Chief Merchandising Officer, Brooks Brothers Inc.
President & CEO, Gant USA Corp.
With new players and retail environments, the men's wear category has never been hotter. The new Fairchild Fashion Group Men's Wear Industry CEO Summit -- celebrating the 2011 expansion of FFG's now-quarterly Menswear magazine and the 2011 launch of Men's Week -- will bring the community together to focus on how to foster the creative thinking and develop the strategic plans required for continued success for all industry segments.
In 1994, Steven Alan opened his first retail store in downtown Manhattan. Offering an assortment of pieces from an eclectic group of emerging designers, Mr. Alan became known for his keen eye for trends and urban sensibility. Building on his knack for scouting promising young talent, he opened the Steven Alan Showroom in 1996 and quickly garnered an impressive roster of designers on the rise. The showroom now represents 20 independent designers across apparel, handbags and other accessories.
The Steven Alan Men’s Collection debuted in 1999 with shirting and trousers and has grown to include jackets and sweaters, suiting, footwear and accessories. Several styles from the collection, like the reverse seam button-down shirt, have become wardrobe staples for men.
In 2005 the designer bowed The Steven Alan Women’s Collection. Starting with tailored “boyfriend” shirting, empire waist sundresses, shirtdresses and tunics, the collection has grown into a full lifestyle line including knits, outerwear and accessories. Both collections are sold in more than 300 stores worldwide including Barneys New York, Ron Herman/Fred Segal, Holt Renfrew, Mario’s of Seattle, United Arrows in Japan and Robby Ingham in Australia.
Steven Alan now counts nine stores in the United States: five in New York City, three in Los Angeles and one seasonal location in East Hampton. Internationally, the brand boasts a standalone boutique at the Galleria Department Store in Seoul. The Steven Alan Annex stores, located in New York City and Venice, California, sell Steven Alan and a selection of other designer collections chosen by Mr. Alan himself.
Since 2008, Steven Alan has partnered with several notable brands for capsule collaborations including The Generic Man, Uniqlo, Dockers, and Urban Outfitters.
Lou Amendola is chief merchandising officer at Brooks Brothers Inc. Amendola joined Brooks Brothers in 1998, first serving as Vice President of Merchandising for the company's factory outlet division. In 2000 he was named Senior Vice President of Merchandising, Retail and in 2007, appointed to his current position of Chief Merchandising Officer.
As Chief Merchandising officer for Brooks Brothers, Lou is responsible for both product and brand identity and development. He has been instrumental in many key initiatives, including the launch of the Black Fleece label, the brand’s designer laboratory collection designed by Thom Browne
Lou began his career at Macy's working first as sales associate and ultimately rising to the position of Vice President of Men's Collections. In 1994 he joined Donna Karan as Vice President of Merchandising.
For 30 years, Ari Hoffman has been a fixture in the fashion industry. He has worked at leading national and international brands, including Yves Saint Laurent, Christian Lacroix, St. John and Lacoste. He has experienced nearly every facet of the fashion business wwhile working his way up from sales to his current position as President and Chief Executive Officer of Gant USA, where he was tapped to reposition Gant as a premier American sportswear brand. His expertise in product development and marketing has helped him drive company sales and build successful advertising and marketing campaigns while expanding retail initiatives. As part of the re-branding of Gant in the United States, Mr. Hoffman brokered a successful collaboration with designer Michael Bastian.
The Gant by Michael Bastian collection, nominated by GQ and the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) for the 2011 Best New Menswear Designer of America award, launched at Gant stores, top specialty retailers and luxury department stores internationally.
Mr. Hoffman served on the retail advisory board of NYC & Co. and is currently a board member of both the Swedish-American Chamber of Commerce and Educational Adventures. He is a graduate of Baruch College.
With new players and retail environments, the men's wear category has never been hotter. The new Fairchild Fashion Group Men's Wear Industry CEO Summit – celebrating the 2011 expansion of FFG's now-quarterly Menswear magazine and the 2011 launch of Men's Week – brought the community together to focus on how to foster the creative thinking and develop the strategic plans required for continued success for all industry segments.