MONTREAL, Québec (BRAIN)—Dorel Industries has launched a number of initiatives to further grow its Performance Apparel Division within the company’s Recreational/Leisure segment.
The newly named Apparel Footwear Group (AFG) will incorporate Sugoi Performance Apparel as well as the apparel lines of Cannondale, GT, Schwinn, Iron Horse and Mongoose—in both custom and its regular offerings. Plans include an investment in new equipment, facilities and additional employees.
A key component will be the expansion of one of Dorel’s recently created centres of excellence. As of January 2010, Sugoi’s operations will relocate to a 70,000-square-foot facility in Metro-Vancouver.
“An important focus of AFG will be to build the custom apparel business—developing specific riding and running uniforms for teams and clubs. The new Vancouver facility
will allow Sugoi to increase custom apparel capacity and offer lead times well above industry standards. We’ve barely scratched the surface in this expanding market and
expect Sugoi to triple its custom apparel business within five years,” said Robert P. Baird, president of Dorel’s Recreational/Leisure segment.
Apparel industry veteran tapped to head up AFG Chris Fuentes, who has almost 30 years in sales and marketing—many in the apparel sector—will be AFG’s president. He began his career on the professional tennis circuit where he spent five years with sports celebrities, sponsors, media and brands, all of which helped shape his marketing expertise. Subsequently he was based in Dusseldorf, London and New York working in sales and marketing with Time International, gaining further insight into building global brands. He then held senior positions with a global leader in branded lifestyle apparel. In his most recent position with this organization Chris led all brand marketing, communication and promotion of retail, wholesale and licensing worldwide for the $1 billion Nautica lifestyle brand with 40 product categories in 70 countries.
Fuentes is a passionate cyclist, tennis player, sometimes golfer and an active supporter of A Better Chance, a charity that enables underprivileged, gifted minorities a chance to succeed via superior education.
“This is another example of Dorel’s strong commitment to this business. We are confident that this latest investment and new direction will allow AFG to grow exponentially by providing quality performance apparel with a variety of silhouettes, textiles, features and designs to match each brand’s market position,” Baird said.