River Island has poached Adrian Arbuthnot back from Indian fashion etailer Koovs to fill the newly created head of menswear role, as part of plans to expand the category and grow market share.
Arbuthnot was previously River Island’s senior menswear designer from 2001 to 2006.
He has held positions as design director of high street clothing supplier ADA, which works with Next, Debenhams and House of Fraser, between 2010 and 2013, and as senior menswear designer at Burton between 2006 and 2010.
Arbuthnot joined Koovs as menswear design manager in October 2013.
At River Island, he has also assumed the responsibilities of former menswear design controller Sarah Turton, who is understood to have left last year.
Arbuthnot will continue the retailer’s menswear push, which kicked off for autumn 15. His first full collection will be for autumn 16.
He also plans to continue the retailer’s longrunning menswear collaboration series, whereby it has in the past produced collections with Lou Dalton, James Long and Christopher Shannon.
Menswear currently makes up 30% of River Island’s product and is expected to grow further, although the retailer would not say by how much.
Arbuthnot told Drapers: ”Menswear is a huge focus area for River Island across the board, from communications through to the retail and buying process and of course - the design of the product itself.
“We’ve already had a very positive customer response to our new, more refined approach to design and I’m here to help take that to the next level, driving our market share and awareness.
”We’ll be considering both core product and exploring new creative territory to get the best possible balance of trend-led and staple menswear.
“We already have a wide product offering for menswear, ranging from ready-to-wear through to accessories and footwear. Throughout February, March and April our denim, tailoring and occasionwear business will be a big focus.”