Simon Spurr has worked for some of the industry’s most famous designers over the course of his 20-year career, and he will now apply that experience to Seven For All Mankind as he works to expand the brand beyond denim and create a lifestyle collection for the 19-year-old label.
Spurr, who has worked for Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein, Yves Saint Laurent, Gieves & Hawkes and most recently Eidos, has been named the brand’s global creative director.
He will be based in Los Angeles and women’s design director Larissa Noble and men’s design director Wes Austin will report to him.
Spurr’s appointment is one of several new hires within the design department. Margaret Maldonado, a cofounder of L’Agence, has joined the company as senior design director of women’s ready-to-wear, and will report to Noble. Alessandra Pesavento, formerly of Diesel, has joined the international team as director of design and merchandising. She will be based at the Seven For All Mankind’s offices in Mendrisio, Switzerland, and will be responsible for executing Spurr’s creative direction with product that is locally relevant to Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
Seven For All Mankind, which is a division of Delta Galil Industries Ltd., is best known for its premium denim. But Tim Baxter, the former chief merchandising officer of Macy’s Inc., joined the company in May as chief executive officer of Delta Galil Premium Brands and has been building a team and strategizing growth. His plans for Seven include international expansion, with a particular focus on Latin America and Asia; updating classic, core products; licensing the brand into additional categories, and opening stores.
Spurr’s appointment underscores the start of the execution of that strategy.
In an exclusive interview with WWD, Baxter said, “Anyone who knows me knows how focused I am on product.” And so he led what he termed an “exhaustive” search for a creative director. He got acquainted with Spurr in October and said the designer “brings the perfect balance of extraordinary experience with major brands and the entrepreneurial spirit of having had his own brand. I think he’s going to be a fantastic fit within the culture of our company.”
He pointed to Spurr’s “incredible background” as especially important to building a global brand. He’s British, but lived in New York for nearly two decades in roles such as design director for Ralph Lauren Purple Label and Black Label. In 2013 he was a creative consultant for men’s wear at Tommy Hilfiger. Most recently, he was creative director of Eidos, the younger line from Italian luxury men’s wear firm Isaia.
Although Spurr’s background is in men’s wear and mainly at the designer level, the designer said he also has an intimate knowledge of denim. “It’s easy to remember my career as more designer-driven since I’ve had the opportunity to work for Hedi (Slimane), Calvin and Ralph,” he said. “But denim has always been core to my design aesthetic.”
He said early on in his career, he worked at the CK jeans division of Calvin Klein and when he started Spurr, his own collection, in 2006, “we launched with denim. So I’ve definitely had denim experience within the corporate American culture,” he said. Additionally, he said he “lives in denim — I wear black, five-pocket jeans every day.”
This, however, will be Spurr’s first foray into women’s wear. Spurr said he has been “classically trained as a designer,” which has taught him “about fabrications, fit and function that transcend men’s wear.” He said his products over the years “have been coveted by women,” and coupled with the fact that this is “a more gender-fluid time, it’s the perfect opportunity for me to transition and show what I can do with women’s wear.”
Spurr will also be transitioning out of Isaia. He said he will complete work on one season for the brand and then hand the reins to someone else.
Baxter said with Spurr on board as global creative director, Seven will continue to mine its “strong heritage in premium denim” as it works to create a “full lifestyle collection in all categories.”
Denim accounts for 85 percent of sales and there is a smattering of knits, wovens and outerwear. “But it’s very limited,” Baxter said, “and much of it is sold through our own stores and e-commerce.” The brand operates 25 full-price and 29 outlets in the U.S. and another 14 regular-price and eight outlets in Europe.
In addition to bolstering those categories and adding complementary product such as accessories, don’t be surprised to see Seven tailoring in the future. Spurr said: “The spine of the brand is denim and fundamentally, that won’t change. But it can be more collection-driven and bring a design aesthetic to the contemporary price point.”
He said when the brand launched, women thought nothing of wearing Seven jeans with pumps and a black jacket. So there’s no reason that Seven can’t also offer them the “accoutrements around wearing a pair of jeans,” he said. “And with my men’s tailoring experience, that plays to my strengths.”
Spurr’s first full collection will be for spring 2020, but Baxter said with Seven’s new focus on “speed-to-market, you will see his influence sooner than that.”
In addition to Seven, the Premium Brands division of Delta Galil includes Splendid and Ella Moss, brands that were acquired from VF Corp. in 2016.
Tel Aviv, Israel-based Delta Galil Industries also develops bras, shapewear, socks and intimate apparel for women; men’s underwear; babywear; activewear, sleepwear and leisurewear.