Under Armour Taps Leanne Fremar

WWD.com October 1, 2012

By Rosemary Feitelberg

As part of its plan to build its women’s apparel business, Under Armour has named Leanne Fremar senior vice president and executive creative director for women’s.

Fremar, who joins the company Nov. 11, is a 10-year veteran of Theory, where her most recent role was brand creative director.

Her arrival will mark the first time that Under Armour has had an executive in this role. She will be based in New York, but will spend a significant amount of time at the company’s Baltimore headquarters. Fremar will report to Henry Stafford, senior vice president of global apparel and accessories.

Women’s apparel accounts for 30 percent of the brand’s $1.4 billion in total apparel sales, compared with 20 percent five years ago, Stafford said. “All of our apparel — women’s, men’s and children’s — is seeing growth of more than 20 percent, but women’s is the fastest-growing division,” he said.

Five years ago, Under Armour was known by women as a sports brand, but the company has since broadened its reach to include apparel geared for yoga, barre classes and spinning. “We’re definitely going to continue to push more style and fashion and trends for women’s apparel,” Stafford said. Being more strategic about retail distribution in cities like New York and Los Angeles, where the brand sees opportunity, is one of the areas Fremar will zero in on, he said. The company will stay the course with current partners, but will also pursue department stores and specialty stores to try to increase the women’s business.

Under Armour also plans to build on the ethos of its “Sweat Every Day. I Will.” campaign, which made its debut earlier this month and was the company’s largest women’s initiative to date, according to Stafford.

“Leanne has an eye for talent, a great fashion sense and a passion for sports. That’s a unique combination,” Stafford said. “She will connect the dots for us with merchandising, design, marketing, advertising and product development for women’s to seal the DNA of the brand.”