West Elm creative director leaves for J.Crew
West Elm’s loss is J. Crew’s gain.
J.Crew Group has named Johanna Uurasjarvi as chief design officer, responsible for the overall design direction for the J.Crew brand. She will report to J. Crew CEO Jim Brett.
Uurasjarvi joins J.Crew from West Elm, where she was the creative director of the specialty home furnishings company, which is owned by Williams-Sonoma. Prior to that, she was the executive creative director of product design for Anthropologie, where she built the company’s first in-house design team.
“Johanna brings more than 25 years of fashion and design experience with a unique understanding of how customers shop and live,” said Jim Brett, CEO of J. Crew Group.
Brett and Uurasjarvi previously worked together at West Elm, where he was president before joining J. Crew in spring 2017. They also both had senior positions at Anthropologie.
At West Elm, Uurasjarvi was the concept builder of its successful “New Modern” assortment, a lighter and brighter interpretation of classic Mid-Century Modern with layered textures and material innovation, incorporating the company’s signature interest in global artistry. She was an instrumental part of a team that helped the brand to reach $1 billion in revenue, according to the release by J. Crew.
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Eddie Bauer names president
Eddie Bauer has promoted an insider to lead the brand.
The specialty outdoor retailer named Damien Huang as president. He was most recently Eddie Bauer’s senior VP of merchandising & design. In his new role, Huang will oversee the design, merchandising, marketing, retail, e-commerce, licensing, international, and wholesale functions of the business. He will report to Mike Egeck, CEO of PSEB, the new operating company composed of Eddie Bauer and PacSun.
“He [Huang] has played a pivotal role in the transition of the Eddie Bauer business into a performance outdoor brand – and it comes as no surprise that performance product has grown at a double digit rate over the last five years under his leadership,” said Egeck. “His passion for the outdoors and his knowledge in building award-winning product will ensure that Eddie Bauer continues its strong momentum.”
Huang joined Eddie Bauer in March 2010 as senior VP of outerwear, accessories, and gear. He has held multiple senior product positions while at the company.
Eddie Bauer also announced that Mike Africa has been named VP of commerce, having responsibility for both the retail and e-commerce businesses.
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