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02/25/2021

Outdoor Voices taps Urban Outfitters exec as CEO

Marianne Wilson
Editor-in-Chief
Marianne Wilson profile picture

Outdoor Voices has a new leader.

The outdoor and activewear brand announced that Gabrielle Conforti has joined the company as CEO. She spent the last six years at Urban Outfitters, most recently serving as chief merchandising officer and president (she was named to the latter one month ago). Conforti is credited with launching and revitalizing new category businesses at Urban Outfitters, including home, beauty, wellness and active.

Prior to Urban Outfitters, from 2006 to 2010, Conforti was with J. Crew where she oversaw the merchandising and buying across multiple categories. 

At Outdoor Voices, Conforti will be focused on making new products, doubling down on the brand's community focus and building its future vision.

Outdoor Voices was founded by Ty Haney in 2014. Initially, the brand was an industry and media darling, but its star dimmed amid mounting losses and too-rapid expansion, which led to the resignation of Haney in February 2020, although she remains on the board, reported Women’s Wear Daily. https://wwd.com/fashion-news/activewear/outdoor-voices-urban-outfitters-gabrielle-conforti-ceo-1234749680/ Cliff Moskowitz was appointed interim CEO in the wake of Haney's ouster from the role.

In June 2020, Merrill, founder and CEO of luxury sleepwear brand Lunya, joined Outdoor Voices as chairwoman, and her investment fund, NaHCO3, provided a round of funding. The company also announced that a formal search for a permanent CEO had begun.

In January, Merrill said Outdoor Voices had returned to profitability as consumers continue to focus on comfortable, casual apparel, and it was close to naming a new CEO. The brand currently operates 10 stores, with an upcoming location San Francisco.

"This is an exciting new chapter for Outdoor Voices and we are confident that Gabrielle is the right leader to accelerate the company's growth and continue the positive trajectory," said Merrill. “She is a passionate, innovative and experienced executive and the perfect person to take Outdoor Voices to the next level.”