MRO Magazine

Cole Haan Appoints James (Jim) Brett, President of West Elm, to Board of Directors

By PRN NewsWire   

NEW YORK, Jan. 21, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Cole Haan, the iconic American lifestyle accessories brand and retailer, today announced the immediate appointment of James “Jim” Brett, to its board of directors. Mr. Brett is the president of Brooklyn, New York based West Elm, a member of the Williams-Sonoma, Inc. portfolio of brands. He brings to his role as a director on the Cole Haan board a wealth of experience as well as a respected vision for design-driven merchandising, impact sourcing and innovative, cross-channel, relationship-driven brand building.

“Jim’s broad experience in retail lifestyle brands makes him an ideal addition to the Cole Haan board and he will provide valuable perspective to the management team as we continue to expand our category breadth beyond footwear and accessories,” said John Megrue, Chairman of Apax Partners U.S. and board Chairman of Cole Haan.

Brett joined West Elm in 2010 and has led the brand to 23 consecutive quarters of double-digit comparable brand revenue growth. He joined West Elm from Urban Outfitters where he most recently served as the Chief Merchandising Officer. Prior to that, he was Merchandise Manager for Anthropologie, the multi-channel subsidiary of Urban Outfitters, where he developed his passion for global craft, travel and sophisticated brand identity. He created the merchandise mix that is Anthropologie Home today.

“Cole Haan is an iconic American brand with a rich heritage in the United States and significant opportunity for growth globally,” said Brett. “I’m thrilled to join the board and confident I can both learn from this experience and contribute to the continued growth of the brand.”

Since 1928, the Cole Haan brand name has been synonymous with quality, craftsmanship and innovation. In February of 2013, Apax Partners acquired Cole Haan, making it privately owned for the first time in 25 years. Cole Haan believes in the importance of substance and style, tradition and innovation. The brand has continued to expand domestically and internationally through best in class partners.

“We are delighted to have Jim join Cole Haan. His experience in driving global vertical retail brands will be invaluable for the Cole Haan team as we continue to open new markets and build stores overseas and domestically. I look forward to working and partnering with Jim,” said Jack Boys, CEO of Cole Haan.

ABOUT COLE HAANCole Haan LLC, with its Global Headquarters and Innovation Center in Greenland, New Hampshire USA, and its creative studio in New York City, USA, is an iconic American lifestyle accessories brand and retailer of premium men’s, women’s and children’s footwear and handbags, leather accessories, outerwear, eyewear. Cole Haan stands for its commitment to craftsmanship, timeless style and design innovation. For more information, visit and follow @colehaan.

ABOUT APAX PARTNERS LLPApax Partners LLP is a leading global private equity advisory firm. Over its more than 30 year history, Apax Partnes has raised and advised 32 funds with aggregate commitments of $38 billion*. Funds advised by Apax Partners LLP invest in companies across four global sectors of Tech and Telco, Services, Healthcare and Consumer. These funds provide long-term equity financing to build and strengthen world-class companies. For further information about Apax Partners LLP, please visit Apax Partners LLP is authorised and regulated by the FCA in the UK and is subject to the FCA’s rules and guidance. Apax Partners’ registered office is 33 Jermyn Street, London, SW1Y 6DN, UK.*Funds raised since 1981, commitments converted from fund currency to USD at FX rates as at September 2015.

For more information contact:Kimry Blackwelder, Cole HaanPhone: +1 (212) 763-3060 E-mail:

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