LONDON — James Seuss has been named chief executive officer of The Rug Company, which specializes in luxury handmade rugs, and collaborates with brands including Alexander McQueen, Diane von Furstenberg, Paul Smith and Vivienne Westwood.
WWD has learned that Seuss will start work on Dec. 14, and report to the board of directors. Marty Wikstrom and Tord Dyrssen will join the company as non-executive board directors.
The appointments follow the majority acquisition of The Rug Company by Palamon Capital Partners from founders Christopher and Suzanne Sharp earlier this month. Founded in the Nineties, The Rug Company has ten showrooms and a number of franchisees and concessions worldwide, and generates annual sales of 23 million pounds, or $35 million.
Christopher Sharp, who currently serves as ceo, will remain as a non-executive board director and will continue to be very involved in the company’s growth initiatives going forward, The Rug Company said. An announcement is expected later today.
As reported earlier this week, Seuss will leave his post as ceo of Hunter Boot Ltd. at the end of November. Prior to joining Hunter, Seuss served as ceo of the multibrand watch retailer Tourneau LLC, and held a similar title at Cole Haan, where he worked from 2006 to 2010. He has also held top management positions at Harry Winston Diamond Corp., Gucci Group and Tiffany & Co.
Seuss said his new role offers him a chance to combine his experience in luxury and fashion with his personal passions. A longtime antique rug collector, Seuss added that he’s enthusiastic about the handcrafted nature of the products, and sees an opportunity for global expansion.
“We’ll be concentrating on the U.S., the U.K. and Germany and expanding in those markets, and we see a huge opportunity in the U.S. in particular,” said Seuss, adding that he’s also looking forward to working with the fashion names on The Rug Company’s roster.
Wikstrom is another retail veteran, and the founder of Atelier Fund, which specializes in the acquisition and development of luxury brands. She is chairman of the Board of Harrys of London and a board director of Fortnum & Mason, Johnstons of Elgin and paint supplier Farrow and Ball.
Dyrssen is currently president of EMEA (Europe, the Middle East and Africa) wholesale at Ralph Lauren. He was previously ceo of Agnona, and also served as managing director of Nautica Inc.
Sharp said the executives’ experience “will be invaluable as we continue to grow The Rug Company.”
Palamon has investments across a variety of sectors including insurance, energy, healthcare and financial services. Since 2012 it has held a majority stake in Feelunique.com, the online beauty products retailer.
The Rug Company has an in-house collection and also offers ranges in collaboration with a string of fashion and interior design labels.
Earlier this year, Jonathan Saunders unveiled a collaboration with the company comprising two area rugs and two runners that showcase his knack for mixing bright colors and patterns. “Interiors is a big investment because they’re around for a lot longer. A rug is kind of a commitment,” he told WWD in June.