Home Mens wear Durand Guion leaves Macy’s to join Fair Harbor – WWD

Durand Guion leaves Macy’s to join Fair Harbor – WWD

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The pandemic has caused dozens of people to re-examine their lives and careers, and longtime Macy’s executive Durand Guion is one of them.

So after more than 30 years at Macy’s, the vice president of the store’s fashion office will step down on Friday, WWD has learned. On May 16, he will join Fair Harbor, a growing sustainable swimwear brand, in the newly created role of senior vice president and creative director.

He will work closely with co-founders and brothers Caroline and Jake Danehy as they work to build Fair Harbor into a comprehensive lifestyle brand by adding a variety of categories, opening retail stores and expanding its presence by wholesale.

In an exclusive interview, Guion called his 32-year career at “America’s most iconic department store” “exceptional.”

“I have accomplished so much, but after careful consideration, it was time to start a new chapter. Most people are lucky enough to find a business they like, but I plan to double down with Fair Harbor,” he said.

In his new role, Guion will help lead the brand’s growing design, marketing and art direction teams. He will also help shape the vision for how Fair Harbor communicates with its customers, including in the growing company’s design and build strategies.

Guion joined Macy’s in 1990 as fashion accessories sales manager at the Union Square flagship in San Francisco. He was promoted to associate buyer of men’s accessories two years later and spent 14 years as vice president and director of men’s and children’s fashion, working closely with Jeff Gennette, who had been general manager of men’s merchandise for the San Francisco-based division, and who is now president and CEO of Macy’s.

Guion moved to New York and was named fashion bureau chief, overseeing both men’s and women’s, in 2018.

Guion said that since handing in his resignation, there have been “tears shed” at Macy’s, but he has also received “tremendous support” from his colleagues there, as he explained that he was “Time to go”.

“The mark of a great company is the thoughtful way in which it welcomes its colleagues, whether they have just joined the organization or are deciding to move on to something different, and I can definitely say that Macy’s is one of them. example,” he added.

Macy’s declined to comment on Guion’s departure and her plans for the fashion office.

Guion and the founders of Fair Harbor have been close for a decade. He served as Caroline Danehy’s “mentor, friend and cheerleader” when she was still in high school and encouraged her dream of creating a sustainable fashion brand, he said. She created this brand with her brother in 2014.

Last year, the Danehys tapped Guion to create a capsule collection of three styles of men’s swimwear inspired by his life and travels.

Although they said the collaboration didn’t lead to this new post, it was a hit and sold out quickly.

“I met them over 10 years ago and developed a bond and a relationship, so you can say I’ve been interviewing for this job for 10 years,” Guion said with a laugh. “It was the longest interview process in the world.”

Caroline Danehy said Guion’s mentorship turned into “an incredible working relationship and great rapport that goes beyond those three [swim] trunks.”

She said the creative director role was created especially for Guion and was part of their desire to create “the next American heritage brand”.

In March, Fair Harbor received an undisclosed equity investment from Broad Sky Partners, a private equity firm that partners with middle-market business services and consumer businesses. This investment marked the brand’s first institutional equity financing. The brand is launching womenswear this week and will open its first store, on Prince Street in New York’s SoHo, later this month.“

Durand will help provide leadership, said Caroline Danehy.

“He’s been pushing me since we started fashion-wise,” his brother added. “We have huge aspirations for Fair Harbor and Macy’s insight is incredibly valuable to us.

“We started out as an online direct-to-consumer business, but we’re really focused on diversifying through wholesale and building our retail network.”

The brand has a presence at Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue and some 250 specialty stores, but the SoHo store will be the first of several they plan to open, they said, and will be designed as “a beach shack flagship “.

Unsurprisingly, Guion will also have a say in this store. “I know a thing or two about stores,” he said, adding that he was eager to provide “retail expertise and enthusiasm on a different level.”

“You learn to adapt and pivot in retail,” he continued, “and ultimately those learnings are “essential” to growing any brand or business.

In addition to working on the store, Guion will collaborate with Caroline Danehy, who serves as creative director, to expand into other categories.

Guion and the Danehys said their long personal relationship eliminated potential pitfalls in this new role. “Durand knows who we are from a personal and brand perspective,” said Caroline Danehy.

“It was this personal piece that allowed me to walk away from a legendary career,” added Guion. “They know me and I don’t have to reinvent myself.”

Fair Harbor, which is inspired by the Danehys’ childhood on Fire Island, started with a goal of reducing plastic waste in the water and on the beach. To date, the brand has recycled more than 26 million bottles.

The brand has been on a growth trajectory since its inception and sales reached $44.1 million last year, up from $2.3 million in 2019. It was named the second fastest growing private company fast in retail by Inc. 5000 for 2020.