Steve Birkhold, former chief executive officer of Bebe Stores Inc., has joined Cushman & Wakefield as an executive director of the firm’s office brokerage division.

Birkhold, who left Bebe a year ago, has also served as ceo of Lacoste North America and Diesel USA. Earlier in his career, he was ceo of Earl Jeans, spent a decade at VF Corp. focusing on its Lee Jeans and Nautica Jeans businesses, and worked at May Department Stores Co.

“Steve Birkhold is one of the most respected names in the world of fashion and his arrival strongly reinforces Cushman & Wakefield’s competitive advantage in this key market segment,” said John Santora, ceo for North America at Cushman & Wakefield. He added that, with work experience that spans more than three decades, “few people are more qualified than Steve to help our fashion clients overcome the unique challenges facing this critical market segment.”

Birkhold will join an office leasing team that has worked with such companies as VF, Tory Burch, Ermenegildo Zegna, Lacoste and Diesel.

“By understanding a fashion brand’s business challenges, you will understand how to solve their real estate challenges,” Birkhold said. “At this stage in my career, I have come to realize the importance of developing and strengthening strategic partnerships.”

He described Cushman & Wakefield as “a company that boasts unparalleled status as a brokerage firm nationally and worldwide.”

Founded in 1917, the company has 259 offices in 60 countries and employs more than 16,000 professionals in real estate and related fields. Among its services are leasing; sales; acquisitions; equity, debt and structured finance; appraisal, and project and risk management.