Ari Hoffman has a new gig.
The executive, who left Benetton as president and chief executive officer of its U.S. operations at the end of July, has been named chief executive officer of Scotch & Soda USA. Hoffman succeeds Tony Strippoli, who recently left the company.
“I am pleased to welcome Ari Hoffman to Scotch & Soda,” said Dirk-Jan Stoppelenburg, ceo of the Amsterdam-based brand. “Ari brings with him 30 years of experience in fashion in the USA, as former U.S. ceo of Yves Saint Laurent, Lacoste, Gant and most recently Benetton. We look forward to working together in order to grow our business.”
Scotch & Soda offers men’s and women’s apparel targeted to modern-minded urban customers. It operates 110 stores around the world and has 7,000 wholesale accounts as well as a Web site.
Hoffman told WWD that while it was premature to talk about specific plans for the company, he plans to “immerse myself in what the brand is and what has been done. I’m here to grow the business. There are a lot of exciting opportunities in brick-and-mortar, wholesale and e-commerce, which are all growing businesses. The same with men’s, women’s and children’s, which are also growing. I’ll be working to optimize each business and build a wholesale and retail network. That’s my mission for the coming year.”
Hoffman was named to head Benetton’s U.S. business in 2012. Before that, he was ceo of Gant USA from 2000 until 2012, when he was named ceo of Gant Latin America. He oversaw the Latin American business, as well as Canada and Japan. During his tenure at Gant, Hoffman is credited with bringing the preppy brand back to a healthy position in the marketplace. He added three stores in the New York area — Gant Rugger concepts on Manhattan’s Bleecker Street and Prince Street, and a New Haven college store, in addition to its existing Fifth Avenue flagship. Hoffman also spearheaded the launch of the Gant by Michael Bastian collaboration, which was introduced in fall 2010.