Calvin Klein has finally found its global head of design.
The company has tapped Jessica Lomax as executive vice president, global head of design, effective Dec. 9. She will report directly to Cheryl Abel-Hodges, chief executive officer. It is a newly created role at the brand.
Lomax joins Calvin Klein from Nike, where she is currently senior creative director, women’s sportswear apparel. She has led collaborations including Nike x Sacai, as well as several sustainability projects for the brand. Earlier, Lomax worked with Hussein Chalayan for Puma and consulted for numerous sports and fashion brands.
In December 2018, former chief creative officer Raf Simons left Calvin Klein some 28 months into his tenure and eight months before his three-year contract was due to expire. Following his departure, Klein exited the 205W39NYC high-end collection business and shuttered the Madison Avenue flagship. Simons is now co-creative director of Prada.
In early 2019, Klein revealed that a search was underway for a global head of design who would lead apparel design, which has been ongoing until now.
Suzanne Barton, who became chief product officer of Calvin Klein in July 2019 overseeing the brand’s global product organization, including all design and merchandising functions, will be leaving the company in January to pursue other interests.
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A 12-year-veteran of PVH Corp., Klein’s parent, Barton was earlier global head of close to body design, where she was responsible for ensuring brand alignment across Calvin Klein Underwear, Calvin Klein Performance and Calvin Klein Swim, in addition to being executive vice president, design and merchandising, men’s apparel, North America.
Ulrich Grimm, global head of non-apparel design at Calvin Klein, left the company effective Aug. 2. His position was eliminated and his responsibilities were assumed by other executives.
In Lomax’s new role, she will lead Calvin Klein’s global design strategy and provide creative direction across all areas of the business, including licensees. She will be responsible for defining and strengthening all product categories for the lifestyle brand, with a focus on essential hero product, in addition to driving collaborations and sustainable innovation.
“Jessica excels in creating clear product visions that are rooted in brand DNA and directly connected to commercial success,” said Abel-Hodges. “Under her creative design leadership and through her collaborative and innovative approach, I am extremely confident that our product direction will continue to become more consumer-centric, sustainable, and inclusive.”
Lomax was unavailable for comment.
In the last month Klein has strengthened its global leadership ranks with two additional hires. Jacob Jordan, who had been a consultant at Calvin Klein since last May, was named global chief merchant and product strategist. He had previously been with Apple and Louis Vuitton. Linh Peters, formerly of Starbucks, joined as global chief marketing officer with responsibility for all aspects of Klein’s consumer marketing organization.
In discussing the three new hires, Abel-Hodges, said, “The appointment of these highly accomplished global leaders reinforces our continued effort to reconnect Calvin Klein’s iconic brand DNA with today’s culture and consumer, driving brand relevance, consumer engagement and sustainable profitable growth for the future.”
Since Simons’ departure, there have been numerous reports about collaborations and potential hires for the top design position at the brand.
In September, WWD reported that American rapper Kendrick Lamar has been in talks with Calvin Klein about a design project that would involve products and content, and would be released early next year. At the time, the likelihood of a deal and other details couldn’t be learned. The company declined comment about it Tuesday night.
Calvin Klein teamed with Kith in September for a joint underwear venture, marking the first time in the fashion house’s history that it linked with another brand for its iconic underwear. The company plans another chapter of this collaboration next year.
Gigi Hadid for the Kith for Calvin Klein collection. courtesy shot.
Last January, Calvin Klein hired Tim Coppens as a consultant design director, and he continues at the firm.
For the most recent quarter, PVH Corp., parent company of Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger, reported a $51.7 million quarterly loss. Discussing the results in September, Manny Chirico, chairman and ceo of PVH, said he saw opportunity in the casualization of the Calvin Klein brand. “Calvin [Klein], by the nature of its brand, has a huge, huge designer underwear and women’s intimate business. And a big jeans business that really plays into the casualization [trend]. And the Tommy [business] is probably as a brand, much more of a casual brand, much more of an athlete brand,” he said.
“Our assortment will be focused on relevant categories. And we are in a position to chase [those categories] until our better-than-expected demand materializes,” he said.
He added that revenues in both calvinklein.com and tommy.com grew triple digits in the most recent quarter year-over-year while adding many new customers.
FOR MORE STORIES:
Calvin Klein Taps Linh Peters as Global Chief Marketing Officer
Calvin Klein Taps Jacob Jordan as Global Chief Merchant and Product Strategist
Kendrick Lamar Said in Talks for Calvin Klein Collaboration
Ulrich Grimm, Global Head of Non-apparel Design, to Depart Calvin Klein After 22 Years
Calvin Klein Partners With Kith for Underwear Collection
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