Liz Claiborne Reorganizes


Liz Claiborne Reorganizes
Liz Claiborne Inc. is reorganizing into two divisions: a brand-centric, vertically organized "Direct Brands" division and a customer-focused, cost-efficient "Partnered Brands" division.
The reorganization is intended to reflect the different skills, capabilities, investment criteria and financial structure required by these two distinct businesses, the company reported.

The company also announced changes to its management structure and several appointments within its senior management team, including the appointment of Andrew C. Warren as CFO.
CEO William L. McComb said: "This is a crucial step in remaking Liz Claiborne Inc. into a more brand-focused and cost-effective business that can successfully navigate a rapidly changing retail environment. Accordingly, this new organizational structure puts 'brand' at the center of all we do, enabling a more consistent, focused approach to brand strategy for all of the names in our portfolio."

Another Liz Claiborne executive said: "This new structure reflects the distinct needs of our direct brands vs. partnered brands, which have different growth prospects, capital requirements and cultural profiles.

"Our retail-based Direct Brands division will benefit from enhanced retail infrastructure and capabilities, while our wholesale-based Partnered Brands division will be better positioned to meet the needs of specific customers. While there are clearly overlapping channel dynamics, we want to manage these businesses as two distinct divisions and report on their performance with a set of metrics that is more appropriate to these different business models."

As part of the realignment, the company's previous five group president positions will be eliminated. Jill Granoff, formerly group president, direct-to-consumer, will be executive vice president, Direct Brands, responsible for global oversight of Juicy Couture, Lucky Brand and Sigrid Olsen, as well as the company's outlet and e-commerce operations.

Juicy Couture, Kate Spade, Lucky Brand and Mexx will operate under brand-centric, vertical organizational structures. Under this alignment, these four brands will have their own distinct marketing, licensing and accessories functions while managing their specialty retail, outlet, catalog/e-commerce and wholesale businesses.

The founders of Juicy Couture and Lucky Brand Jeans, Pamela Skaist-Levy and Gela Taylor (Juicy Couture) and Gene Montesano and Barry Perlman (Lucky Brand), will continue to be actively involved with their respective brands.

The Partnered Brands division will encompass the following five business groups: 1) Liz Claiborne/Claiborne, Monet and the Moderate Department Store Brands; 2) C&C California, Dana Buchman, Ellen Tracy, Enyce, Laundry by Design, Mac & Jac/Kensie and Prana; 3) brands developed for J.C. Penney, Kohl's and Sears; 4) DKNY Jeans and DKNY Active; and 5) Cosmetics and Fragrances.
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Big Evolution at The Athlete's Foot
The Athlete's Foot (TAF) is renovating its stores, introducing a new logo and introducing two new private brand apparel lines. And the chain has big plans for expansion.
The 620-store retail franchise, which has approximately $400 million in annual sales globally, has its sights set on adding another 225 stores and reaching $500 million in sales in the next two years.

To propel that growth, the chain is implementing a new, more consistent merchandising approach and exerting a lot more effort to ensure it has the right apparel and footwear in its stores, said Robert W. D'Loren, president and CEO of NexCen Brands Inc., which acquired The Athlete's Foot last year.

The retailer also is giving its stores a big facelift. TAF will introduce four new modular merchandising units into its stores, including: TAFTech, a technical sport module focused on pure athletic performance; Street Sports, with an urban vibe; Classic Athletic, which captures a retro, collegiate varsity style; and Fusion, an edgy module inspired by extreme and board sports.

As part of the new merchandising push, TAF will launch two of its own lines of TAF branded apparel, which are scheduled to debut at retail in the first quarter of next year. There will be a TAFTech apparel brand, including waterproof shells, compression and wicking garments and apparel to be worn over wicking garments. The other brand will be called Track & Field, and will feature a classic athletic look and include T-shirts, shorts, sweatshirts, rugby shirts and polos.
D'Loren said the lines will be priced at the same level as national brands, and that TAF will market them as being superior products at the same price as national brands. He said TAF is actively looking for licensees to produce the lines, which will be designed by TAF.
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Perry Ellis Celebrates 40th Anniversary
Perry Ellis International Inc., designer, distributor and licensor of a broad line of high quality men's and women's apparel, accessories and fragrances, recently celebrated its 40th anniversary.
As part of the event, a portion of Miami's 107th Avenue was renamed George Feldenkreis Way, in honor of the company's founder, who was born in Cuba to Russian immigrants, and fled that country with his wife and son in 1961. Feldenkreis founded Supreme International, now Perry Ellis, in 1967 with his brother Isaac. Today he serves as chairman and CEO of the publicly traded company, and his son Oscar serves as vice chairman, president and COO.

City of Doral Mayor Juan Carlos Bermudez gave a special proclamation during the celebration, which included County Commissioner Jose "Pepe" Diaz and 500 guests, including employees, local retail partners, high profile members of the business and social communities and media personalities.

