Daniel Corrigan, cofounder and co-creative director of Simon Miller, the Los Angeles-based women’s and men’s sportswear and accessories firm, is leaving the company, effective Nov. 15.
Corrigan has been co-creative director with Chelsea Hansford, who will run the business and become the sole creative director.
“I’m really excited about it. We’re taking on a strategic partner who has experience in the fashion industry to help scale the business,” Corrigan said. He declined to divulge who the partner was, but explained that as the business has been growing, it’s been more focused on the women’s side and accessories.
“I saw an opportunity for me to step aside. I cofounded this company 10 years ago, and I personally realized I wanted to approach clothing differently – less seasonal, less trend based and more focused on a specific product. The way the industry is going, my passion being denim and sustainability, it’s really hard to do that when you have with so many product categories,” Corrigan said.
He said his next project will be focused on one specific category such as denim, and being the largest contributor of waste in the industry, he’d like to address those issues.
He explained that Hansford has been the driving force of the accessories and that’s where her passion is. “For me, I’ve been really passionate about men’s wear and denim. It’s really hard as a small company to be the best in all those categories. It’s just so grueling. The amount of collections we’re producing a year and the time you have to sell those collections, it’s so hard on a small company with limited resources,” he said.
Hansford will become creative director of the whole company, will take over the women’s design and will run the company. Her husband, Gregoire Gamba, a leather artisan from France, continues to spearhead the label’s accessories. Corrigan said the parting was amicable.
Corrigan has nothing lined up at the moment and will take the rest of the year off. “For me, it’s putting together an idea that can be relevant in 10 years and can have a bigger impact on sustainability in the denim market,” he said.
Known for its playful take on luxury classics, Simon Miller is sold in such retailers as Lane Crawford, 10 Corso Como, Elyse Walker, Opening Ceremony, Ron Herman, The Webster, Moda Operandi, By George, Ssense, Mr Porter, Nordstrom and Galeries Lafayette Shanghai. The sportswear and denim are all made in Los Angeles, some knitwear is made in Asia, shoes are made in Portugal and the bags are made in France. Corrigan declined to reveal the company’s volume.
Last year, Simon Miller expanded into footwear following the company’s introduction of a six-month pop-up within the Fred Segal boutique on Sunset Boulevard. That was the first time Simon Miller experimented with a full presentation of the brand within a physical store and was in line with its broader effort to have a multifaceted offering.
Corrigan and Jake Sargent cofounded Simon Miller in 2011. Sargent left in December 2015 as president and co-creative director. Sargent’s departure followed on the heels of the acquisition of Indigoods LLC, Simon Miller’s parent company, by Influx Studio LLC, a business founded by Corrigan and Hansford, who was brand director. Corrigan and Hansford then took over as co-creative directors of the men’s and women’s brand. In November 2017, Hansford relocated to Los Angeles from New York with her husband. Previously they operated as a bi-coastal business. Sargent started a venture capital fund focused on sustainability in fashion, beauty and lifestyle.
Corrigan said he sold his shares back to the company so it could take on a strategic partner. Simon Miller’s jeans retail from $300 to $350.
Corrigan believes that things will stay the same employee-wise. “There aren’t going to be many changes within the company. I think it will be business as usual.” There are 10 full-time employees.
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