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Ex-Paul Smith sales boss to lead Maharishi revival

Eliot Young, the former divisional sales director of Paul Smith, has joined cult brand Maharishi to spearhead its revival after it filed for bankruptcy last year.

Young left Paul Smith in September after nine years at the designer brand, and following a brief hiatus as chief executive of interior design firm Tom Dixon, joined Maharishi earlier this month.

Maharishi filed for bankruptcy in February 2009 after sales were hit during the recession, according to Young. An offer from JD Sports Fashion to rescue the brand followed, but was rejected and Maharishi founder Hardy Blechman bought the premium streetwear business back himself.

Young has launched a strategic review of the brand ahead of plans to build it back up to the level of success it enjoyed in the early 2000s, driven largely by its much-copied iconic Sno-pant embroidered combat style - which still makes up 30% of sales.

Maharishi has 25 UK stockists but plans to grow that to 35. Smith also plans to reopen its store on Great Pulteney Street in Soho, London, which closed last year.

He said: “We will keep distribution tight - it always has been and always will be. There won’t be much change to distribution, but we want to recapture the imagination of the old clients.”

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