Paper Source CEO Winnie Park has joined Forever 21 as chief executive, effective immediately, the fast-fashion retailer announced on Wednesday.
Park held the top spot at Paper Source for the past six years. In that time she oversaw the retailer's expansion into a lifestyle brand and its sale to an affiliate of bookseller Barnes & Noble, per the release.
Paper Source didn't immediately respond to a request for comment on its plans for Park's replacement.
This is Forever 21's second attempt at filling this post after its bankruptcy, and follows Daniel Kulle's abrupt departure a few months ago, after less than two years in the role.
Kulle, who has experience in fast fashion from his years at H&M, took the helm of a retailer that had remained in the control of its founders for decades and was fresh out from under Chapter 11. The Sparc Group, a joint venture of mall REIT Simon Property Group and brand conglomerate Authentic Brands Group, has owned Forever 21 since buying it out of bankruptcy in 2020.
Park, who reports to Sparc CEO Marc Miller, boasts decades of fashion and retail experience, according to the press release. Before joining Paper Source, she spent nine years at LVMH-owned luxury retailer DFS, where she launched its first global e-commerce site for fashion, beauty, watch, jewelry and spirits. Before that she led women's merchandising at Levi Strauss-owned Dockers, and began her career at McKinsey & Company in fashion retail and consumer digital. In a statement, she also called herself "a longtime shopper and admirer" of Forever 21.
She is taking over not only after a leadership hiccup, but also amid signs of decline in fast fashion. The segment has suffered as consumers increasingly take sustainability into account when they spend. Still, Chinese fast-fashion e-retailer Shein has shown how the model retains market power.
In a statement, Miller noted that Forever 21 itself notches $2 billion in sales, and said that's poised to grow with Park at the controls.
"She is an inspirational leader and team builder who brings deep omni-channel experience and a track record of successfully growing businesses with particular strengths in strategy, merchandising, marketing and branding," Miller said.