Paul Rosengard

Paul Rosengard has joined True Religion, the Manhattan Beach-based streetwear brand, as executive vice president, North American wholesale and licensing.

With more than 30 years’ experience in the apparel business, Rosengard will lead the North American wholesale operation for women’s, men’s and kids and licensing.

Earlier in his career, Rosengard spent 17 years at Randa rising to executive vice president, four years as group president of Perry Ellis International and another four years as president of Li & Fung Men’s. He then became chief executive officer and owner of Boston Traders and later led the North American division of Anatwine, a European-based technology company, before becoming an adviser to digital and logistics companies.

Rosengard will be based at True Religion’s New York office at 599 Broadway and reports to Chelsea Grayson, ceo of True Religion, who is based in Manhattan Beach, Calif.

“What I think is extraordinary about Paul is he has 30 years as a fashion apparel executive. What I love about him is his relationships,” Grayson said. She said True Religion is in the midst of completely changing the aesthetic of the product and modernizing it  “and with Paul here, it’s an accelerant to that fire.”

“At our roots, we are streetwear, and we strayed from that a little bit the past couple of years under previous management,” explained Grayson, who became ceo last November. “I live and breathe that [streetwear] culture every day. Our first priority is innovating product that our customer really wants,” she said.

Rosengard said, “I couldn’t be more excited to work alongside the talented True Religion team and to bring my deep industry experience to help lead this core business in the company.”

True Religion has about 180 freestanding stores in the U.S. and Canada, and sells in such retailers as Macy’s, Dillard’s and Nordstrom. “As we continue to move forward, you’ll see us in Barneys, Neiman Marcus and Saks,” Grayson said.

She said the business has been very good lately and they’ve also focused on more social media-based and influencer-marketing campaigns. Part of True Religion’s product innovation has been limited drops.

Earlier this year, True Religion also hired Lauren Kraus as executive vice president, head of international sales, and Kristen Stewart, vice president of e-commerce and marketing.

TowerBrook Capital Partners spent $835 million for True Religion in May 2013. In July 2017, the denim brand filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, emerging from it in October 2017.