Robert Comstock Designs has tapped menswear industry veteran Tom Nevell as COO and president of business. Nevell is based in Brooklyn and reports directly to CEO Robert Comstock. He is responsible for expanding the brand through a multi-channel strategic plan with specialty and department store partners.
Nevell has more than 26 years of experience in the retail industry, including vice president of sales for Hugo Boss, executive vice president of business development at Differential Brands (Hudson, Robert Graham, and Swims), and various roles at Nordstrom for 20 years, including director of men’s, DMM of men’s designer, and store manager at Mall of America.
“Tom is a talented merchant who brings a wealth of knowledge to our company, particularly in merchandising, buying, and strategic business development,” says Comstock. “He has a long track record of multi-channel success and we believe he’ll provide sound guidance for us as we leverage his strong relationships in order to expand our Robert Comstock and Comstock & Co. businesses. I look forward to working closely with him as we further our online and wholesale businesses with strategic partners.”
“I’m excited to be joining the Robert Comstock team,” Nevell tells MR. “As a salesperson at Nordstrom in 1996, I sold Robert Comstock to my best customers so this is like going back to my roots. I’ve always loved the design and quality of each item Rob has created over the years and I now get to share it with the world. I believe there’s an opportunity to achieve meaningful growth by expanding our presence across a multichannel landscape in the U.S. and abroad.”
As all who know Rob Comstock can testify, his passion for conservation, for saving endangered species, and improving the lives of indigenous peoples around the globe, is at least equal to his passion for design. “Most of my career has involved creating and selling my one-of-a-kind luxury collection to high-end brick & mortar specialty stores, supporting their purchases via in-season personal appearances,” he explains. “These presentations were always rewarding because I could share the rich history of my expeditions, conservation projects, and unique design directions with consumers. But with only so many weekends per season, this became a difficult business model to scale. So a year ago, I launched my first e-commerce site, allowing me to provide a virtual personal visit each time an individual lands on our home page.”
Comstock affirms that his rugged and sophisticated collections are inspired by, and in turn support, his multiple areas of exploration as an adventurer, conservationist, and designer. “On expeditions since we launched a website, I now bring our SEO specialist who posts daily happenings, and our photographer/videographer who captures the entire experience with video and still photos. Images of indigenous art forms, Fauna, and Wildlife are then woven by Italy’s top mills into jacquard patterns of cashmere, baby alpaca, linen, etc. My limitless inspiration comes from The Peregrine Fund biologists who’ve worked in over 87 different countries, any of which I’m able to go directly into the field with my scientist colleagues.”
Comstock goes on to explain the important role of predators and scavengers in preserving the disappearing buffer that protects humans from increasing pathogens and diseases. “The practice of farmers and herders poisoning carcasses of livestock killed by lions and other predators is escalating because of easy access to agricultural chemicals. A single carcass laced with readily available pesticides can take down a range of animals with particularly damaging effects on critically endangered vultures. This has created a tremendous threat to entire ecosystems, especially in Africa and India.”
Recently returned from an expedition to Kenya with The Peregrine Fund, Comstock worked alongside the Masai responders to support their efforts teaching farmers and herders alternatives to chemical poisoning (lion lights, thorn corrals) and replacing the sheep, goats, etc. that are being poisoned.