Ketchum/Padua (January 15, 2015) – Safilo Group, the fully integrated Italian eyewear creator and worldwide distributor of quality and trust, announced this week that the recently renovated Salvation Army building in Southeast Portland will serve as its Pacific Coast Design Center, the inspirational base for the product leadership activities of the Global Sports & Outdoor Lifestyle division, creating and developing all Safilo current and potential future brands and products targeted at this consumer segment.
With plans to begin occupancy in April 2015, the historic location will be also the headquarters for SMITH’s product development, marketing, sales operations and e-commerce groups lead by a seasoned executive team of SMITH leaders.
With the new location established, Safilo is also pleased to announce the promotion of Chatham Baker to Creative Director and Drew Chilson as Head of Product Creation following their ten years of creative dedication to the brand. Both positions report directly to Eric Carlson, recently named Global Design and Marketing Director, who through his eighteen-year tenure with the company, will continue to drive the brand evolution of SMITH.
In addition, Ron Hayes will take on the interim responsibility of overseeing the North American sports sales channel as an expansion of his current role as Integration Leader. Under Hayes, regional sales territories/sales units will continue to be managed by Rob Retzlaff, Scott Oliver, Mark Phares, Brian Cotsonas, Peter Crow, Mike Torres, and Darrell Tullis.
“We have a very experienced team of leaders who will continue to run the day-to-day business successfully. Temporarily adding Ron’s 20 years of experience as the CFO of Smith on top gives us great confidence that we will come out of the gates stronger than ever, “ said Thorsten Brandt, Safilo CMO and SMITH Brand Leader.
Originating from Sun Valley, Idaho, SMITH was founded in 1965 with the invention of the first snow goggle featuring a sealed thermal lens and breathable vent foam. With 50 years of innovation and design experience, SMITH is widely known today as an industry leader that pioneers advanced eyewear and helmets that incorporate dynamic technologies, optimized performance and clean styling to fuel fun beyond walls. SMITH seeks to power thrilling experiences in snow, surf, bike, fish and peak performance outdoor adventures with a comprehensive collection that exudes modern style and vibrant personality. To SMITH, the experience is everything.
About Safilo Group
Safilo Group is the fully integrated Italian eyewear creator and worldwide distributor of quality and trust, leader in the premium sector for sunglasses, optical frames and sports eyewear. Design inspired and brand driven, Safilo translates extraordinary design into excellent products created thanks to a superior craftsmanship expertise dating back to 1878. Internationally present through 30 owned subsidiaries and exclusive distributors in key markets – in North and Latin America, Europe, Middle East and Africa, and Asia Pacific and China – Safilo is committed to quality distribution in over 130 countries around the world. Safilo’s portfolio encompasses proprietary brands – Carrera, Polaroid, Smith Optics, Safilo and Oxydo – and licensed br