Chip Bergh is the President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Levi Strauss & Co, a leading global apparel and consumer goods company with sales in more than 110 countries.
Bergh is a strategic leader with a proven ability to build and grow brand powerhouses, bring new products to the mass market, develop innovative marketing campaigns, and capitalize on digital platforms to drive brand awareness.
Prior to joining Levi Strauss & Co, Bergh was Group President, Global Male Grooming, for The Procter & Gamble Company (P&G). During his twenty-eight year career at P&G, he served in a number of leadership positions with increasing levels of complexity and scope.
In his role as Group President, Global Male Grooming, Bergh was responsible for all aspects of branding, innovation and key investment decisions of the $7 billion global business. In this role, he also led the global expansion of Gillette Fusion to more than 80 markets outside of North America, building a $2 billion brand.
Additionally, Bergh was the driving force of a number of successful product launches and multi- platform marketing campaigns. He has led multiple acquisitions and completed an extended tenure in Asia where he led expansion strategies in a number of emerging markets.
Bergh previously served on the Board of Directors for VF Corporation and on the Economic Development Board, Singapore. He was also a member of the US-ASEAN Business Council, Singapore.
Synergies between fashion designers and artists have previously existed. Dior was Dior only when delineated in the dark romanticism of Chritian Bérard or the linear simplifications of René Gruau. Schiaparelli was indoctrinated into cryptic surrealism by Jean Cocteau’s deft and defining diagrams. But fashion history affords no real counterpart to the yin and yang creativity of Isabel and Ruben Toledo.
Isabel and Ruben Toledo share a common approach: imaginative creation from observation. Always they ground invention in the reality of needs and practices. Isabel pursues perfection, developing cut and nuance with the eye of Norell or Balenciaga, but always her work is tethered to earth and to its medium by her pragmatic disposition. Ruben’s fancy and ingenuity are tempered by his own critical scrutiny.
The same zeal for improbability that makes Ruben Toledo a great illustrator makes Isabel Toledo a great fashion designer – resourceful in conveying the properties of material and cut. As Amy Spindler once reported, “Only great designers can dispense with themes and theatrics and let the work speak instead. Ms. Toledo does just that, letting fashion itself be the theme.” Isabel Toledo tolerates and even prizes the life of fabrics, the flows and twists of draping and the nutty jigsaw puzzles of shape. Her pleasure in discovering creative form that moves with originality and suppleness on the body places her firmly in the traditions of sportswear. Likewise, her reliance on an image of the modern woman – one almost as energetic as she is – makes her a sportswear advocate. History haunts the clothing, never becoming vintage in its remembrance of Vionnet, McCardell or Chanel, but becoming resonant in proving that design is a problem-solving discipline.
Isabel Toledo is less a designer for the runway than for the near-looking and wearing satisfactions as well as the details that ultimately justify fashion. She is the illustrator’s muse precisely because she creates fashion with subtlety and with conviction.