Woolrich, the Original Outdoor Clothing Company, named two descendants of John Rich, who founded the company in 1830, to lead the company as it moves toward completion of its second century in business.
Nicholas Brayton will take the helm of President, and Joshua W. Rich will serve as Vice President, International.
As the company transitions to family leadership, Woolrich’s Chairman John Ranelli will serve as Chief Executive Officer.
“At Woolrich, everything we do and everything we make reflects a deep commitment to core family values of tradition, integrity and quality. It’s in every stitch, every seam, and every wool thread,” said Ranelli. “With that spirit in mind, it’s clear that an opportunity to restore family leadership is both great for the business, and great for the brand.”
Brayton is a seventh generation descendant of the Woolrich founder, and is the first family member since his father Roswell Brayton Jr. led the company. Previously, Brayton served as director for the company’s domestic licensing business, a thriving business unit that cultivates and maintains brand partnerships. As president, Brayton will oversee the day-to-day operation of the company.
“Globally, the Woolrich brand is thriving. People are seeking out American heritage, quality and integrity – attributes that have historically been at the very core of Woolrich, as well as other successful family-owned businesses,” said Brayton. “It’s an exciting time to be here, as the opportunities are significant.”
Rich is an eighth generation descendant of the founder. Previously, Rich was Business Development Analyst for Woolrich, reporting directly to the president of the company. His experience includes work with the brand’s European partner, W.P. Lavori, in which he supported the marketing and creative departments for Woolrich John Rich and Bros. and Woolrich Woolen Mills apparel collections. As international vice-president, Rich will be chief liaison with W.P. Lavori, and will be responsible for identification and development of global business initiatives.
“It’s the personal, family spirit of shared enterprise that has fueled the Woolrich brand for the last two centuries, and it’s what’s going to propel it to future success as well,” said Rich. “Those core values come through in every product we put our name on, and in every relationship we have.”
Ranelli joined the company’s Board of Directors last year. His experience in top positions includes President and Chief Executive Officer of Mikasa, Inc.; Chairman, CEO, and President of FGX International; and earlier executive positions at Decker’s Outdoor Corporation and the Timberland Company.
This video looks at the Woolrich company history.