JOSEPH ABBOUD President & Chief Creative Officer, HMX Group
With new players and retail environments, the men's wear category has never been hotter. The new Fairchild Fashion Group Men’s Wear Industry CEO Summit -- celebrating the 2011 expansion of FFG's now-quarterly Menswear magazine and the 2011 launch of Men's Week -- will bring the community together to focus on how to foster the creative thinking and develop the strategic plans required for continued success for all industry segments.
Lifestyle designer Joseph Abboud was drawn to the fashion business by an appreciation for quality and elegance. He studied comparative literature at the University of Massachusetts and later attended the Sorbonne in Paris, where he grew to love the polished sophistication of European style. In 1968, the Boston native joined noted retailer Louis Boston, where over the next 12 years he served as Buyer, Merchandiser, and eventually Coordinator of Promotion and Advertising. Three years as Director of Menswear Design for Polo Ralph Lauren further refined his vision of men's style.
Since the launch of his eponymous collection in 1987, Mr. Abboud has been lauded for his unique approach to color styling. One of the designer's more distinguishing characteristics is his timeless application and treatment of varying tones and colors that remain ever relevant within a man's life and style. Such attributes have lead to numerous honors throughout his career, including back-to-back Menswear Designer of the Year awards from the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) in 1989 and 1990--a feat that no other designer has celebrated.
In the fall of 2008, Mr. Abboud launched his American luxury menswear collection, jaz, in finer retail boutiques and specialty stores across the United States. The same year, he developed Black/Brown 1826, a modern American brand that debuted at key department stores in the U.S. and Canada. Today, as President and Chief Creative Officer for HMX Group, he leads the design direction for all portfolio brands including Hickey Freeman, Hart Schaffner Marx, Coppley, Bobby Jones, and Austin Reed collections.
As Chief Executive Officer of HMX Group, Doug Williams oversees the strategic development of iconic apparel brands Hickey Freeman, Hart Schaffner Marx, Coppley and Bobby Jones, among others. In 1988, Mr. Williams joined Polo Ralph Lauren Corp. as Retail Analyst.
Over the next 16 years, he rose to become Group President of the company. During his tenure, he held senior sales positions in the
men's wholesale group and leadership positions in licensing and business development, both domestically and internationally.
After leaving Polo Ralph Lauren, Mr. Williams partnered with Brentwood Associates to purchase Seattle-based CC FilsonCompany. Mr. Williams assumed the role of interim Chief Executive Officer and launched a collection of products to bring the brand into the lifestyle marketplace. He served as Non-Executive Chairman of the board from 2006 through 2007.
In 2006, Mr. Williams established W-Diamond Ventures, a business development consultancy that works with premium and emerging brands. Past clients have included Hudson Jeans, Bamford, and Vineyard Vines.
Mr. Williams graduated from the University of Tulsa with a B.S. in business administration, concentrating in corporate finance. Upon graduation, he joined the former Foley's Department Stores in Houston as an Executive Trainee. Today, Mr. Williams is on the board of the American Apparel and Footwear Association.
With new players and retail environments, the men's wear category has never been hotter. The new Fairchild Fashion Group Men's Wear Industry CEO Summit – celebrating the 2011 expansion of FFG's now-quarterly Menswear magazine and the 2011 launch of Men's Week – brought the community together to focus on how to foster the creative thinking and develop the strategic plans required for continued success for all industry segments.