Ford entrusts global merchandising management to Alexandra Ford English
Alexandra Ford English, the great-great-granddaughter of the founder of Ford Motor Co., was asked to lead an effort to expand the family brand formerly operated by Versace to sell hoodies for $ 1,135, a the automaker announced on Monday.
The newly created position of Global Brand Merchandising Director puts English, 33, in a position to use the business skills developed prior to joining Ford in 2017. She managed P&L operations in the merchandising divisions of Tory Burch in New York and Gap Inc. in San Francisco.
“She will drive a growth strategy that leverages Ford’s legendary brand, iconic vehicles and motorsport success to create an expanded collection of lifestyle products,” Ford said in a press release. “The demand for Ford merchandise has only increased in recent years with the introduction of popular new vehicles like the Bronco, Mustang Mach-E and F-150 Lightning.”
In 2019, Ford made headlines when the The Ford Blue Oval adorned a Versace men’s line.
English said she wanted to create new ways for consumers to connect with the brand.
“Wherever you go in the world you find passionate Ford fans and we want to bring them an inspiring collection of merchandise and accessories, and potentially even digital products,” English said in a statement.
Suzy Deering, Global Marketing Director, said Ford is a brand built on the passion of consumers. “We extend this pride to all aspects of a client’s life; we are becoming a lifestyle brand.
Luxurious fashion house Versace contacted Ford three years ago for a one-year licensing deal and showcased a line of men’s clothing splashed with classic Ford logos during the Fall / Winter 2019 collection at Fashion Week in Milan in Italy.
The Versace Man collection “reflects on the modern concept of man, an idea of masculinity that pushes boundaries and breaks the rules of men’s fashion by challenging notions and stereotypes,” the clothing company said in a press release at the time.
“Only a confident man is able to see beyond the status quo and question it. This new attitude gives her the freedom and security to ignore conventional norms around beauty, and even more, around masculinity.
People loved the chic of the blue collar back then.
While the official Ford merchandise store online offered a Ford hoodie for $ 40, prices for Versace hoodies at Neiman Marcus ranged from $ 332 to $ 1,135.
For the new collection, Versace designs include the famous Ford logo on sweatshirts, shirts, sneakers and pants.
English now has the ability to mine those dollars for business.
english was elected to Ford’s board of directors in May, becoming the first female member of the family to sit on the board of directors. Within the company, she has been director of corporate strategy for Ford since March 2020, responsible for corporate strategy, connectivity and digital network, the automaker said in its statement.
She is the daughter of Bill Ford, executive chairman of the company.
English started at Ford as Director of Markets and Operations for Ford’s Autonomous Vehicle LLC, where she oversaw the deployment and operation of Ford’s autonomous vehicle business in Miami; Austin, Texas and Washington, DC
English received a BA in Human Biology with a concentration in Neurobiology and Physiology of Human Behavior from Stanford University. She also holds an MBA from Harvard Business School.