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Executive Roundup: Barneys Appoints New Creative Director, AAFA and SPESA Shake Up Leadership

Columbia Sportswear

Industry veteran Joe Vernachio was appointed as president of Columbia Sportswear’s Mountain Hardwear brand, effective April 3. In his new role, Vernachio will oversee Mountain Hardwear’s global brand positioning and execution across all distribution channels. With more than 30 years of experience in the outdoor retail industry, Vernachio has held various leadership roles at The North Face and Spyder Active Sports.


Harm Ohlmeyer was named as Adidas AG’s new CFO. Ohlmeyer started his Adidas career in 1999 and has held various leadership roles at the company’s finance and sales divisions, including SVP of digital brand commerce and SVP of sales strategy and excellence. Prior to this move, CFO and board member Robin J. Stalker informed the Board that he will not be extending his service contract beyond March 2018. For a smooth transition, the Board and Stalker decided to terminate his Executive Board mandate effective May 11. Ohlmeyer will succeed Stalker and be appointed to the Executive Board on May 12.


The Sewn Products Equipment & Suppliers of the Americas (SPESA) members elected their new leadership for two-year tenures. Gerber Technology VP Sam Simpson was elected as the new chairman, DAP America, Inc. VP and CFO Nina McCormack was elected as vice chairman and Alvanon, Inc. president Ed Gribbin was elected as the secretary/treasurer.

Other elected members included Sewn Products Equipment Co. president Mel Berzack, Pegasus Corporation of America CEO Melvyn Blore, Ferd Schmetz Needle Corp. president Rolando Bohlemann, 323 Systems managing member Per Bringle, OptiTex USA Inc. president Yoram Burg, [TC]2 CEO Mike Fralix, Universal Sewing Machine Co. owner Martin Gopman, American & Efird, Inc. marketing director Mark Hatton, Henderson Sewing Machine Co. president Frank Henderson, Productive Solutions LLC president Rick Ludolph, Morgan Tecnica spa country manager Michael Rabin, Consew VP Eric Schlossman, Superior Sewing Machine & Supply LLC president Lonny Schwartz and Methods Workshop president John Stern.

Rocky Brands

Rocky Brands hired Thomas Robertson as its new CFO. Robertson joined Rocky Brands in September 2016, where he recently served as senior financial analyst. Robertson resume also includes previous stints at Deloitte & Touche LLP and Schneider Downs & Co., Inc.

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BCBG Max Azria

BCBG promoted Bernd Kroeber to the role of EVP and creative director. In his new position, Kroeber will manage the creative strategy of BCBG Max Azria, BCBGeneration and Herve Leger. He will also oversee all design initiatives for the label and present his first collection for the Spring 2018 season. Kroeber joined BCBG in 2007 and recently served as VP of design for BCBGeneration. He will succeed Lubov Azria, who recently exited the company.

Emanuel Ungaro

Marco Colagrossi was tapped as Emanuel Ungaro’s new women’s RTW creative director. Colagrossi joins Emanuel Ungaro from Giorgio Armani, where he recently served as the label’s senior womenswear fashion designer. He will succeed Fausto Puglisi, who is departing from the company on mutual terms. In addition to Colagrossi’s appointment, Emanuel Ungaro appointed Cieffe Srl brand management consultant Angela Casiero to manage all North American operations, including brand growth and public relations.


Barneys promoted Matthew Mazzucca to the role of creative director and SVP. Mazzucca joined Barneys in 2011, where he held various leadership positions, including director of design and VP of visuals. In his new role, Mazzucca will execute his new vision for Barneys’ future, including implementing new brick-and-mortar technologies for the retailer’s diverse consumer base.


AAFA announced leadership transitions in its board of directors and the addition of 14 newly elected and re-elected board members.

Individuals confirmed as the AAFA board of directors for the 2017-2018 term included Advent International Corporation global operations advisor Paula Zusi as chairman, VF Corp. VF VP and global supply chain president Thomas Glaser as vice-chairman, Gerber Childrenswear, LLC CEO Gary Simmons as treasurer and Oxford Industries CEO Thomas Chubb as secretary.

Other individuals that were re-elected and elected to the board included United Legwear & Apparel Co. COO and CFO Chris Volpe, Under Armour global sourcing president Colin Browne, Kenneth Cole Productions CFO David Edelman, Renfro Corporation SVP of corporate marketing Harold Stone Jr., AEC Narrow Fabrics VP Jeff Crisco, International Brand Partners LLC CEO Killick Datta, American & Efird LLC CEO Les Miller, New Generation Computing president Mark Burstein, Production Department president Mark Gitomer, Dickies North America president Michael Binnie, Hanesbrands, Inc. chief supply chain officer president Mike Faircloth, Perry Ellis International, Inc. CEO Oscar Feldenkreis, Val D’or, Apparel, LLC CEO Robert Rothbaum and PVH Corp chief supply chain officer William McRaith.


Chloé tapped Louis Vuitton executive Natacha Ramsay-Levi as its new creative director for ready-to-wear, accessories and leather goods, effective April 3. Ramsay-Levi joins the label after serving as Louis Vuitton’s women’s rtw creative director since 2013. She will debut her first collection for the Spring 2018 season at Paris Fashion Week in September. Ramsay-Levi’s predecessor, Clare Waight Keller, exited the label in early March to pursue other career opportunities.


Aldo named David Bensadoun as its new CEO effective April 3. Bensadoun, the son of Aldo founder Aldo Bensadoun, joined the company in 1995 and held various leadership positions, including his most recent role as Aldo Group North America (AGNA) president. He will succeed current CEO Patrik Frisk.

Along with this executive move, Aldo also announced new board appointments. Jurgen Schreiber was appointed as Aldo Group chairman, meanwhile Norman Jaskolka was named as Aldo Group deputy chairman.