Thursday, July 2, 2009

Josh Sparks up Thom Browne

thom browne FW0809/nytimes

According to WWD, 35 year-old Australian Josh Sparks has just been appointed the president and CEO of one of America's most high profile designer menswear brands, Thom Browne. Menswear is a change of pace for Sparks who, some may recall, was once the ceo of Australia’s own sass & bide. Indeed, as has been reported pretty much in every US story about Sparks in the interim, during his tenure from 2002-2006, he took sass & bide's sales from $4million to $30million (US$ we assume). Curiously, no mention ever seems to be made of US retailer complaints to the Australian press in 2006, about the brand's performance and management in the US market.

Post sass & bide, Sparks headed to New York, where he founded the Rockwood Consulting Group, aimed at the younger end of the designer fashion market.

While at RCG, Sparks launched Imitation, a diffusion line for Tara Subkoff’s edgy Imitation of Christ brand.

In October 2007, Sparks bought both of Subkoff’s brands for a reported US$2.5million. Then in December last year, he closed them down - along with RCG.

Sparks then headed to HL Group as vice president, administering business and branding advice to clients including Thom Browne, who, WWD reports, has just sold a minority stake to the Japan-based Cross Company.

No word on whether or not Sparks will instruct Browne to tone down his trademark runway theatrics. But let’s hope not.


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