Ghurka appoints new president, creative director and finance VP

US leather bags and accessories manufacturer Ghurka has named three new
key hires.

Jacques Panis has been appointed as the company’s new president, where
he will oversee the expansion of the brand’s direct-to-consumer footprint,
“revitalize” its wholesale business and spearhead upcoming customer and
product innovation initiatives.

Panis joins from cannabis brand Mary’s Medicinals where he was CEO.
Prior to that, he was the chief executive of diamonds company New World
Diamonds, and president of luxury goods retailer Shinola.

“I am honored to be joining Ghurka during this exciting time in its
history and look forward to leading and evolving the brand that not only
has a rich heritage, but huge future potential,” Panis said in a

“For 45 years Ghurka has represented the pinnacle of American luxury
leather goods, and we will further solidify that placement,” he added.

New creative head at Ghurka

Also joining the company is John Truex, who has been appointed creative
director. Truex is a luxury leather industry veteran, having co-founded
Lambertson Truex in 1998, which was then acquired by Tiffany & Company in

Following the acquisition, Truex served as vice president and design
director of the Tiffany Leather Collection. Truex left Tiffany & Co in 2013
when he was appointed design director of leather accessories at Shinola.

His first creations at Ghurka will be presented with the upcoming
Holiday 2021 collection.

Finally, Christina North has been appointed as the brand’s vice
president of finance. She joins from women’s fashion and lifestyle brand
Vera Bradley where she spent the past 11 years in financial planning and
analytics, business intelligence, e-commerce and operations.

She played a key role in the brand’s pivot from a promotion-led sales
strategy to a product-led strategy. Ghurka said it will “draw on her broad
and diverse experience in various business finance roles and corporate
functions to drive efficient, effective business finance support”.

The three key changes come after Ghurka was acquired by a private
investment group in 2019. The group viewed the acquisition as “a major
opportunity for long-term growth and brand transformation”, and see the new
hires as “a step towards making good on that investment”.


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