Luxury fashion vet Dana Gers named CMO for Aritzia

The appointment comes as the retailer pushes further into the U.S. and seeks to capitalize on growth in ecommerce.

Dana Gers

Aritzia will finish off the year with new marketing leadership, having appointed Dana Gers as CMO as it pursues growth in the U.S. and globally.

Gers, who started earlier this month, will lead the company’s overarching marketing strategy, reporting directly to CEO Brian Hill. She has relocated from Park City, Utah to Los Angeles to serve in the role, according to comments made on her LinkedIn profile.

The Vancouver-based fashion retailer first announced the appointment on social media, describing Gers as a “tenured, digitally-native marketing executive” with vast experience in the global fashion industry.

Previously based in London, U.K., Gers was most recently CMO and director of global marketing communications for online fashion retailer Net-a-porter, and SVP of marketing for Jimmy Choo before that. She also has prior U.S.-based experience from Ferragamo and Guerlain. When the pandemic hit, Gers left her role in London and relocated to the U.S., according to lifestyle magazine Ageist.

Aritzia has been without a CMO since the pandemic began, with Hill serving in that capacity on an interim basis, a spokesperson previously told strategy. In March 2020, Sally Parrott, previously the company’s SVP of marketing, departed the company for Vancouver real estate firm Bosa Properties.

“Dana brings unique leadership attributes as we drive Aritzia’s growth in the U.S. and internationally,” said Hill in a release“She has a strong track record of success in direct-to-consumer digital as we continue to expand our brand recognition – especially in the U.S. – and enhance our ecommerce channel and digital marketing. With global industry experience, insight into the American customer and a passion for creativity, excellence and teamwork, Dana will further elevate the marketing of our Everyday Luxury experience.”

Gers’ appointment comes as Aritzia prioritizes four growth areas: ecommerce and “omni-innovation,” geographic expansion, product expansion, and brand awareness and customer expansion, according to the release. It is currently hiring for more than 200 roles – close to half of them in the U.S. – including many in marketing, ecommerce, data and analytics and technology.

Though the crisis ended 22 consecutive quarters of comparable sales growth for the company, growth in its ecommerce business helped offset pandemic losses. During Q1 2022, the three-month period ended May 30, it reported a net revenue jump of 122% to $247 million from Q1 2021 and 25% from Q1 2020, despite the closure of 34 of its 102 boutiques for roughly two-thirds of the quarter and some stores in Canada still under capacity restrictions. Ecommerce revenue grew 19% to $104 million from Q1 2021 and 167% from Q1 2020, comprising 42% of net revenues in Q1 2022.

It’s now looking to maintain that momentum while also further expanding in the U.S., where it currently has 37 stores and has identified up to 100 possible locations, according to Forbes. The retailer is also focused on expanding into new product categories. In June, it purchased a majority stake in premium activewear brand Reigning Champ, adding menswear to its portfolio after recently experimenting with men’s puffer jackets in its own retail stores.

“Aritzia has a unique market position and I look forward to increasing its brand recognition, enhancing its digital expansion efforts and continuing to grow the high-performance marketing team with even more world-class talent,” Gers said in a statement.