Retail appointments of the week

Vale, Ann Summers founder Jacqueline Gold

By Dean Blake

Jacqueline Gold, who helped to build British lingerie and sex toy business Ann Summers, has died. 

Gold was 62, and reportedly passed away from complications from breast cancer, surrounded by family.

The family announced Gold’s death on March 15, praising her “vision and creativity”.

“Jacqueline is best-known for founding Ann Summers and leading a business run by women, for women. She was also an activist for women in business, and championed female entrepreneurs with the ambition to better the working environment for women,” the family’s statement read.

Gold’s sister, Vanessa, is now the CEO of Ann Summers, and said that Jacqueline was an “absolute warrior” through her battle with cancer. 

“In life she was a trailblazer, a visionary, and the most incredible woman, all of which makes this news that much harder to bear. As a family, we are utterly heartbroken at the loss of our wife, mum, sister, and best friend.”

Culture Kings founders step back after Las Vegas debut

By Rakshnna Pattabiraman

The founders of the Australian streetwear label Culture Kings have exited the business to pursue other entrepreneurial ventures.

The husband and wife duo – Tahnee and Simon Beard – established the brand in 2008 as a premium streetwear retailer that sells across a wide range of genres, styles and cultures.

The company has stores in Australia and New Zealand and ships worldwide from its online store. Last November, the retailer opened its first flagship in the US, in Las Vegas.

According to The Australian, Beard will remain an “active stakeholder” in the Culture Kings business and will remain a director of the US company, A.k.a. Brands – an online retail platform backed by investment firm Summit Partners.

“We have built a great team there and I believe they can go and run it, I am still on the board, and I’m there whenever I can help and guide it but for us, we are entrepreneurs,” Beard told The Australian.

Moschino creative director Jeremy Scott steps down

By Irene Dong

Italian fashion house Moschino has revealed Jeremy Scott is stepping down as its creative director. 

In his 10 years with the company, Scott, who is known for his whimsical and tongue-in-cheek designs, strengthened Moschino’s reputation by incorporating postmodern pop culture into the designs.

“After 10 years I am announcing today that I will be leaving Moschino,” Scott wrote in an Instagram post. 

“I’ve had a blast creating designs that will live on forever. I am grateful for all the love and support received over this past decade. As I close this chapter I am filled with excitement & anticipation and can’t wait to share with you all what I have in store for you next!”

Neither Scott’s successor nor his future plans have been revealed. 

Following on from Rossella Jardini and brand creator Franco Moschino, Scott was the third person to hold the position since 2013.

Sweaty Betty CEO, COO to exit

By Dean Blake

Sweaty Betty’s chief executive Julia Straus and chief operating officer Mark Smith will be exiting the business, Drapers reported. 

The departure of Straus and Smith comes after the athleisure business was purchased in 2021 for £300 million by lifestyle footwear group Wolverine Worldwide. 

“Sweaty Betty confirms that after five years at Sweaty Betty, and growing the business threefold, CEO Julia Straus has taken the tough decision to leave the company to enable her to move back to the United States with her husband later this year and raise their daughters closer to family,” the business said. 

“COO Mark Smith has also decided that this year is the right time to leave Sweaty Betty to pursue new opportunities. Mark joined the business in 2011 and has overseen a retail expansion of the brand from 15 stores to 90 plus stores in that time, and a tenfold growth in revenue.”

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