• BOSS CONFIRMS BRASHEAR: The Hugo Boss Group named Mark Brashear as the company’s first president and chief executive officer for the Americas, confirming a report in WWD Monday. Brashear, who begins work on Thursday, will oversee the brand’s business in the U.S., Canada, Latin America, South America and the Caribbean. Brashear, 47, was the president of Façonnable for six years before leaving last March. He launched his career with Macy’s and held several executive positions with Nordstrom.
This story first appeared in the January 13, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
• WATERFORD WEDGWOOD CUTS STAFF: More than 300 employees have been made redundant at Waterford Wedgwood U.K. plc as Deloitte negotiates to sell the company to KPS Capital Partners. Deloitte, Waterford Wedgwood’s administrators, revealed the redundancies Monday, a week after the company’s British and Irish divisions filed for administration, the U.K. equivalent of Chapter 11. Deloitte is in talks with KPS Capital Partners, a New York private equity group, to purchase Waterford Wedgwood’s U.K. and Irish division, which produces Wedgwood tableware, Royal Doulton china and Waterford crystal. Meanwhile, on Monday, a spokeswoman for Deloitte declined to comment on a report in the London Times, saying members of the Wedgwood family are supporting a rival offer by an Asian conglomerate to demerge Wedgwood from the Waterford business and make the pottery manufacturer an independent brand.
• GEN ART OPENS FOR SUBMISSIONS: Submissions for Gen Art’s Styles 2009: International Design Competition can start pouring in Monday until March 17. Student designers, as well as those who have been designing under their own name for seven years or less, are eligible. Five finalists in each of the five categories (women’s ready-to-wear; eveningwear; avant-garde; men’s wear, and accessories) will be invited to participate in Styles in New York on May 7, where a panel of industry professionals will select a winner from each category to win a $5,000 Award for Design Excellence. Past competitions have launched the careers of designers including Peter Som, Laura and Kate Mulleavy of Rodarte and Sari Gueron, according to Gen Art.
• COLUMBIA’S NEW CFO: Thomas Cusick has been promoted to vice president, chief financial officer and treasurer of Columbia Sportswear Co., effective Jan. 23. Cusick, who joined Columbia as corporate controller in 2002, succeeds Bryan Timm, who was promoted to chief operating officer of the company last May and added the title of executive vice president in October. Cusick was promoted to vice president in 2006 and became chief accounting officer upon Timm’s promotion to chief operating officer. Prior to joining Columbia, he spent seven years with Cadence Design Systems and five years with KPMG LLP.
• JA APPAREL NAMES SALES EXEC: JA Apparel Corp., the company that owns the Joseph Abboud brand, has named Ross Gershkowitz as vice president of sales for its tailored clothing business. In his 20-plus years in men’s wear, Gershkowitz has been vice president of clothing and dress furnishings at Oxford Industries and launched Ben Sherman clothing. Recently, he served as president of Mallory & Church and DC Design International. In his new post, Gershkowitz will oversee tailored clothing sales for the Joseph Abboud clothing collection and will seek to develop its better specialty store business. Gershkowitz will report to company president and chief executive officer Marty Staff.
• IZOD LUGGAGE LICENSED: Phillips-Van Heusen Corp. has inked the first luggage license for its Izod brand with Ricardo Beverly Hills for an initial term of three years. The Los Angeles-based company will design, produce and distribute Izod luggage, backpacks, sports bags, duffel bags and travel accessories beginning with the fall ’09 season. Founded in 1978, Ricardo Beverly Hills markets luggage and travel bags under its own brand and the licensed Vera Bradley label. The suggested retail price of an Izod wheeled 21-inch carry-on will be $180 to $240. Izod is licensed in 24 product categories to 22 domestic and five international companies.