PEI names Jeff Block VP of sales, emerging brands

by Harry Sheff

Jeff BlockNEW YORK—Jeff Block has rejoined Perry Ellis International (PEI) as vice president of sales for emerging brands. Those brands are Original Khaki Company, Fresh Paint, Tahoe River Outfitters and Anchor Blue. He will be based in New York, in PEI’s new 90,000 sq. ft. headquarters in the Hippodrome Building at Sixth Avenue and 43rd Street.

Block was VP of sales at PEI’s Original Penguin division from 2004 to 2008. Since then, he’s been a VP at Cockpit and ran his own showroom.

“My main focus will be creating lifestyle product that’s concentrated on bottoms, mostly non-denim with engineered fits and creative wash and dye processes,” Block told MR. “The core idea is to create a relevant sensibility for today’s fast-paced up-to-date consumer. We’re launching at all major trade shows including regionals. We look forward to invigorating this category across all levels.”

Original Khaki Company, a brand that PEI has owned for about ten years, will retail for $128 to $188. Focus will be on non-denim constructions like cotton twills and herringbones, all aimed at the 25- to 45-year-old man. Original Khaki Company will be the biggest of the four brands.

“Fresh Paint will be a bottoms division with tons of pattern and color at price points from $69 to $98 retail,” explained Block.

“Tahoe River Outfitters is based around functional outdoor tops and bottoms with an emphasis on technical properties like water-resistance or moisture-wicking,” he added.

Anchor Blue, the only denim-based brand, was acquired by PEI in March, 2011. Anchor Blue was a 113-store retail chain that filed for bankruptcy protection in January 2011 and closed its doors.

When PEI acquired its intellectual property at auction a few months later, Oscar Feldenkreis said, “[Anchor Blue] will allow us to further develop our current denim business across all brands. […] As it continues to be very well known along the West Coast and among the younger Hispanic community, we feel it will allow us to continue developing our connection to a younger demographic.”

Block says the relaunch of Anchor Blue as a denim brand will be a tight, capsule collection.