Alternative Apparel, the industry-leading fashion basics brand known for its unparalleled comfort and quality craftsmanship, is pleased to appoint Erik Joule as President and Chief Merchandising Officer. Joule will be based out of the Alternative Apparel design office in Los Angeles, and report directly to CEO, Evan Toporek as well as work closely with Founder and Chief Creative Officer, Greg Alterman.
"Erik has a wide breadth of experience in the fashion industry and is a proven expert in merchandising, marketing and ultimately growing leading brands," said Toporek. "We feel that Erik has the perfect combination of 'know how' and creative leadership qualities to take our growing brand to even greater heights."
Joule has worked in the apparel industry for 20 years as a leading decision maker at remarkable brands including Disney, Guess, Quiksilver and the Gap. Most recently, Joule was the Senior Vice President of Global Merchandising and Design for Levi Strauss & Co where he played an instrumental role in the globalization of the brand. He also successfully led product innovation such as "the Commuter series," a collection aimed at the urban cyclist, as well as led an aggressive push towards sustainability through the introduction of Waterless jeans, an industry changing process in manufacturing denim by lowering its water consumption, and turning 100 percent of Levi's tee shirt line from conventional to organic cotton among other things. Additionally, he led the charge in rolling out the Levi's workshop series, which were innovative engagement platforms aimed at connecting youth and various crafts through Levi's.
Joule has led product and brand innovation through organizing diverse teams to foster breakthrough thinking, as well as lead sustainability efforts across the industry, balancing profits and principles as well as creating a powerful team at Levi's that re-ignited the brand globally.
"I look forward to joining the Alternative Apparel team as its values of 'taking the road less traveled' as well as balancing sustainability and business are very symbiotic to my own. In addition, the intimate size of the company and its ability to be flexible, nimble and daring is most exciting to me along with its international expansion" said Joule.
In his new role as President and Chief Merchandising Officer, Joule will oversee Merchandising, Design, Development, Sourcing and Brand Marketing at Alternative Apparel. An avid cyclist, Joule is a native of France, fluent in French, Spanish and English, and befittingly brings an international background to Alternative as the brand begins to expand into countries around the world.
Alternative Apparel's current category offerings include men's and women's active and sportswear; accessories featuring travel bags and handbags; as well as a recent expansion into fitness-wear with MOVE, a yoga-focused line of apparel and accessories launching in December 2012. The brand is sold in leading department stores and specialty stores, including Bloomingdale's, as well as two freestanding boutiques located California—the first launched in April, 2011 in the Abbot Kinney district of Venice Beach and the second opened this November in the Larchmont neighborhood of Los Angeles.
About Alternative Apparel
Since 1995, Alternative has grown into a leading lifestyle apparel brand that delivers the best quality and value in fashion basics. Hand-crafted with our signature vintage softness, each piece embodies our commitment to comfort, craftsmanship, community and authenticity.
From the feel of our fabrics and flawless fit to our one-of-a-kind washes and detailed designs, our clothes aren't just about looking good but feeling good. By creating comfort—inside and out—we seek to inspire alternative ways of thinking and empower positive change in our community.
We offer a complete collection of casual clothing and accessories for men and women across the globe. Our corporate headquarters are located in Atlanta with an additional East Coast office in New York. The West Coast is home to our Los Angeles Design Lab and our flagship retail store in Venice, California. To learn more, visit alternativeapparel.com.
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