Marcus Wainwright becomes sole CEO of Rag & Bone
Marcus Wainwright is to become the sole chief executive office of Rag & Bone.
The designer founded the brand in 2002 alongside Nathan Bogle, with David Neville replacing Bogle as a business partner three years later. However, over a decade on, Neville is ready to move on and is stepping down from his duties as CEO to pursue other ventures. While he'll remain on the label's board of directors and will still be one of the largest shareholders, Wainwright will be left to manage solo.
“We’ve known each other since we were kids,” Neville told Business of Fashion of his working relationship with Wainwright. “To be able to build a brand from nothing showed an awful lot of determination, ambition, grit and trust in one another to make it happen. I think that people could always see that Marcus and I were very committed and dedicated to what we wanted to achieve.”
Rag & Bone is currently going through a state of change, with more focus on the direct-to-consumer side of the business and it's thought its stores will rake in $100 million in sales alone by the time the financial year is up.
The brand's first ever store opened in New York in 2008, which Neville found a big step at the time.
“We sort of jumped off the deep end... but it was the right thing to do given our aspirations,” he added. “We’ve created a retail proposition that’s extremely productive. If you look at the penetration in our stores, it’s very nicely spread between shoes, denim, women’s ready-to-wear and men’s. It also helps with customer experience. When they see it all together, they can really get a sense of the aesthetics of Rag & Bone.”
Although it's bittersweet for Neville and Wainwright as they part ways, the new sole CEO believes their dedication to the company and workmanship has made it the success it is today.
“Other companies are finding it hard to go direct-to-consumer because it’s expensive. It’s not cheap to open a store,” Wainwright explained. “It has become increasingly easy to lose people when they know everything instantly, so the stories you tell and the brand that you build are the key. That fine line between not being too precious, but also not overcooking it; that is the holy grail.”