Industry News 8/31/2004

686 Adds Three to In-House Staff


LOS ANGELES, CA- The 686 Clothing Company, division of Westlife Distribution USA LLC is pleased to announce the appointment of three new hires in the production, development, and design departments.

Left to Right: Luke Smith, Jon Austin, Andrew Gosse

The first addition to the team is Luke Smith, becoming the new director of development and production. Luke will be overseeing all production elements of the 686 lines, as well as working with

Owner/Designer Mike West and other designers to develop innovations for future products from technical and creative standpoints. "This is a great opportunity to be a director of merchandise, design, and production, plus it's in an atmosphere that is fast, growing, and fun," says Luke.

Coming from more than nine years of experience in production and brand management, Luke has worked with companies such as O'neill, Tarrant Apparel Group, and Gotcha. "I'm stoked to have Luke on board as he brings a wealth of knowledge from his time spent in various apparel businesses. The appointment of his position will further the operational and logistic functions of our business," says Owner/Designer Mike West.

Working closely with Luke, Mike and other designers will be Technical Outerwear Designer Andrew Gosse. Andrew comes from a strong snowboarding and clothing background, most recently working for Bonfire as a Junior Designer for over two years, and previously working for Adidas Adventure Outerwear in product development. "Coming from Portland, Andrew brings an additional element to all our product categories, especially the technical side. I call him the scientist," says Owner/Designer Mike West.

To top it off, Andrew also graduated from the Art Institute International in Portland, OR. "Snowboarding is my life, and 686's roots lie in snowboarding. It is very exciting to contribute by being able to take an already great product to the next level," says Andrew.

The third addition to the team is Graphic/Media Artist Jon Austin. Jon will be working tightly with Marketing Director Brice McTague and others to develop advertisements, commercials, and other various graphics. "Jon is a great addition to the 686 team. He brings a lot of experience while also exercising spontaneous humor and valuable creative ideas," says Marketing Director Brice McTague.

While skating with Owner Mike West back in college, Jon originally worked at 686 in its first years while studying graphic design at CAL Arts in Valencia. After graduating from school Jon worked at many different companies as a graphic designer including, DVS, Matix, World Industries, Blind, Speed Demons, Channel One News, and most recently G4 Media. With 686 growing and expanding at such a fast rate, Jon was brought back. "It's awesome here, I love it! I am here for good," says Jon.