North Sails Apparel, sportswear label and sail producer, has appointed former Gucci Group president and chief executive officer Robert Polet as its partner, with immediate effect.
Polet, who is currently chairman of the board and non-executive president of Italian eyewear firm Safilo Group, brings with him over 35 years of retail experience. In 2004 he was appointed CEO of the Gucci Group and has been credited with the successful reorganization of the group as well as the development of brands such as Yves Saint Laurent, Alexander McQueen and Stella McCartney.
North Sails Apparel, which was acquired by Oakley Capital in October 2014 and currently led by the former CEO of Scotch & Soda, Eric Bijlsma, is set to unveil its three debut menswear line at the upcoming Pitti Uomo in Florence, which runs from January 13 to 16 with Polet present.
"Robert will be the perfect coach to navigate me through the Italian culture. North Sails Apparel has a strong presence in Italy, as part of the market but also in the development of its products and in production," commented Bijlsma on the appointment to Fashionmag.
"Robert is a veritable brand builder who represents an enormous asset for us at this stage. He is a great enthusiast of the sailing world and has a genuine interest in innovation and performance. But above, all we are great friends."