Christopher Heyn, an apparel industry veteran who has worked at Nautica, Summit Golf Brands and, most recently, Southern Tide, has joined Lion Brothers Company as president and chief executive officer.
Lion Brothers is a 123-year-old Maryland-based designer and manufacturer of customized decorated apparel that works with brands including Nike, Adidas, Hanes, Polo Ralph Lauren, Fendi and Christian Dior.
“As the marketplace continues to evolve, what attracts me to Lion Brothers is the opportunity to leverage their continuing advancements in technology and innovation, which will provide solutions in how brands effectively and efficiently service their customers and consumers in the future,” Heyn said.
Heyn left his position as CEO of Southern Tide, a division of Oxford Industries, last summer, a role he held for eight years. Earlier in his career, Heyn was CEO and chairman of Summit Golf Brands, the third-largest golf apparel company in the U.S., and he also served as senior vice president of the National Basketball Association’s Global Merchandise Group and president of Nautica.
At Lion Brothers, Heyn said he will work to enhance the company’s “front end,” or its sales, marketing and merchandising expertise to complement its design, development and manufacturing skills. He also hopes to open new markets in the U.S. and internationally, he said, and bring the company’s services to professional and collegiate sports, affinity organizations and fashion apparel.
“This opportunity and position will allow me to expand my experience while remaining in the sports, apparel and fashion industries,” Heyn added. “I’m excited to remain in a space where we’re solving speed to market and sustainability for the major brands throughout the world. It gives the fashion industry a new solution to not only give them more time to access their inventory, and help to create branding solutions, but also assist at bringing their brands to life. This role combines a lot of my prior experience and I am able to apply my knowledge in a related market where I feel substantial changes and improvements can be made.”
Suzy Ganz, executive chairman of Lion Brothers, called Heyn “an exceptional talent,” adding, “Chris understands how the apparel industry is rapidly changing and how Lion’s innovation in apparel identity and embellishment solutions create brand value and deliver speed to market and agility for apparel brands. Chris’ tremendous industry experience will help Lion expand more rapidly into new markets, categories and geographies. We look forward to his keen insights and outstanding leadership. He is an executive that truly understands why identity matters.”
Founded in 1899, the privately held Lion Brothers uses technology and advances in material science to provide apparel identity and embellishment options to a variety of licensed sports, lifestyle, fashion and workwear brands. More than 95 percent of its core materials are made from recycled fabrics and threads.