True Religion Apparel Inc. has brought in former Levi’s merchandising executive Gary Harvey as creative director.
With the appointment, the Vernon, Calif.-based premium denim brand has filled the two posts previously held by True Religion founder Jeffrey Lubell, who stepped down as chief executive officer and creative director in March as the company tested the acquisition waters.
TowerBrook Capital agreed to acquire True Religion for $835 million in May and completed its purchase in July, at which time David Conn became ceo.
Harvey reports to Lynne Koplin, chief merchandising officer of True Religion, who lauded his “depth of experience in the denim and apparel industries, along with an impressive talent for both men’s and women’s design. He is able to combine the highest level of strategic thinking with an ability to inspire our team and roll up his sleeves to turn a vision into reality.”
For the past eight years, Harvey has headed his own London-based consulting business, Gary Harvey Creative, as owner and creative director, with a client roster that has included Levi’s, Adidas, Chanel, Diesel, DKNY, Nike and Revlon. Prior to that, he spent five years as creative director of Levi’s Europe and helped to engineer the brand’s turnaround on the continent.
“Gary will be the creative visionary for this brand, the person who sets the identity with respect to everything related to product and at every touch point the consumer has with the brand,” Conn told WWD, indicating stores, the e-commerce site at truereligionbrandjeans.com, advertising and social media will all fall under his purview.
Harvey called the opportunities for the 11-year-old True Religion “endless. We’re still relatively young, not hamstrung by history and don’t have a lot of the heritage baggage carried by a lot of brands. True Religion has been inspired by many of the great elements of the denim world, but open to a new definition.
“We will keep the brand denim-centric but build around that with aspirational fashion products,” he continued. “It’s a fantastically respected brand in the marketplace, and we can expand that by delivering the most up-to-date fashion, fits and styles for the customers we have today and those we want tomorrow.”
In just a little more than a month on the job, Conn said he has been particularly impressed by the “depth and strength” of the firm’s retail channel, which includes e-commerce as well as 130 stores in the U.S. and 33 in international markets. In the first six months of this year, while still publicly held, the company generated revenues of $237.4 million, 12.1 percent above the prior year.
Conn said he expects to make senior-level appointments in the areas of merchandising and marketing in the coming months.
The annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in Pacific Palisades this weekend drew Kate Hudson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Laura Dern and more. See pictures of the star-studded event on WWD.com. (📷: @chelsealaurenla) #wwdeye
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye
"Nowadays when life is not so happy with everything going on in the world, I think people come to me for a little bit of whimsy and color and fun." - Designer Rebecca De Ravenel on her cult-favorite jewelry line. (📸 : @vsteves) #wwd40
“Everyone is talking about how the retail industry is struggling, but I think it’s an incredible time because brands who are doing something different and innovative are setting themselves up for the future,” said @adamgoldston, who founded the luxury athletic brand @apl with his brother @ryangoldsten. The Goldston’s are part of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables. See the rest of the list on WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
@eyeswoon blogger Athena Calderone debuted her first-ever cookbook, “Cook Beautiful,” which is heavily centered on the presentation and visual expression of food. Pictured here are her miso glazed carrots from the book. Get the recipe on WWD.com. (📷: @johnny_miller_) #wwdeye
“It’s passion that helps get anybody to a certain point and it’s what’s propelled me,” said Kith founder @ronniefieg, one of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables who are changing the face of retail, fashion and beauty. Fieg, who opened a Manhattan flagship on October 7, began his career at age 13 as a stock boy and salesman for footwear chain David Z. “I think staying true to [my] beliefs, hard work and passion have gotten me to where [Kith] is today.” See the rest of the 40 at WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
25-year-old @samweaving is about to break out this fall, starring in Netflix’s horror film “The Babysitter,” fittingly out today on Friday the 13th. That’s not the only place you’ll be seeing her, though — Weaving’s got a role Showtime’s “SMILF” and another alongside Frances McDormand and Woody Harrelson in “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.” Though she’s got a full plate at the moment, there’s one role she’s got her eye on: Marilyn Monroe. “I’m a little too young at the moment, but it’s on my bucket list,” the actress told WWD (📷: @dandoperalski) #wwdeye
BFF's Poppy Jamie and Suki Waterhouse celebrated the launch of their bag line Pop x Suki at Nordstrom last night. "The line is really about our friendship, and how we are so different but complement each other," said Waterhouse. 👯 (📷: Katie Jones) #wwdeye
After designing the new @louisvuitton and @bulgariofficial flagships and a @chanelofficial boutique opening in Japan, @petermarinoarchitect has another project on his plate: The Lobster Club. Located in the Seagram Building, it’s the famed architect’s first restaurant project in New York, serving up modern Japanese brasserie-style cuisine. Bronze hues, bespoke material detailing, blush and chartreuse tones and a heavy emphasis on Picasso can be seen throughout. Mark your calendars for Nov. 1 for the much-anticipated opening. (📷: @clint_spaulding) #wwdeye