Stitch Fix to Nix Full-time Human Stylist Jobs, Golden Goose Gets Employer Certification

STYLIST SHIFT: Stitch Fix is changing the way it employs stylists, as it plans to sunset full-time roles at the end of the first quarter, the company confirmed to WWD via email.

According to a spokesperson, the move, which takes effect on March 31, is part of a strategy to “evolve our business to ensure we are delivering the most innovative, personalized and convenient online styling experience” by implementing changes to the organization. As a point of clarity, the staffing reduction doesn’t completely eliminate roles for human stylists; Stitch Fix is simply shifting to a part-time-only employment model that apparently fits the way stylists already work, suggests the representative.

More from WWD

Stitch Fix is banking on Shop Your Looks becoming a hit.
Stitch Fix fashion.

“The majority of our stylists work part-time, from their homes, choosing a schedule that suits their lifestyles,” she said. “By moving to a fully part-time model we are able to maintain this level of flexibility, while effectively meeting the needs of our clients and our business.”

The broader context, however, is that until recently, the company had been struggling to regain its footing after a series of down quarters, which drove deep changes in the organization. Previous purges included more than 800 stylists between July 2022 and July 2023, as well as executive shake-ups — including the appointment of Matt Baer as the new chief executive officer last year — exit from the U.K. market, a reduction in brand partners and the scrapping of warehouse expansion plans.

The belt-tightening strategy worked, insofar as the latest quarter reported in December brought revenue of $364.8 million, which finally beat estimates, and pull adjusted losses below expectations.

At the time, Baer indicated that the belt-tightening wasn’t over yet, and this latest move appears to be evidence of that.

The ranks of Stitch Fix stylists, which have always been a mix of full- and part-time workers, have been shrinking over the years. In 2020, the company employed 5,100. Two years later, it reported 3,430 stylists. Last year, its annual report in July listed 2,620 stylists.

The company has always prided itself on its mix of human and AI styling. Now the human component appears to be shrinking, suggesting this balance may tilt further into the tech side. — ADRIANA LEE

GOLDEN TOP: Golden Goose has received the Top Employers 2024 certification for the third consecutive year in Italy, for the second year in the U.S. and the first year in China.

“At Golden, we cultivate a dream: to make the world a better place, starting from ourselves,” said Silvio Campara, chief executive officer of Golden Goose. “We value the distinctive characteristics of each person and believe in imperfection, which makes us authentic and unique individuals. We are stories made of victories, defeats and intuitions, as all of this is part of our journey and contributes to defining who we are.”

In a statement, the Italian company listed its Inclusion and Belonging Act and training programs, its Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) and the involvement of its leadership team in the Inclusion and Belonging Committee. It also organizes days dedicated to promoting intercultural dialogue. “Every progress is measured, as it is only by setting assessable goals that a dream can transform into a concrete objective,” stated the company. “The ultimate aspiration is to value the uniqueness of talents, while creating a conscious, authentic and respectful work environment that honors individuality.”

Golden Goose also prides itself on its Academy, located in Marghera, a Venice borough, meant “to promote curiosity, research and personal development through the [cross-pollination] of artisanal, artistic and design disciplines.” It also cited its space for exchange called “Power Conversations.”

The brand, known for its intentionally distressed sneakers and its Superstar model that offers 400 variations a year, is founded on the value of “Perfect Imperfection.”

In 2020, private equity fund Permira bought the Italian brand from the Carlyle Europe Buyout fund for a price pegged at 1.28 billion euros. Speculation is rife that Golden Goose is eyeing an initial public offering, but neither the company nor Permira have officially commented on this option, or on a potential sale.

The company has been on an upward trajectory, posting revenues of 421 million euros in the nine months ended Sept. 30, up 19 percent compared with the same period in 2022. Compared with 2021, sales were up 60 percent. — LUISA ZARGANI

STAND OUT: FP Movement, Free People’s activewear brand, will launch its largest campaign to date Monday titled, “Stand Out, Never Still.”

