Rodney Hutton has joined True Religion Apparel in the new post of senior vice president of merchandising, a new post at the Los Angeles, California-based denim-based lifestyle brand.

He reports to Jeffrey Lubell, founder and chief executive officer of the firm.

Hutton was most recently senior VP and general merchandise manager for Karl Lagerfeld, now a unit of Tommy Hilfiger.

Prior to that, he spent nearly ten years with Giorgio Armani Corp and advanced to vice president of merchandising with responsibility for the men's divisions of Giorgio Armani and Emporio Armani. He's also held merchandising and sales posts with Barneys and Polo Ralph Lauren.

"Rodney's initial charter will be to oversee and manage our continued product evolution from a premium denim company to a target 50/50 sportswear and denim product mix over the next few years," said Michael Buckley, president of True Religion, in a statement. 

"Rodney has managed every facet of the merchandising and product development process with teams in place on multiple continents, and his know-how will be invaluable to True Religion as we refine our merchandising plan across all markets."

Lubell noted that Hutton "also will work directly with our existing licensees to ensure that the True Religion look is properly reflected in all our licensed categories and that a unified brand message resonates. He will also help select other premier licensees on new product categories we will be launching."

By Arnold J Karr.