Converse Inc. has named Andrew Buckler vice president of global creative design, a new position within the company.
This story first appeared in the November 7, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
In the role, Buckler will oversee the design vision for apparel, footwear, brand identity and store concepts for the North Andover, Mass.-based brand, a division of Nike Inc. He reports to Jim Calhoun, president and chief executive officer of Converse.
Buckler is exiting day-to-day involvement in his own men’s wear label, Buckler, and will relocate from New York to Boston to work on Converse full time. Buckler, which operates retail stores in New York, London and Toronto, will continue operations without him at the design helm.
The center of operations for the brand will move to Istanbul, where Hakan Cemal, the majority owner of the business, is located, said Buckler. Cemal is president of HC Tekstil, a large-scale apparel manufacturer that is a division of Turkey’s Hey Group.
HC Tekstil acquired a majority interest in Buckler in 2006. Andrew Buckler, and his London-based brother, Jeremy Buckler, retain a minority share of the company and will remain involved in long-term strategy and oversight of the brand.
“Running Buckler for the past 10 years has been exciting but doing so on a dime can be tough,” said Buckler of his decision to depart the world of indie fashion for a corporate position. “Converse developed this position for me and it was an offer I couldn’t turn down. The last three years following the financial crisis have had their challenges for small businesses.”
Buckler shuttered a retail store in New York’s SoHo earlier this spring due to escalating rents in the space. About 65 percent of the brand’s business is currently in its three remaining retail stores and 35 percent in wholesale accounts like Nordstrom, Atrium, Zappos and Harvey Nichols in Hong Kong.