True Religion Apparel, Inc. (Nasdaq:TRLG) today announced the appointment of Rodney Hutton to the newly created position of senior vice president, merchandising. Hutton brings more than 19 years of merchandising and product development experience to his new role, having formulated and directed merchandise strategies on a worldwide scale and held positions in merchandising for Giorgio Armani, Karl Lagerfeld, Ralph Lauren and Barneys. He reports directly to Jeffrey Lubell, founder and chief executive officer of True Religion Apparel, Inc.
“Rodney’s initial charter will be to oversee and manage our continued product evolution from a premium denim company to a targeted 50/50 sportswear and denim product mix over the next few years,” said Michael Buckley, president. “Rodney has managed every facet of the merchandising and product development process with teams in place on multiple continents, and his know-how will be invaluable to True Religion as we refine our merchandising plan across all markets. His intuitive understanding of how to present fashion to the marketplace, ‘from the designer to the customer,’ will be crucial as we expand and diversify our product offerings to create greater breadth for the True Religion lifestyle collection. Rodney will work with our production and sourcing teams in bringing us world-class suppliers around the globe for our premium sportswear product.”
“We are truly excited to have such a talented executive joining us to collaborate with our growing design team on expanding and refining the True Religion product offering,” said Jeffrey Lubell. “Rodney also will work directly with our existing licensees to ensure that the True Religion look is properly reflected in all our licensed categories and that a unified brand message resonates. He will also help select other premier licensees on new product categories we will be launching. Rodney brings to us a wealth of experience and resources, and we look forward to his many contributions.”
From 1995 to 2004, Hutton served in various merchandising roles of increasing responsibility for Giorgio Armani Corporation, last serving as vice president, merchandising, where he directed all merchandising strategies for the men’s divisions of Giorgio Armani and Emporio Armani. As head of merchandising, Hutton controlled all purchasing in Milan for the company and developed product strategies and visual brand strategies to create distinct brand recognition. Hutton successfully revamped the Giorgio Armani men’s product line and the Emporio women’s division to appeal to a broader customer base and to position the brands for future growth, which resulted in increased volume, gross margins and higher sell-through rates.
Most recently, Hutton served as senior vice president and general merchandise manager for Karl Lagerfeld, where he played a key role in creating the three-year business plan to implement and operate all business functions within the multi-collection Karl Lagerfeld portfolio. He managed and coordinated design, merchandising, sales, marketing, licensing and production on a global scale and helped to establish effective relationships with tier one department and specialty stores in the U.S. and abroad.
Hutton began his career in sales for Ralph Lauren and holds a bachelor’s degree in business and legal studies from the City University of New York in New York City.
About True Religion Apparel, Inc.
True Religion Apparel, Inc. is a growing, design-based premium global lifestyle brand. The company designs, manufactures and markets True Religion Apparel products, including its premium True Religion Brand Jeans. Its expanding product line, which includes high quality distinctive styling and fit, may be found in premier department stores and boutiques in 50 countries including the United States, Canada, Germany, United Kingdom, France, Spain, Scandinavia, Greece, Italy, Mexico, South America, Australia, South Africa, the Middle East, Korea, Japan, and China. For more information, please visit www.truereligionbrandjeans.com.
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the "safe harbor" provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are based upon our current expectations and speak only as of the date hereof. Our actual results may differ materially and adversely from those expressed in any forward-looking statements as a result of various factors and uncertainties, including uncertainties as to the nature of the apparel industry, including changing customer demand and tastes, seasonality, customer acceptance of new products, the impact of competitive products and pricing, dependence on existing management and general economic conditions. Our Annual Report on Form 10-K, recent and forthcoming Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, recent Current Reports on Form 8-K, and other SEC filings discuss some of the important risk factors that may affect our business, results of operations and financial condition. The Company undertakes no obligation to revise or update publicly any forward-looking statements for any reason.