By  on October 12, 2010

Hampshire Group Ltd. is bolstering its management team by adding Eric Prengel as president of the men’s division.

Prengel, 41, was most recently executive vice president of global business development at HMX LLC, where he oversaw the international development of all HMX brands, including Hickey Freeman, Hart Schaffner Marx and Bobby Jones as well as all aspects of the domestic product license program. During his four-year career with HMX, which purchased the assets of the former Hartmarx Corp. last year, Prengel served as group president of HMX Sportswear, where he was credited with initiating rebranding initiatives for brands including Jack Nicklaus and Ted Baker. Prior to that, he was with Marc Ecko Enterprises, Polo Ralph Lauren and Kenneth Cole Menswear.

He succeeds Mark Lepine, who has resigned to pursue other interests, according to Hampshire.

At Hampshire, Prengel will be responsible for overseeing the growth and direction of the company’s owned and licensed men’s wear brands including the newly acquired Scott James label, along with Geoffrey Beene, Dockers, Joe Joseph Abboud and Alexander Julian Colours. He will report to Heath Golden, chief executive officer of Hampshire.

“We are fortunate to add Eric to our team for two very important reasons,” Golden said. “First, in a market focused on the cost-value relationship at a time of rising costs, Eric’s expertise in retail math and deep understanding of what retailers need will give us an edge in designing product and building lines from the ground up that will outperform the competition at retail, which will ultimately drive profitability and growth. Second, Eric has proven his brand-building skills at both Hartmarx and Marc Ecko. I am confident he will employ these skills to accelerate our exciting efforts with Scott James as well as other initiatives in the pipeline.”

Prengel cited Hampshire’s strong sourcing capabilities and Golden’s vision to create a dual-pronged business with its own Scott James label, as well as its licensed brands, as key to his decision to join the company.

In the second quarter ended July 3, Hampshire’s losses narrowed to $7.9 million from $8.4 million in the same period last year. Sales fell 29.6 percent to $14.8 million from $21 million in the same period last year.

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