In collaboration with agency Anomaly, the campaign takes inspiration from the spirit of a pink sheep named Tilly, who deviated from her pack. Tilly becomes the symbol of the FP Movement Community, a collective of individuals unafraid to embrace their uniqueness.

Some looks from the FP Movement campaign.
Some looks from the FP Movement campaign.

Appearing alongside Tilly are five yearlong FP Movement ambassadors and 2024 Olympic hopefuls: Annie Kunz (who holds the American shot put record in the heptathlon and competed in the Olympic Games in Tokyo); Dominique Routolo (track and field athlete on the USC team, who does outdoor and indoor triple jump); Jess Hunter (sprint hurdler from Team Great Britain); Jessie Knight (Olympian and five-time British champion in the hurdles and relay), and Quanesha Burks (professional track and field athlete specializing in long jump and short sprints who competed in the 2021 Olympic Games in Tokyo and is a three-time U.S. champion).

The campaign will run on connected TV on Hulu, Peacock and YouTube TV, out-of-home and in magazines such as Elle, Runner’s World and Vogue. Ads were shot by director Diego Contreras, represented by production company Love Song, and photographer Frankie Carino.

One of the videos, for example, shows a pink Tilly, separated from her pack of white sheep, and hurdling and running ahead of the athletes.

“In a sea of black leggings, FP Movement has vibrant, can’t-miss-it energy,” said Caitlin Slack, creative director of Anomaly. “They’re like the black sheep of the family, except this sheep is colorful. So, Tilly the standout pink sheep was born. And just like FP Movement athletes, Tilly follows her joy and makes moves.”

FP Movement’s first stand-alone store opened in Los Angeles in 2020 and the brand has 37 locations in the U.S., with plans to open at least 25 additional stores in 2024.

In the third quarter of fiscal year 2024, FP Movement had 49 percent growth, resulting in more than 50 percent new customer growth for the brand in the same period.

“FP Movement’s continued growth has been exciting to watch. Throughout the years, our business has thrived by catering to different activities, including racquet sports, hiking, skiing and running. This campaign showcases our true run apparel on Olympic hopefuls who represent the brand ethos of standing out in their field,” said Jack Reynolds, chief marketing officer.

FP Movement is part of Urban Outfitters Inc. — LISA LOCKWOOD

LIFESTYLE TECH: Brookstone, the tech retailer and manufacturer owned by Bluestar Alliance, has brought San Francisco 49ers running back Christian McCaffrey on board to be the face of the brand over the next year. The three-time Pro Bowler and All-Pro athlete will be featured in digital, print, out-of-home advertising and in-person events through the fall of 2025.

San Francisco 49ers running back Christian McCaffrey
Christian McCaffrey

“At Brookstone, we believe in enhancing everyday experiences and ‘doing life better,'” said Ralph Gindi, chief operating officer of Bluestar Alliance. “Christian McCaffrey embodies the spirit of Brookstone, with his commitment to excellence, versatility and a lifestyle that demands the best in wellness and technology.”

The relationship will focus on categories such as luggage and travel accessories, electronics, grooming, massage chairs and other products. “I am honored to represent Brookstone, a brand that aligns with my values and provides products that enhance not only my athletic recovery but also my daily life,” McCaffrey said. “With Brookstone, I can elevate my travel and day-to-day experiences in ways that also support my ability to perform on the field.”

McCaffrey, who is engaged to Olivia Culpo, an actress, model and Miss Universe 2012, also heads the Christian McCaffrey Foundation, which supports underserved youth, youth undergoing medical treatment, frontline medical workers, as well as offering suicide prevention for Army Veterans.

Brookstone x CMC endorsed products will be available at retailers nationwide as well on Brookstone’s website.

Bluestar also owns Hurley, Scotch & Soda, Bebe, Eli Tahari, Catherine Malandrino and other brands. — JEAN E. PALMIERI

Best of WWD