Abercrombie & Fitch Co. has a a whole new roster in place.
The core A&F brand’s leadership team includes at least six new hires, including Aaron Levine. WWD first reported in June that Levine, the well-respected designer, had left Club Monaco, where he was vice president of men’s design, had joined the teen retailer to become head designer of A&F men’s.
Christos Angelides, brand president for Abercrombie & Fitch and Abercrombie kids, said of the new team that’s now in place, “While our turnaround continues to be a work in progress, these changes will significantly contribute to moving the A&F brand forward.”
In addition to Levine, Kurt Hoffman has the role of general manager for A&F men’s. Hoffman joined A&F in March, also from Club Monaco where he was senior director of men’s merchandising.
On the women’s side, Stacie Beaver was promoted to general manager for A&F women’s. She has worked at A&F for more than 15 years and has held a variety of senior positions. Most recently, she led the bottoms business for men and women across the Hollister Co. and A&F brands.
Kristina Szasz has been named head designer for A&F women’s. She will join the company in late September from PVH Corp. in Europe, where she was design director for denim at Karl Lagerfeld and Tommy Hilfiger.
Amy Sveda joined A&F in May when she was named general manager for Abercrombie kids. She was at Carter’s Inc., where she helped revitalize the company’s OshKosh brand.
Monica Margerum came to the company earlier this month to take on the post of head of planning operations for A&F and Abercrombie kids. She was at Kohl’s, where she was senior vice president of planning for juniors’ and kids.
A&F has been undergoing a turnaround process since January 2014 when activist investors sought better corporate governance at the teen retailer that led to Michael Jeffries being removed as chairman, although he kept the title chief executive officer. Arthur Martinez joined as chairman. Jeffries in December stepped down as ceo.
One of the more important policy changes in the turnaround of the company occurred earlier this year in April when the company dropped its “sexualized marketing” strategy and the image of All-American sales clerks, both of which were preferences of Jeffries’.
The switch also came at a time when American Apparel was making similar moves. The policy changes, at both the A&F and Hollister brands, were spun by the company as being in alignment with its updated corporate values, which would make the retailer “stronger and a more nimble competitor.” Included was a new dress code, as well as updated hiring procedures.
Angelides at the time sent a letter to regional and district managers that said, “These changes have been made to ensure we focus on customer requirements and promote an inclusive work environment.”
Fran Horowitz, brand president for Hollister, sent a similar letter.
A&F reports second-quarter results on Aug. 26.