Carole Hochman, the longtime doyenne of the sleepwear and intimates industry, has joined Naked Inc. as chief executive officer and chief creative officer.
In her role in the newly created posts, Hochman plans to build the Vancouver-based company’s men’s underwear business and launch women’s underwear, sleepwear and loungewear bearing the Naked name in spring 2015.
Joel Primus, founder and president of the Naked brand launched in 2010, reports to Hochman.
“The plan is to really solidify the men’s business and take it to a new level with sleepwear and loungewear. We will be building both men’s and women’s underwear equally and will start shipping women’s products for spring 2015,” said Hochman. “We plan to establish the Naked name into lifestyle clothing and other areas because the name lends itself to so many products including home furnishings. It will be all about new branding, new product and new packaging.”
She added that the men’s business — which generated estimated annual wholesale sales of $700,000 in 2013 — is projected to “quadruple” by mid-2015.
Hochman, a 30-year veteran of the innerwear industry, resigned her post in October 2013 as creative director at the Carole Hochman Design Group. She had been the driving force of the company since she began designing the licensed Christian Dior sleepwear collection in 1968. Hochman later led the creative and design process for a portfolio of brands, including the licensed Oscar de la Renta, Betsey Johnson, Ralph Lauren and Donna Karan names. She also created and oversaw the evolution of Carole Hochman Knits, Carole Hochman Midnight, Cottonista, a private brand developed exclusively for Saks Fifth Avenue, and Jane & Bleecker, a contemporary line of lounge and sleep separates aimed at Millennials. She also was a popular personality for more than a decade on QVC, where she wore her namesake pajamas on air and sold numerous Carole Hochman pj’s and nighties.
In other developments, two new executives have joined Naked: Michael Flanagan and Carlos Serra.
Flanagan has been named chief operating officer and chief financial officer, bringing more than 30 years of apparel experience in both finance and operations. A former finance executive at The Warnaco Group Inc., Flanagan formerly served as cfo of Brooks Brothers Inc. From 2003 to 2009, he served as the chief operating officer and cfo of luxury brand, Nat Nast Inc., after which he became chief operating officer and cfo of Summit Golf Brands until 2013.
Serra has been named vice president of sales and merchandising. Serra most recently served as vice president of sales and marketing for intimate apparel and sleepwear for Giorgio Armani from 2007 to 2013.