The luxury fashion house Chanel has chosen Leena Nair, an industry outsider from India and longtime executive at Unilever, to be its new CEO.
Analysts say her hiring signals how the brand is accounting for changing consumer awareness of the industry’s environmental impact and the importance of diverse hires.
Nair tweeted that she was “humbled and honored to be appointed the Global Chief Executive Officer of @CHANEL, an iconic and admired company.”
The news made a huge splash on Wednesday in India, Nair’s birthplace, where she received scores of congratulations and compliments to her announcement, one calling her a “serial glass-ceiling breaker.”
The appointment is full of “historic firsts,” said Abhay Gupta, CEO and founder of consultancy group Luxury Connect in India.
“I am elated. This is the first time an Indian is heading a global luxury brand, that too an Indian woman, and it’s the first time a fashion industry outsider has been picked,” he said