Aaron Levine is joining Abercrombie & Fitch Co. as head of men’s design at its namesake division.
As reported by WWD, the well-respected designer recently left Club Monaco, where he was vice president of men’s design.
Levine joined Club Monaco in June 2011 after serving as designer for Jack Spade and creative director of Rogues Gallery. Before that he was design director of the Hickey label for Hickey Freeman. He began his career at Joseph Abboud.
The designer is credited with helping Club Monaco significantly raise the profile of its men’s wear offerings. Abercrombie now hopes he will bring some of that magic to its men’s assortment.
Levine is one of a string of appointments the company has been making.. Lisa Lowman has been named head of design for Hollister Girls, joining from Lucky Brand, where she was senior vice president of design. Katie Kuethe has been appointed creative director of marketing for the A&F and Hollister brands. She previously was creative director of Lucky magazine.
The trio are joining the retailer at a challenging time. In the first quarter ended May 2, the company posted a net loss of $63.2 million on net sales of $709.4 million, compared with year-ago results of a net loss of $23.7 million on net sales of $822.4 million. Comparable-store sales slipped 9 percent at the core Abercrombie brand for the quarter.
While results were impacted in part by logo product that was pulled back more than necessary, that wasn’t the A&F brand’s only problem. It’s been trying to inject more fashion product to the mix. Bottoms have been performing consistently well for both its women’s and men’s assortment in the first quarter, but results have been weak for fashion tops for both women and men.
Since last year, the company has made a series of moves to shake up the firm and bolster retail talent as the specialty chain completes its long-term strategic restructuring. On the design and merchandising side, the retailer hired Christos Angelides, who joined the company in October 2014, as brand president for A&F and abercrombie kids. Since then, the company also has been adding new staffers for oversight on design and merchandising.