By  on November 18, 2004

NEW YORK — Sean John has postponed the launch of its eagerly anticipated women’s collection to holiday 2005.

The introduction will coincide with the launch of a Sean John men’s fragrance, which is expected to hit stores for fall-holiday 2005.

The line originally was planned to be launched at retail next fall.

“We’re not going to rush [women’s apparel],” said Jeffrey Tweedy, executive vice president of Sean John, Wednesday.

According to sources, Sean John has been negotiating with Wendy Chivian, who is currently president of the Perry Ellis division of Public Clothing Co., about heading the women’s division. Chivian couldn’t be reached for comment on Wednesday; however, Tweedy adamantly denied it.

“Not true,” he said.

Chivian joined Perry Ellis in July. Earlier, she had been president of Anne Klein, a division of Kasper A.S.L., but left after the company was acquired by Jones Apparel Group in December.

Sources said she has been approached by several companies this year, among them Donna Karan, Hartmarx and now Sean John, about taking on a new role.

In her Perry Ellis position, Chivian is responsible for all aspects of the Perry Ellis better collection licensed to Public Clothing. Until last September, that line had been designed by Patrick Robinson. However, a schism developed between Public Clothing and Robinson over the direction of the better line, and following Robinson’s spring fashion show in September, he parted ways with Public Clothing. He is currently a consultant to Perry Ellis International for the Perry Ellis designer line.

Dan Shamdasani, Public Clothing’s chief executive officer, couldn’t be reached for comment on Chivian.

Sean John, which is expected to generate $450 million in retail sales this year, launched its men’s sportswear collection in spring 1999. Last year, California billionaire Ron Burkle invested $100 million in Sean John, which has embarked on both a retail and wholesale expansion program. The first store opened at 475 Fifth Avenue here in August, and a unit is planned for the Beverly Center in Los Angeles in April. Other pending sites include Garden State Plaza in Paramus, N.J., as well as Las Vegas, Houston, Hawaii and San Francisco. Sean John has invested in Zac Posen’s company, as well.

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