn Target into an ecosystem that many brands hope to tap into on their quest to scale. That includes names like Stoney Clover Lane, lingerie label Journelle, period-panties brand Thinx, Priyanka Chopra’s hair care brand Anomaly and home goods brand Opalhouse, among others. In her current role as chief merchandising officer, Sando is responsible for buying across the company’s hardlines and softlines. During her tenure at Target (which began in 1997), Sando has also helped build out its owned brands portfolio, 10 of which now have revenues that top a billion dollars. — Kellie Ell
Bonita Stewart, VP of global partnerships, Google
Bonita Stewart has made no secret of her belief in women of color to be the change she wants to see in the world. When she’s not leading strategy at Google as its vice president of global partnerships, or weighing in on who will lead the future of AI as board partner of Google’s early-stage venture fund Gradient Ventures, she’s co-authoring books and studies on the abilities of women of color. In a Google-sponsored study Stewart co-authored alongside fellow Harvard alumna Jacqueline Adams earlier this year titled, “Untapped Women of Color: The Talent Force Multiplier,” she helped put data to the notion that women of color, with their keener ability to meet the modern demands of cultural sensitivity, are a force multiplier that can help organizations achieve their goals and exceed expectations. — Tara Donaldson
Daria Shapovalova and Natalia Modenova, founders, DressX
In the push to fuel metaversal fashion, few companies can boast the accomplishments of DressX. In just two years founders Daria Shapovalova and Natalia Modenova saw their digital fashion marketplace skyrocket as a go-to destination for the real world’s maisons and tech companies. A New York Fashion Tech Lab alumnus and LVMH Innovation Award 2022 finalist, DressX hit a new echelon when it partnered with Meta’s Avatar Store, which began carrying the L.A.-based start-up’s own collection this summer, then followed it up with a buzzworthy Jason Wu collab that cast former First Lady Michelle Obama’s 2009 Inaugural Ball gown as an NFT. — Adriana Lee
Jessica Simpson, founder and CEO, Jessica Simpson Collection
It isn’t easy for celebrity brands to have staying power in the fickle fashion business, but Jessica Simpson’s billion-dollar brand has been in business for 17 years — and now the star is firmly in the driver’s seat. Jessica and her mother Tina bought back a majority stake in the company last year after former owner Sequential Brands filed for bankruptcy protection. And as the duo plots expansion into new categories, they’ll have the backing of a $67.5 million loan from Schottenstein-backed Second Avenue Capital Partners, which was revealed in May. — Katie Abel
Cami Téllez, CEO, creative director and founder of Parade
Cami Téllez’s vision of intimates doesn’t look like anything Gen Z has ever seen before, and that’s kind of the point. Her carbon-neutral underwear brand Parade, with a $200 million valuation, has made a splash with its rainbow-bright creative basics and environmental goals. Parade’s ESG journey centers on three areas: emissions reduction, collective action (or community impact) and innovation. Taking responsibility for her company’s impact, Parade has upcycled roughly 30,000 pairs into things like insulation and carpeting, and is known for its recycled proprietary fabric blends. Today Parade’s products use 80% to 95% recycled materials, but Téllez’s goal is to get to 100 percent — one layer at a time. — Kaley Roshish
Tracey Travis, EVP and chief financial officer, The Estée Lauder Companies
Since joining the Estée Lauder Cos. in 2012 as executive vice president and chief financial officer, Travis has made major business strides, overseeing huge deals, including the company’s agreement to pay $2.2 billion for a majority position in Deciem in 2021, its biggest acquisition to date, with her tenure also coinciding with a period of massive sales gains from the beauty company. She joined from Ralph Lauren, where she was CFO for seven years, and also sits on the boards of Facebook and Accenture. — Kathryn Hopkins
Mimi Vaughn, board chair, president and CEO, Genesco Inc.
The executive, who took the reins in February 2020 just before the pandemic took hold, is the first female CEO in Genesco’s nearly 100-year history. Vaughn has reignited profit growth at the company, successfully steered Genesco through an activist investor battle and opened a new headquarters, while prioritizing culture and diversity. — Katie Abel
Sara Ziff, founder and executive director, the Model Alliance
With more than two decades of modeling experience, Sara Ziff knows firsthand the obstacles, risks and dangers that models must overcome. She’s channeled her experiences into the Model Alliance, which she started in to 2012, and which is working toward passage of the Fashion Workers Act, first-in-the-nation legislation that would secure basic protections for models and other creatives. Ziff’s Model Alliance aims to give models the information, tools and resources they need to succeed, and encourages companies to make an enforceable commitment to stop harassment and other forms of abuse. —Rosemary Feitelberg
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