Executive Changes at Coach, Juicy Couture, Lane Bryant

In Reports, What's New, People by Accessories Staff

Coach Logo Coach Names Victor Luis as Next CEO

New York—Coach Inc. today revealed it has named Victor Luis to succeed Lew Frankfort, chairman/ceo, who will step down in January 2014.

Under the plan, Luis was named president and chief commercial officer, duties he will assume until he takes over as chief executive next year. Luis has also joined the company’s board of directors.

Frankfort will continue as chairman and chief executive officer during this interim period and will then become executive chairman.

Luis, who has been a member of Coach’s senior leadership team for the past seven years, is credited with leading Coach’s “meteoric growth” in Asia.

As president of the firm’s international group, he has overseen all of Coach’s businesses outside North America. Before being promoted to president of Coach’s international group in February 2012, he served as chief executive officer of Coach Japan and president of Coach Retail International.

Luis, who said he was “deeply honored” the appointment, will oversee all business units, including merchandising, licensing, corporate strategy and consumer insights.

“I’m very pleased with Victor’s appointment,” Frankfort said. “He has demonstrated the passion, strategic vision, focus, superb execution and strong values that make an outstanding leader.”

Frankfort, who has been with Coach for 35 years, oversaw the growth of the company from a small U.S. leathergoods company into one of the world’s foremost luxury accessories brands.

Last month the company said it was “disappointed” with its second-quarter results after a tough holiday season weighed on sales in North America. Net income climbed 1.7% to $353 million for the three months to 29 December, while sales rose 4% to $1.50 billion.

“Strong” international growth led by China is expected to generate at least $400 million in sales this year.

Juicy Couture President/Chief Creative Office to Depart

New York–LeAnn Nealz, president and chief creative officer, is planning to leave the company by April 15, according to Fifth & Pacific, which also owns kate spade new york and Lucky brands.

Nealz, who has held the role since November 2010, was responsible for all creative elements of the business including product design, marketing and store design.

She has previously held various positions at American Eagle, Calvin Klein and specialty clothing retailer Gap Inc.

Earlier this month, Fifth & Pacific remained coy on speculation it is looking to sell the Juicy Couture brand. The reports came after the retailer was forced to admit that disappointing Juicy Couture sales and Superstorm Sandy hit its fourth-quarter performance last month.

Despite posting a fall in sales, Fifth & Pacific reiterated its commitment to the Juicy brand last month when it outlined its goals and priorities for 2013 at the ICR XChange conference held in Miami.

Ascena Retail Group Names New CEO for Lane Bryant

Lane-Bryant-logoSuffern, NY–Ascena Retail Group today named Linda Heasley as president and chief executive officer of Lane Bryant, the plus-sized specialty retailer it acquired last year.

She replaces former president Brian Woolf, who has been named as chief executive of Body Central. Heasley joins the company after six years as president and CEO of The Limited.

During her time with The Limited, Heasley has revamped store product lines; introduced new brand positioning; launched e-commerce; commissioned a new store design; introduced a new plus-size brand, inaugurated a new national advertising campaign and returned The Limited to sustained profitability for the first time in 17 years.

In addition to her experience at The Limited, Ms. Heasley has held numerous senior leadership roles at Timberland, Limited Brands, Inc. and CVS. She holds an AB degree from Harvard Radcliffe College and earned her MBA at the John Anderson School of Management, UCLA.

“A very focused search process was conducted and the organization was able to attract a number of highly qualified candidates,” said David Jaffe, president/ceo at Ascena. Linda is the ideal person to lead Lane Bryant. She has a track record of impressive business results, an engaging and collaborative style, and a passion for the customer.”

Ascena Retail Group acquired Charming Shoppes, which includes Lane Bryant, Fashion Bug and Catherines Plus Sizes, last year for $890 million.



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