John Wilson Named Stance CEO

John Wilson, a co-founder of the prominent brand Stance, was recently named chief executive officer for the brand that made socks into a fashionable item at surf and skate shops. Wilson replaced brand co-founder Jeff Kearl, who continues to serve Stance as its chairman.

The San Clemente, Calif.–based Stance started business in 2009 and raised $50 million in venture-capital funding in 2015. The company made a splash with athletic and fashion socks for men and women that featured unique designs. It also employed marketing campaigns used by action-sports brands and placed Stance socks in independent skate and surf shops.

It also made socks bearing images of National Basketball Association stars such as Dwayne Wade, who was an early investor in the brand. Stance later became the official on-court sock for the NBA in the 2015–2016 and 2016–2017 seasons.

Stance remains popular for licenses with pop-culture properties such as Star Wars. The company also put the once-ignored sock into a new fashion realm, said John Anderson, president of the Tank Farm brand, whose store in Seal Beach, Calif., has sold Stance.

“You don’t have to go to Walmart to get socks,” he said. “[Stance] has great quality. Their colors are always on trend. Back in the day, people wore ties to express themselves. Now they’re wearing socks.”

Stance currently runs a handful of shops in retail centers such as Irvine Spectrum in Irvine, Calif., and in New York City.