John Hooks – Independent Director
John Hooks, aged 58, is an Independent Director of the Company. He has worked in the luxury fashion industry for over 30 years. He has held positions in some of the sector's most influential companies. Having graduated from Oxford University in 1978, he entered the fashion industry through Gruppo Finanziario Tessile S.p.A. (GFT) in Turin, Italy, a company with which he remained for 14 years, holding a variety of positions, including that of Commercial Director for Valentino, President, CIDAT USA, in New York and finally as Commercial Director for GFT Asia. In this role, from 1988 to 1994, he was responsible for the establishment of GFT's regional subsidiary companies and the distribution network in Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, as well as mainland China (one of the first foreign fashion companies to be present in the country) for brands including Giorgio Armani, Christian Dior, Claude Montana, Valentino, Emanuel Ungaro, Trussardi and Pierre Cardin. In 1995, he joined Jil Sander A.G. in Hamburg, Germany, initially as Commercial Director for Europe and Asia, before assuming global responsibility, when he was appointed Commercial and Retail Director in 1998. In 2000, Mr. Hooks was recruited by Giorgio Armani S.p.A. as Group Commercial and Marketing Director, based at the company's Milan headquarters. In this role, he was charged with the expansion of the company's global wholesale and retail network. He later assumed the role of deputy managing director and subsequently that of deputy chairman of the Armani group. From 2011 to 2014 he was the Group President of Ralph Lauren Europe and the Middle East.