Could Aaron Levine be headed to Abercrombie & Fitch?
The well-respected designer, who has quietly exited Club Monaco as vice president of men’s design, is believed to be in line for a key role at the beleaguered retailer.
A spokesman for A&F declined comment and Levine did not return phone calls.
Levine joined the specialty store chain 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.
A spokeswoman for Club Monaco confirmed his departure and said the company is expecting to name a successor within the next month.
The spokeswoman said Mike Wade has joined Club Monaco as head of men’s merchandising. Since October 2013, Wade has been senior manager of men’s merchandising at Rag & Bone. Before that, he was a merchant at Urban Outfitters for about seven years, according to his LinkedIn page.
Levine has been a favorite of the men’s fashion press since joining the retailer and has been featured in publications including GQ and the Wall Street Journal. Levine helped to significantly raise the profile of the chain’s men’s wear — both in terms of merchandise and lifestyle products.
A&F could use Levine’s help. In the first quarter, the teen retailer reported a net loss of $63.2 million that nearly tripled from the year-ago net loss of $23.7 million. It brought former Sears Roebuck & Co. chief Arthur Martinez on board as chairman in an attempt to turn around the business, while Michael Jeffries, its longtime chairman and chief executive officer, exited late last year. Martinez has said he hopes to attract the fickle Millennial consumer back to A&F stores by boosting their fashion quotient.