"It is an honor for me to witness this important milestone in the company's history," said Feldenkreis. "Miami has provided fertile soil for founding and growing one of the country's most successful apparel companies, and the city's confidence in our enduring success is immensely gratifying."

Today, Perry Ellis has nearly $1 billion in revenues, 27 national and international brands, more than 2,000 associates, 30 worldwide offices and sourcing operations across the globe.


Kellwood to Acquire Hanna Andersson
Kellwood Co. is acquiring Hanna Andersson Corp. for approximately $175 million.
Hanna Andersson is a children's wear brand known for its superior quality and colorful designs, marketed through the company's catalog, 18 retail stores and its web site, The company's 2006 sales totaled approximately $100 million.

Robert C. Skinner Jr., Kellwood chairman, president and CEO, said: "The Hanna Andersson acquisition complements our business and brand portfolio corporate strategy in several ways. As we have stated, one of our goals is to expand into upscale brands, and Hanna Andersson positions Kellwood in the better category of children's apparel.

"Another part of our strategy is to connect more directly with the consumer," he continued. "The Hanna Andersson business model is focused on a direct-to-consumer format with a rich media e-commerce web site, colorful catalogs and an inviting store format. In addition, Hanna Andersson complements and strengthens our successful and strong children's business platform that we have established with Gerber Childrenswear."
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Ripe Ideas to Help Reinvent Camp Beverly Hills
Manhattan-based licensing agency Ripe Ideas has added Camp Brands Holdings to its growing client roster. The agency will represent vintage fashion brand Camp Beverly Hills, working to engineer a comeback for this iconic 1980s California lifestyle fashion brand.

The agency has signed "Project Runway" winner and teen style setter Jay McCarroll to design the newly styled collection of Camp Beverly Hills apparel and accessories for teens and tweens. The brand will include other product extensions, including a teen book series.
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KarmaThreads Joins Fight for Cure
KarmaThreads, a positive messaging apparel company, will donate a portion of all October T-shirt sales to the Susan G. Komen organization to help fight breast cancer.

Known for fusing vintage flair with contemporary design, KarmaThreads markets what it calls "feel-good" clothing.
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Peaches Taps Heigl for New Healthcare Uniform Line
Peaches Uniforms, manufacturer of uniforms and scrubs for women working in healthcare professions, has partnered with TV and film star Katherine Heigl to launch the Katherine Heigl Collection of medical apparel.

The premium line, which debuts this fall, offers a high level of style and sophistication to women who want to express their own personal style in the workplace, Peaches reports. The collection of uniforms and scrubs will feature four design groups: London; Connecticut; Los Angeles; and Seattle, each reflecting the personal style and spirit of Heigl, who is featured in the movie "Knocked Up."

This venture marks the first time a celebrity has launched a product line in the healthcare uniform industry. Peaches Uniforms CEO Barry Rothschild said: "Katherine Heigl is a role model for many women, especially in the healthcare industry. It is only natural for them to want to emulate her style. We are proud to offer products that empower women in healthcare to express their personal style, while maintaining a professional appearance."
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Career Moves

- Eddie Bauer Holdings Inc. has hired the former head of Limited Brands' Bath and Body Works division, Neal S. Fiske, as president and CEO. Fiske replaces Eddie Bauer's interim CEO Howard Gross, a board member and also a Limited Brands veteran. Fabian Mansson, the company's last chief executive, resigned in February after shareholders rejected the company's proposed $286 million sale to private equity firms.
- The Hosiery Association (THA) has elected the following new officers: as chairman, Bill Nichol, chairman of Gildan USA and former chairman/CEO, Kentucky Derby Hosiery; as first vice chairman, Cathy Allen, vice president of marketing, business services and distribution, Crescent Inc.; and as second vice chairman, Bruce Duncan, vice president of operations, the Knit To Shape group, Hanesbrands Inc. Sally Kay was re-elected to the position of staff officer and will continue to serve as the association's president and CEO.
- Lectra has appointed Gilles Albaredes as chief marketing officer. He previously was associate general manager for sales and marketing for SAS.
- Limited Brands has promoted Diane Neal to CEO. Neal previously was the president and COO of Limited's Bath and Body Works division, and prior to joining the company last year, was president of Gap Inc.'s Outlet Division.
- MAGIC International, the world's largest trade show organizer for the fashion industry, has named Karalynn Sprouse as its new group sales director. Previously, Sprouse was the vice president of advertising at the Los Angeles Newspaper Group, where she generated more than $100 million in annual sales.
- David Lapidos has been promoted to vice president of The Off-Price Specialist Center. Lapidos was previously markets director for the center, and has been in the off-price business since 1970.
- Sanrio Inc. has named Jennifer Campbell as vice president of licensing. She previously was director of licensing at Brand Sense Partners.
- The Talbots Inc. has appointed Trudy F. Sullivan as president and CEO. She succeeds Arnold Zetcher, who is retiring but will remain as chairman through next March. Sullivan previously was president of Liz Claiborne Inc.

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