ModCloth chief executive officer Matt Kaness is delivering on his plans to grow the digitally native lifestyle brand beyond its e-commerce roots.
The company has hired three executives, including two new roles, who will direct the charge to expand to physical retail locations, an international presence and brand expansions, with product lines such as intimates, bridal, accessories and home goods.
ModCloth has hired Elizabeth Cooksey in the new role of vice president of stores and retail operations to “accelerate ModCloth’s offline strategy in 2016.” Cooksey advised the company when it opened its San Francisco “Fit Shop” prototype in July to coincide with the introduction of the first ModCloth line of branded apparel. The Fit Shop, which primarily allows customers to try on samples before having them shipped to them, is slated to stay open through March of this year. Previously, Cooksey worked in store development for brands like Nike, Free People, BHLDN Anthropologie and Urban Outfitters (where Kaness was chief strategy officer before coming over to ModCloth in January of 2015).
Mary Alderete has joined as chief marketing officer and will report directly to Kaness in leading ModCloth’s marketing and brand creative organizations. Alderete has spent time at True Religion Brand Jeans, Levis Strauss & Co. and Gap Inc., and has “tremendous experience” in the areas in which ModCloth is expanding, Kaness said. “Mary has an outstanding track record of brand-building, creative execution and leading growth.” He added that she also “has as strong sense of our community, empathy for our brand’s purpose and is excited to join our company culture.” Mike Janover joins as vice president of marketing, and will report to Alderete in overseeing customer acquisition and retention. He comes from Yahoo! Inc., CNET, CBS Interactive and Juice Beauty Inc.
The company is known for its attitude of inclusivity and acceptance, and was early to adopt a crowd-sourced, social-media heavy approach to its designs and sentiment. To that end, it recently eliminated the “plus” section from its Web site, offers a full range of sizes and regularly features customers in its marketing materials. The 14-year-old company has more than 350 employees and offices in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Pittsburgh.