PLUS MODEL MAGAZINE March 2015 Issue - Page 65

“ The most important part of building the Ashley Stewart merchandising team started with people. Every person that touches the merchandise must understand who our customer is and what she wants. It was critical for us to build a team of merchants who could work together, help each other out, and be strong enough to give and receive constructive criticism about their assortments. Our customer deserves to be celebrated every day and we do that by giving her the right fashion in the right colors at the right time. After his first few months as President, Rhee was concerned that the company did not have the runway necessary to execute on the rebirth. They prepared for bankruptcy, filing on March 9, 2014. “ Kristen Gaskins, Chief Merchandising Officer The entire team remained intact and determined. Fortunately, Clearlake Capital stepped in and backed Rhee’s vision. And the rebirth of Ashley Stewart was underway. Rhee believes that Ashley Stewart, whether online or in one of the 89 stores across the country, Reflecting the company’s antiquated provides customers a community where women approach when he became President, the can shop with their family members and friends in office did not even have Wi-Fi. He made sure a supportive setting. He truly feels strongly about a state-of-the-art e-commerce platform and heritage and authenticity through generations of “ digital marketing strategy were put in place. customers. “Ashley Stewart is a global fashion He also restructured the senior management versus hiring from the outside. Long-time GMM Kristen Gaskins returned to assume the role of Chief Merchandising Officer. The company is now attracting top-flight talent. I’ve been with Ashley Stewart for 2 years and working here has been a dream come true! I’m working with top influencers in the fashion industry, recognized for my hard work by my colleagues, and a part of a company that is empow