True Religion appoints Allen Onyia as new artistic director
today May 1, 2019
LA-based streetwear and denim brand True Religion announced on Wednesday that it has named Allen Onyia, co-founder of high-end lifestyle e-magazine UpscaleHype, as its new artistic director.
Onyia, whose profile was named “Menswear’s Most Important Instagram Account” by GQ in 2018, will be tasked with implementing a new creative vision at the label. The brand promised that the new design approach will be both “modern” and “elevated”, but the hire seems principally to be an attempt to reposition True Religion as a more streetwear-focused label.
Indeed, the company, which emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy after four months in October 2017, cited the popularity of athleisure and streetwear as a major source of the difficulties being faced by its historic denim business at the time.
Bringing Onyia on board therefore seems like a singularly savvy move, as, having launched UpscaleHype with younger brother Kyle in 2008, he is now considered to be an influential tastemaker in the streetwear industry.
He’s by no means a stranger to True Religion either, having previously teamed up with the brand as both an ambassador and a creative collaborator, a partnership which produced a limited-edition t-shirt.
“I have always admired True Religion as an iconic brand with deep roots in the streetwear category,” said Onyia in a release. “I am thrilled to join the team and bring my vision to reestablish a brand people can associate with, in this new age of streetwear.
“We have been driving towards this watershed moment since I joined the Company,” added True Religion CEO Chelsea Grayson. “I am excited to work with Allen to return True Religion to its rightful place among streetwear leaders.”
Grayson herself, a member of the company’s board since 2017, was only appointed as interim CEO in November of last year, following John Ermatinger’s retirement.
Founded in 2002, True Religion has been on something of a mission since last year, securing high-profile collaborations with the likes of Bella Hadid and Manchester United as it seeks to reassert itself in the wake of its financial difficulties.
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