Alternative Apparel Announces Erik Joule as Brand President and Chief Merchandising Officer

Twenty-five-year fashion industry veteran to join leading apparel brand effective January 7, 2013; based in Los Angeles design office.

Alternative Apparel, the fashion basics brand based in Atlanta, announced the appoint of 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 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 toward 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 T-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,” Joule said. “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.”

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