Levi Strauss Innovator Joins Altermative Apparel as President

12/3/2012
Alternative Apparel, a basics brand known for its unparalleled comfort and quality craftsmanship, recently recruited Erik Joule to join the company 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.

Joule has worked in the apparel industry for 20 years as a leading decision maker at top 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. What's more, 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.

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
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