by Stephen Garner
J Hilburn CCO Simon Kneen
Simon Kneen

Custom-made menswear brand J.Hilburn has announced that design leader Simon Kneen has joined the company as chief creative officer. This newly created role will ensure creative vision across all customer touch-points from collection design, styling, and showroom presentations to retail stores.

Kneen will also continue in his role as creative director of his own brand Grey New York Grey New England, a luxury accessories collection exclusively made in Italy.

Kneen previously lent his design vision to two leading iconic brands in the United States. First, he served as creative design director for the Retail Brand Alliance setting the direction for Brooks Brothers and Adrienne Vittadini. Then he was recruited as executive vice president of design and creative director for Banana Republic, the Gap-owned brand where he remained for six years leaving in 2013 marking an era of successful designer collaborations with brands such as MadMen, L’Wren Scott and Narciso Rodriguez, to name a few. Kneen’s early work in Europe included luxury designer brands, and he was head designer for the French pret-a-porter house Balmain in the late 1990s.

Kneen joins the already heavy-hitting leadership team consisting of chief executive officer Andy Janowski (former COO of Burberry and CEO of Smythson), chief operating officer Joe Dixon (former CEO of Size Stream and SVP of Brooks Brothers), and newly promoted James Burgess as vice president of stylist development.

“Simon is an innovative and experienced leader of men’s design and is a perfect fit for our disruptive brand,” said Janowski. “I am excited to have his creative vision and leadership as we build the future of custom-made total lifestyle fashion.”

“I’m thrilled to be joining the leadership at J.Hilburn with their modern approach to servicing the customer through one-on-one tailoring experts,” added Kneen. “I look forward to building a strong collection point-of-view across the various price points, using my extensive knowledge of Italian fabrics and tailoring.”