The Los Angeles-based firm, which owns the People's Liberation and William Rast labels, has named Andrea Sobel to the new position of executive vice president of branding and licensing. Sobel will oversee market positioning for both brands, and introduce them to licensing.
"The first order of business is licensing, which is something new for both brands," Sobel said. "Our focus right now is on fragrance, footwear and eyewear, but we are also open to other categories."
Sobel has more than 15 years experience in licensing, marketing and brand development. She was most recently vice president of marketing with Sanrio, where she was responsible for market development and brand positioning of the company's Hello Kitty and other character brands. At Sanrio, she created a co-branded cosmetics collaboration, developed content and a launch strategy for a Hello Kitty music album, and established participation in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade as well as the introduction of two character properties into the specialty and mass channels.
Before working at Sanrio, Sobel held licensing positions with ALS Consulting, a Los Angeles firm specializing in marketing and brand development. In addition, she was director of licensing and business development at Murad Inc. from 2002 to 2004, and vice president of licensing and product development at Guess Inc. from 1995 to 1999. She has also taught marketing and branding at the Fashion Institute of Design and Marketing in Los Angeles.
Sobel reports to Colin Dyne, chief executive officer at People's Liberation Inc.
William Rast, a premium denim and sportswear line founded in 2005 by Justin Timberlake and his childhood friend Trace Ayala, and People's Liberation, a four-year-old premium denim collection, are sold worldwide at department and specialty retailers such as Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdale's and Fred Segal. The brands are sold directly through distributors in Canada, Italy, Switzerland, Austria, Germany, the U.K., Ireland, Greece, Cyprus, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and in Scandinavia. Merchandise is also available at peoplesliberation.com and williamrast.com.