The new owners of Forever 21 haven’t wasted any time naming a leader. On Tuesday, the company tapped Daniel Kulle, the former president of H&M North America, to become its new chief executive officer.
Kulle, who has more than 20 years of experience in the fashion industry, has been serving most recently as strategic adviser to former H&M Group ceo Karl-Johan Persson and was part of a steering group for three new digital start-ups within the H&M Group.
He will relocate from New York to Forever 21’s headquarters in Los Angeles.
Last week, Authentic Brands Group in partnership with Simon Property Group and Brookfield Property Partners acquired the bankrupt fast-fashion retailer. Under the terms of the deal, ABG and Simon each own 37.5 percent and Brookfield owns 25 percent of the intellectual property and operating businesses. The purchase price was $81.1 million not including another $73 million for the goods already bought and other costs.
ABG characterized Kulle as a “visionary, dynamic and inspirational executive” who was instrumental in expanding H&M’s brick-and-mortar and e-commerce president in new and existing markets in North America during his 20-year career at the company. Under his leadership, ABG said, H&M’s North American sales grew from $1 billion to $4 billion annually, he oversaw the opening of 600 stores and developed integrated e-commerce platforms in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.
As ceo of Forever 21, Kulle will be charged with drawing on his digital experience to modernize the brand’s content and social media strategies. He will also work to evolve Forever 21’s sustainability initiatives, a key initiative for the company, and will focus on revitalizing the store’s core products. He will also work to strengthen the company’s loyalty program and elevate the store experience through pop-up events and brand collaborations.
Forever 21, which was founded in 1994, will continue to 448 stores in the U.S. as well as the couple hundred more around the world, ABG said following the purchase last week. The business has global sales of around $2.5 billion.