What a New CEO and Acquisition Means for True Religion Brand Jeans

Posted by Ryan Robinson on Jul 31, 2013


Today, True Religion Apparel, Inc. announced a new CEO & Leadership team now that their $824 million acquisition by TowerBrook Capital Partners has officially been completed.

Big changes at True Religion. TowerBrook, the New York and London-based investment management firm announced plans to purchase the growing fashion retailer back in May and now that the deal has been finalized, they've made some significant strategic changes within the company.

Now that the True Religion acquisition has been completed, new owners TowerBrook Capital Partners are not wasting any time shaking things up a bit for the growing Los Angeles-based fashion retailer.

True Religion has long been known for it's premium, handmade in the USA denim that fetches around $200-400 per pair. Recognized as one of just a handful of American made denim companies that have stayed true to producing only the highest quality jeans the original way, their high price tag has been readily accepted by consumers. 

David Conn has been named the new CEO at True Religion to guide the brand into its new phase of growth & expansion. Conn was previously the President of Retail Licensed Brands at VF Corp and has demonstrated a strong leadership ability & expertise for growing apparel brands. Before joining VF Corp, Conn was the Executive Vice President at Iconix Brand Group where he played a major role in that company's successful growth during his tenure.

Lynne Koplin, who served as the interim CEO at True Religion has been transitioned into the role of Chief Merchandising Officer. Koplin has been with True Religion since 2010, where she has had experience with product & store design, as well as retail merchandising. She has also served as both Chief Operating Officer and Brand President in her time with the company.

Eric Bauer is now the company's Chief Financial Officer, and has had extensive management experience at The Children's Place, and The Gap of North America.

Andrew Rolfe, Chairman of the Board at True Religion and Managing Director at TowerBrook Capital Partners, said, “I am pleased to welcome David as the new Chief Executive Officer of True Religion. I am excited by the expertise that he, together with Lynne and Eric, bring to the company. The team we’ve brought together, led by David’s strong leadership and vision, will enable True Religion to accelerate its growth and realize its potential, both in the U.S. and internationally.”

What a New CEO and Acquisition Means for True Religion

As of now, no growth plans have been announced by the company, but industry veterans expect to see True Religion further expanding their own company store offerings and increasing international exposure through retail partners. True Religion was founded in 2002, and in their short time, they've grown to operating over 130 company-owned stores in the United States and more than 33 international locations.

Here's what you can expect from the new True Religion:

1. Investment in Supply Chain Efficiency

TowerBrook has shown a strong track record of investing significantly into driving higher profits through supply chain innovations. Since TowerBrook's 2007 acquisition of BevMo, they have been actively involved in building out a more extensive & efficient distribution network. We can expect to see a similar supply chain focus come from the new management team with TowerBrook's influence.

2. Company-owned Store Expansion

True Religion has quickly grown from starting out in 2002 selling denim to department stores & boutiques to now owning over 163 locations worldwide. The company had 2012 sales of over $467 million, of which their consumer-direct business claimed nearly 60% of sales. With higher margins and a better long-term growth prospect, we can expect to see true Religion increasing it's portfolio of company-owned stores.

3. International Growth

Thus far, the company's international exposure has largely been through their third party retail partners, but we can expect to see significant growth in company-owned stores in international locations such as the United Kingdom, Germany, Japan, and Canada. As American made denim continues to become more popular around the world, expect True Religion to further develop their presence within high end retailers.

What else do you expect to see from the new True Religion?