LOS ANGELES — Alternative Apparel, the Norcross, GA.-based contemporary t-shirt and basics brand, on Tuesday appointed Erik Joule as president and chief merchandisingofficer. Joule, who begins in the newly-created post on Jan. 1, will be based out of the company’s LosAngeles design office and report to chief executive officer Even Toporek and work closely with founder and chief creative officer Greg Alterman.
A native of France, Joule will oversee merchandising, design, development sourcing and brand marketing at the 17-year-old company, which has an estimated $100 million in annual wholesale revenues and distribution in 120 countries.
“My goal is to integrate the Alternative brand in a full 360-degree fashion andcreate the experience it deserves to grow. Taking the ‘alternative’ route is our point of differentiation,” said Joule. “We will also continue to elevate the product and determine how and when to expand classifications, which will be driven quite a bit by vertical retail expansion.There’s good opportunity for smaller brands to play to a hyperlocalized audience on a global platform.”
Joule is currently senior vice president of global merchandising and design for Levi Strauss & Co, where he helped globalize the brand and innovate products from collections for urban cyclists to sustainably manufactured denim and t-shirts. He will remain at Levi’s until Dec. 14; a successor has not yet been named.
Joule also held executive posts at California-based companies Disney, Guess, Quiksilver and Gap over the last 20 years.
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“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia