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Eileen Fisher resigns as CEO

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Eileen Fisher is stepping down as CEO of her namesake fashion brand. Lisa Williams, Patagonia’s chief product officer, will take over her role in early September.

Fisher will continue to be involved in the brand’s product design, while Williams will lead day-to-day operations, responsible for both sustainable growth and responsible business practices.

“I’m in the process of creating a blueprint, so the company is in a place where it can stand on its own,” says Fisher. That blueprint speaks to Eileen’s Fisher brand’s sustainable and timeless approach to fashion and its circular business model. “It’s time for someone else to lead it.”

Lisa Williams.

Photo: David Walter Banks

Since launching the brand in 1984, Fisher has become one of the industry’s leading sustainability advocates, outspoken about fashion’s role in textile waste and overproduction, and the need for circular supply chains. I’m talking Eileen Fisher was one of the first fashion brands to launch a take-back scheme to encourage recycling when she introduced the Renew program in 2009, turning textile waste into new products. Cycles her Eileen Fisher Tiny Factory as well. Fisher also heads the philanthropic arm of her company, the Irene Fisher Her Foundation. The foundation teamed up with sustainable design and technology consultancy Pentatonic in July to produce a report on a circular fashion model meant to serve as an open playbook for the rest of the industry.

In addition to overseeing design, her ongoing involvement with the company includes helping guide branding and messaging. She also plans to continue leading the foundation and advocating for sustainable fashion. say.

At Patagonia, Williams was promoted to the role of Chief Product Officer in 2015, where she oversaw the entire lifecycle of Patagonia products, from design to production, merchandising and inventory management. In her new role, she will lead the brand’s forward trajectory as a sustainability leader, while managing what Fisher believes to be “good growth” and profitability. “Achieving the right growth within a circular business model that finds the right balance between producing and selling new products and used and repurposed goods is a challenge for all of us,” she said. says. “Eileen Fisher has a genuine and long-standing passion for doing business the right way and today’s customers want to support a responsible business.”

“Difficult to understand [growth] As a sustainable company, it’s a matter of our values, consumption and overproduction,” says Fischer. “The industry needs change on a massive scale and needs to be more sustainable.

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