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True Religion Names a New Interim CEO

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Farla Efros

A little more than seven months after naming an interim chief executive officer, Los Angeles denim brand True Religion has chosen a new interim CEO to take over as the search for a permanent CEO continues.

Replacing Chelsea Grayson, who was named True Religion’s interim CEO on Nov. 1, 2018, is Farla Efros, a consultant to the company who is also president of HRC Retail Advisory. She will continue in her capacity as president of HRC while she takes on the duties of interim CEO. “I am honored to assume this new role,” Efros said in a statement.

The announcement was made June 5 by True Religion Chairman Eugene Davis. “On behalf of True Religion, I thank Chelsea Grayson for her vision and significant contributions and wish her the very best as she moves on to new endeavors,” Davis said. “At the same time, we are pleased to have Farla stepping in as interim CEO to enhance our strong team.”

Grayson, who at one time was the CEO and a board member at American Apparel, is resigning to pursue other opportunities, the company said.

True Religion was co-founded in 2002 by Jeff Lubell, who aggressively grew the company. In 2013, he sold True Religion to TowerBrook Capital Partners for $835 million, but soon denim sales started to hit a downcycle.

For its fiscal year ending Jan. 28, 2017, the company’s direct-to-consumer sales netted $273 million, or nearly 74 percent of revenues. Its wholesale business in the Americas brought in $54 million, or nearly 15 percent of revenues. For that year, the company lost $78.5 million on $369.5 million in revenues.

In 2017, True Religion filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy but exited a few months later.

The company said it has experienced positive comps and trends this year in direct-to-consumer and e-commerce sales and sees continued growth in international markets, including Great Britain, the Middle East, Eastern Europe and Asia.

Before Grayson came on board, John Ermatinger had been the chief executive since 2015. He retired from the company last year.