The FINANCIAL -- Steve Birkhold, former CEO of several of the world’s most prominent apparel brands, has joined Cushman & Wakefield as an Executive Director in the firm’s office brokerage division. Mr. Birkhold joins a highly senior and successful team that specializes in the fashion and luxury goods segment, with an expertise in office, showroom and e-commerce.
Mr. Birkhold is a 30-year veteran of the fashion industry. He has an extensive record of effective and multifaceted experience leading globally recognized brands, having served as the CEO of Bebe Stores, Lacoste, Diesel and Earl Jeans, along with a 10-year tenure at VF Corporation working with Lee Jeans and Nautica Jeans, according to Cushman & Wakefield.
“Steve Birkhold is one of the most respected names in the world of fashion and his arrival strongly reinforces Cushman & Wakefield’s competitive advantage in this key market segment,” said John Santora, Cushman & Wakefield’s chief executive officer for North America.
“But moreover, with his deep experience working in the industry, he will bridge and apply his expertise to the full spectrum of real estate services,” Mr. Santora said. “Having served as CEO of some the world’s most dominant brands, few people are more qualified than Steve to help our fashion clients overcome the unique challenges facing this critical market sector.”
“By understanding a fashion brand’s business challenges, you will understand how to solve their real estate challenges,” said Mr. Birkhold. “At this stage in my career, I have come to realize the importance of developing and strengthening strategic partnerships. That is why I am delighted to join Cushman & Wakefield, a company that boasts unparalleled status as a brokerage firm nationally and worldwide.”
“I am proud to have developed a wide spectrum of skill sets over the past three decades,” he said. “I believe these skills can best be leveraged by joining an incredibly experienced brokerage team that brings so much insight and expertise to the table.”
Mr. Birkhold will be part of an office leasing team that includes Frank Coco, Don Preate and Owen Hane, who together have more than 80 years of expertise in working with such top brands as VF Corp, Tory Burch, Ermenegildo Zegna, Giorgio Armani, Timberland, Lacoste, Net-A-Porter, Moda Operandi and Diesel. The team closely collaborates with Cushman & Wakefield’s retail group and several other service lines, including industrial, to provide a full range of real estate solutions for its roster of high-profile fashion clients.
Based in Cushman & Wakefield’s world headquarters office in Midtown Manhattan, Mr. Birkhold will leverage his extensive executive experience in the apparel sector to provide strategic support and counsel to Cushman & Wakefield’s substantial portfolio of industry-leading fashion clients.
His expertise covers all aspects of the profit-and-loss spectrum, along with merchandising, marketing, retail, wholesale and e-commerce.
Mr. Birkhold’s operational experience, as well as his knowledge of the contemporary business environment within the fashion world, will boost Cushman & Wakefield’s ability to drive business development and to expand ongoing fashion company relationships.