XSet Name Steve Birkhold Licensing and Sales Manager – WWD

XSet lifestyle game organization is going strong fashion assignment.

The Boston-based company has appointed Steve Birkhold as its new director of licensing and sales, where he will support XSet merchandise, fashion and design teams. In this role, he succeeds XSet co-founder Wil Eddins, who has been appointed creative director and will oversee the company’s creative strategy.

Birkhold has over 30 years of global fashion experience and has served at several brands such as Diesel, Lacoste and Bebe as well as at VF Corp., where he has been involved with Lee Jeans, Nautica Jeans and Earl Jeans. The CEO said he and XSet co-founder Greg Selkoe had known each other for a while and saw an opportunity in XSet. “I really quickly came to the conclusion that this company is going to be successful and that they are playing in a space that is so closely connected to their core,” he said.

Birkhold told WWD he’ll help establish an omnichannel strategy for XSet’s basics and seasonal productions. “The team has done an incredible job with the design and go to market,” he said. “We had to scale up and introduce the discipline of the apparel company [in place]. ”

He added about bringing his expertise to the company: “I know that from my historical background it is a new horizon. There are companies we want to work with and retailers. This will be a segment of the industry that is growing very quickly. Wil and Greg clearly demonstrated the drops of focus and the things we were doing around the pop-up. My mission is to put together a comprehensive sales product. ”

Eddins added that the company hopes to break into big-box retailers, as well as streetwear stores. The trio also see opportunity in the female segment, saying that “more than 40% of casual gamers are women,” says Birkhold, but the products are not tailored for them. “This consumer engagement with gaming brands and categories is massive,” he added.

Selkoe did not disclose financial data, but said merchandise is an important part of the company, beyond games and content. The organization recently kicked off its gaming and event lodging at Drai’s Nightclub in Las Vegas, and also won the 2021 Tempest Award for Best Merchandise Licensing and Activation in partnership with them with Latin artist Ozuna, defeating FaZe Clan and Takashi Murakami and Gucci’s collaboration with 100 Thieves. Ozuna has also collaborated at the Latin Grammy Awards.

Also, they held a pop-up event at Rolling Loud this year.

XSet also offers lifestyle products such as cereal bowls, headphones, backpacks and shoes, and Eddins revealed that it is actively pursuing footwear partnerships.

Bringing the brand outside the US is also a possibility in the future. “Within a short period of networking,” says Birkhold, “my interest on the international front is sizable. This is a global initiative and we have to walk before we run and do everything with the idea of ​​reaching a large audience in the United States and outside the country. ”

https://wwd.com/menswear-news/mens-lifestyle/xset-steve-birkhold-chief-merchandising-licensing-officer-1235013385/ XSet Name Steve Birkhold Licensing and Sales Manager – WWD


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