NEW YORK -- Benjamin Gillikin, who has directed Thierry Mugler's fragrance business in the U.S. since 1993, has been promoted to take over the apparel and accessories aspects of the designer's business in North America, as well.

Gillikin, who was senior vice president of Thierry Mugler Parfums North America, was named president and chief executive officer of the North American market, the company said Tuesday. He will assume responsibilities for Thierry Mugler Couture, Thierry Mugler Homme, Mugler and Thierry Mugler Accessories in his new position, said Vera Strubi, worldwide president and ceo of Thierry Mugler SA, the parent company, a joint venture between the designer and Clarins SA.

He is taking over control of the apparel and accessories businesses from Linda Sheldon, senior vice president and general manager, who recently left the company. She could not be reached for comment.

Gillikin has played a key role in the development of Mugler's fragrance brands in the U.S., including its successful Angel scent, through the New York-based subsidiary. He helped launch the Thierry Mugler Parfums business in the U.S. in 1993 and has had a close relationship with all of the designer's businesses since then, Strubi said.

Meanwhile, in Paris, Joel Palix has been named general manager of Thierry Mugler Parfums. Palix, 40, took up the post Monday. His position was formerly held by Christian Laurent, who left Mugler last month to take up the job of president at Groupe Clarins's Italian subsidiary. Palix will report to Strubi.

Before joining Mugler, Palix founded and ran an e-commerce site for three years. From 1996 to 1999, he was director of development for the Trois Suisse catalog company. Prior to that, he was with Sanofi Beaute, which he joined in 1986 and which is now called YSL Beaute.

In related news, Thierry Mugler on Thursday announced a licensing deal with Italy's Mariella Burani to distribute a new diffusion line starting this fall. Labeled Only Thierry Mugler, the line will target young women and retail between $130 and $440 in Italy, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Russia and the Mideast. A rollout to the rest of Europe is slated for the spring-summer 2003 season. It has not been determined if the line will be distributed in the U.S.

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