Abercrombie & Fitch is actively trying to become relevant again.
This week, the company announced two new management positions.
Katia Kuethe, former creative director of Lucky magazine, is a new creative director for the brand, according to The New York Times.
Aaron Levine, former vice president of men’s design at Club Monaco, will also infiltrate the top ranks as the new head of men’s design.
Kuethe has experience working with a younger demographic from her days at Lucky.
The magazine focuses on fashion, shopping, and beauty, so she certainly doesn’t lack commerce expertise.
She has also worked specifically in fashion; before Lucky she was senior director of creative at Kate Spade.
“The job at Kate Spade was a really huge position — I oversaw all creative aspects of the brand, from copy and the voice of the brand to campaigns, packaging, social media, in-store, windows; a huge responsibility,” Kuethe told The Coveteur.
Kuethe’s resume indicates that she has more than enough experience to assist in the rebrand.
A photo posted by Katia Kuethe (@birkenkk) on Jun 15, 2015 at 3:23pm PDT
Her LinkedIn lists her as also having worked at J. Crew, Ann Taylor, and Teen Vogue among other companies.
Abercrombie & Fitch is going to need Kuethe to a lead with her experience in management and branding given its controversy-ridden history that’s propelled business downward and launched an entire corporate restructuring effort.
But what is the company doing to fix its actual clothing? That’s where Levine comes in.
The retailer currently offers styles similar to other teen retailers like H&M and Forever 21 but at much higher prices. The company used to be able to get away with that a few years ago when the Abercrombie name was highly sought after, but customers are no longer interested.
In order to differentiate the brand’s product and overall designs from similar competitors, Levine needs to bring fresh input on updating and even reinventing styles to the company.
Levine clearly has a good grasp of what customers are looking for given how successful Club Monaco is.
The subsidiary of the Ralph Lauren Corporation has grown into an impressive company in the last year.
It’s opened brick and mortar menswear stores abroad and performed on different e-commerce outlets – all under Levine’s guidance.
Before his run at Club Monaco, he worked at Jack Spade, Rogues Gallery, and Hickey Freeman, according to his LinkedIn.
Kuethe and Levine are beneficial additions to the Abercrombie & Fitch brand, and if the company is lucky the two will manage to steer it in a positive, creative direction.
Kuethe’s openness to change and opportunity is another sign that Abercrombie & Fitch has taken on a leader looking to reinvent the brand.
“One thing that I think that has been beneficial for my career overall has been that I never go in with a negative attitude. That can be a bad thing. Sometimes I’ve learned you have to be a little bit more critical, you have to see the issues coming quickly. Change, opportunities, my first instinct is usually, ‘Cool, let’s make it the best we can,” she told The Coveteur.
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