Alexandra Ford English, great-grandson of the founder of Ford Motor Co., has been appointed to lead efforts to expand the family brand that Versace once leveraged to sell hoodies for $1,135, the automaker announced Monday.
The new role of global brand merchandising director puts English, 33, in a position to use the business skills developed prior to his arrival at Ford in 2017. He manages profit and loss operations in the merchandising divisions at Tory Burch in New York and Gap Inc. .in San Francisco.
“He will drive a growth strategy that leverages Ford’s storied brand, iconic vehicles and motorsports success to create an expanded collection of lifestyle merchandise,” Ford said in a news release. “Demand for Ford merchandise has only increased in recent years with the introduction of popular new vehicles such as the Bronco, Mustang Mach-E and F-150 Lightning.”
In 2019, Ford made headlines when the Ford Blue Oval graced the Versace men’s line.
English said he wanted to create a new way for consumers to connect with brands.
“Wherever you go around the world, you will find passionate Ford fans and we want to offer them an inspiring collection of merchandise and accessories, and even digital products,” English said in a statement.
Suzy Deering, head of global marketing, said Ford is a brand built on consumer passion. “We extend that pride to all aspects of our customers’ lives; we became a lifestyle brand.”
The luxurious Versace Fashion House reached out to Ford three years ago for a one-year licensing deal and introduced a menswear line with the classic Ford logo during its Fall-Winter 2019 collection at Milan Fashion Week in Italy.
The Versace Man collection “reflects the modern concept of men, the idea of masculinity pushing boundaries and breaking the rules of menswear by challenging ideas and stereotypes,” the clothing company said in a news release at the time.
“Only a confident man is able to see beyond the status quo and challenge it. This newfound attitude gives her the freedom and security to ignore conventional norms around beauty, and moreover, around masculinity.”
People loved the blue collar which was chic at the time.
While the official Ford merchandise store online offers Ford hoodies for $40, Versace hoodies at Neiman Marcus range from $332 to $1,135.
For the new collection, Versace designs include the famous Ford logo on T-shirts, shirts, sneakers and pants.
Now English has the opportunity to put those dollars to work for the company.
English was elected to Ford’s board of directors in May, becoming the first female member of the family to serve on the board. Within the company, he has been director of corporate strategy for Ford since March 2020, responsible for corporate strategy, digital connectivity and networking, the automaker said in a release.
She is the daughter of Bill Ford, the company’s executive chairman.
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English began at Ford as director of markets and operations for Ford’s Autonomous Vehicle LLC, where he oversaw the deployment and operation of Ford’s autonomous vehicle business in Miami; Austin, Texas and Washington, DC
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English earned a bachelor’s degree in human biology with a concentration in neurobiology and the physiology of human behavior from Stanford University. He also has a master’s degree in business administration from Harvard Business School.
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