ELLINGTON LEATHER Appoints Specialty Retail and
Brand Innovator MICHAEL J. EDWARDS to CEO Position
Fashion Article Posted January 17, 2009
Ellington Leather, an innovator in leather handbags and accessories since 1986, has appointed Michael J. Edwards as its new President and Chief Executive Officer. Edwards will lead all efforts for Ellington Leather and sister-label elsapel.
A skilled leader in both hard goods and soft goods, Edwards brings more than 25 years of experience in retail merchandising, operations and brand development. Edwards serves as the Chairman of the Board of California-based pet product retailer Muttropolis and was most recently President and CEO of Portland-based lucy activewear, which he grew from ten to sixty-plus stores. lucy was sold to VF Corporation in August 2007.
Edwards commented, "I have been extremely impressed with the legacy of the Ellington brand. We will, through a very strategic approach, establish Ellington as the leading innovator in accessories development by blending the right mix of quality, style and personality in every product we develop. I am excited to bring my experience to our retail, online and private label accounts as we position the company for long-term global success."
"Mike is exactly the inventive leader we had hoped to attract to Ellington Leather and elsapel," said Toni Pelaez, who is stepping aside to resume her role on the Ellington board and as Vice President of private equity firm UIB, which owns Ellington Leather. "He shares our vision for growth, and we feel confident putting our financial resources behind such an accomplished professional."
Prior to joining lucy, Mike held senior-level merchandising and operating roles for JoAnn Stores, West Marine, Golfsmith, CompUSA, Target, and May Department stores. Mike is also on the board of Trustees for the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) organization and Portland State University.
About Ellington Leather
Ellington is a lifestyle accessories company providing practical yet fashionable accessories for both women and men. The company's products are sold under the Ellington and elsapel brands as well as to an extensive list of private label clients, including Sundance Catalog, Smith & Hawken and Pendleton Woolen Mills. Ellington was founded over twenty years ago with a single product, the Original Ellington Rucksack. The company has since grown into an extensive line of accessories providing handbags, briefcases, totes, travel bags and wallets in fine leathers and fabrics under the Ellington brand, and fabric totes and travel bags in colorful prints under the new elsapel label. Known for its focus on distinctive materials and classic designs, Ellington's products communicate quality and character without large logos or trendy gimmicks. Ellington Leather products are available through specialty stores, national catalogs and online retailers including ellingtonleather.com. Ellington operates a company store in Portland, Oregon.
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