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Fashion industry vet to lead design for West Elm


Home furnishings retailer West Elm has named a new senior vice president of design for its retail, catalog and online channels.

The company says Johanna Uurasjarviwill lead the product design team and report to West Elm President Jim Brett.

Bringing more than 20 years of fashion design experience and a lifetime of passion for design and global craft, Uurasjarvi joins West Elm from the lifestyle brand, Anthropologie, where she was the executive creative director of product design.

While at Anthropologie, Uurasjarvi consistently delivered innovative collections and was an instrumental part of a team that helped the brand expand to more than 200 stores with over $1 billion in revenue.

“It was a great privilege to be able to work with Johanna during my career at Anthropologie,” said Brett. “We had a powerful partnership and to have a chance to work with her again is an incredible opportunity for me, for West Elm, and for our customers. She inspires like no one else.”

During her time at Anthropologie, Uurasjarvi also conceptualized and launched the wholesale fashion brand Leifsdottir. With a nod to her Scandinavian roots, featuring clean lines, unique prints and high-level craftsmanship, the label was carried by 200 additional doors, including Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdale’s and Nordstrom stores.

“I am thrilled to join the incredibly talented West Elm team and build on the solid foundation they have created, taking impact sourcing, artist collaborations and accessible style to the next level,” said Uurasjarvi. “After 15 years of designing apparel, accessories and home collections, I am looking forward to narrowing my focus solely to home. With a family of my own, it is an area that I am inspired by every day, as I constantly seek to create a comfortable home that both functions with our lifestyle and reflects our personal style.”

Born and raised in Finland, Uurasjarvi graduated from Helsinki’s Aalto University in the field of Art and Design and worked internationally before settling in at Anthropologie, headquartered in Philadelphia.

West Elm brand operates 72 retail stores in the U.S., Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom.

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