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Under Armour taps fashion-industry veteran John Varvatos as chief design officer

Under Armour continues to shake up its C-suite.
John Varvatos has been named chief design officer of Under Armour. (Photo courtesy of Under Armour)
John Varvatos has been named chief design officer of Under Armour. (Photo courtesy of Under Armour)

Under Armour continues to shake up its C-suite. 

The sports and activewear giant has appointed John Varvatos as chief design officer, effective September 11.  Varvatos, who started consulting for the brand  earlier this year, will oversee the design studios in New York, Baltimore and Portland, Oregon.  He will lead the creative design and direction of the company’s full portfolio across apparel, footwear and accessories.

Varvatos joins Under Armour following decades of experience with brands that include Polo Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein and Converse. He is credited with creating the boxer brief at Calvin Klein and the laceless sneaker for Converse during the fifteen year collaboration with the John Varvatos brand.  He is perhaps best known for his rock ‘n’ roll-influenced namesake menswear brand, John Varvatos, with which he is no longer involved.

Varvatos’ appointment comes after series of leadership changes, announced in June, that included the departure of the chief operating officer and chief product officer.  The changes came several months after longtime Marriott executive Stephanie Linnartz took the reins as CEO of Under Armour.

“We are thrilled to welcome John into the Under Armour family,” said  Linnartz. “His track record and thirty year career speaks for itself. John will work in partnership with our product team to bring apparel, footwear and accessories from concept to commercialization, blending performance and style.”

Under  Linnartz’s leadership, Under Armour is pursuing a strategy (“Protect This House 3”) that is intended to “drive more consistent profitable growth and returns for shareholders over the long term.” It is focused on driving greater global brand awareness and delivering elevated design and products to reaccelerate growth in the United States while maintaining momentum in global markets.

“I am so excited to join Under Armour, an iconic American brand,”  Varvatos commented. “The innovation, design and mission of the brand has never been more relevant as consumers demand clothes that function for both sport and everyday activities.  I cannot wait to unveil that next chapter in Under Armour’s incredible story.”


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