True Religion Apparel Inc. chief executive officer David Conn has put the finishing touches on his management team with the hiring of former Levi’s and Gap executive Mary Alderete as chief marketing officer, effective Monday.
This story first appeared in the November 13, 2013 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Alderete, who reports to Conn, will set marketing strategy for True Religion’s retail, wholesale, international, e-commerce and social media platforms.
Most recently, she was vice president of global brand marketing at Levi Strauss & Co., where she was closely involved in the establishment of the Curve ID program and more recently the launch of Revel, a proprietary fit system within Curve ID.
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Earlier in her career, she held senior marketing roles at Gap Inc.’s Banana Republic and Old Navy brands following agency experience with BBDO West and Foote, Cone & Belding, where her assignments included the launch of Amazon.com.
“There were designer jeans and then there were premium jeans, and to me, True Religion set the standard for premium denim,” she told WWD. “The company was the first to merge quality craftsmanship and iconic style. They set the tone for the entire category, and with the leadership team that’s been put together, I think the brand is ready to make history a second time.”
Although she’s spent most of her career in San Francisco, she felt the time was right for a move to Los Angeles. “I’ve been going to L.A. for years and I’ve noticed a very powerful energy coming out of the area right now,” she said. “In the past six months to a year, it just has felt more radiant.”
She also noted the transformation of the consumer marketplace in the time since her initial involvement with Amazon, “when no one knew what online shopping was,” until her recent tenure with Levi’s, “when we have seen social and digital platforms make the world more and more borderless.”
Conn said the company “will benefit from her deep experience building iconic denim brands and from her genuine understanding of how to connect with and engage consumers.”
When TowerBrook Capital Partners LP consummated its $835 million acquisition of Vernon, Calif.-based True Religion in July, Conn was brought in as ceo, Lynne Koplin was appointed chief merchandising officer and Eric Bauer was named chief operating and financial officer.
Since then, Gary Harvey and Rosella Giuliani have been hired as creative director and senior vice president of merchandising, respectively, both reporting to Koplin. Concurrent with Alderete’s appointment, Ilene Eskenazi was appointed senior vice president of human resources and chief legal officer, effective Dec. 2, reporting to Conn.