By and  on September 7, 2007

As Kellwood Co. posted a second-quarter loss from continuing operations of $66.3 million, the company laid out plans to streamline its women's sportswear business and restructure its executive suite.

The $2 billion vendor is dividing into moderate (Lifestyle Alliance), better and above (Designer Alliance) and junior and contemporary (Modern Alliance) divisions — going from seven to three operating divisions within women's sportswear, and from 12 to eight in the total company.

Lifestyle Alliance will house moderate brands, including Sag Harbor, Koret and Briggs New York. Designer Alliance will include most of Kellwood's better-and-above price point brands, including Calvin Klein women's better sportswear, ck Calvin Klein women's bridge sportswear, O Oscar, David Meister and Hollywould, which it acquired last year. Modern Alliance will be the junior and contemporary lines, including XOXO, My Michelle and Vince, which Kellwood also bought last year.

Leading Lifestyle Alliance will be group president Patrick J. Burns, vice president of marketing and strategy since October and former head of the Gerber Childrenswear division, which has been one of Kellwood's only consistently strong brands.

Burns effectively succeeds Paul A. Robb, ceo of Kellwood's Lifestyle Design Group, which included O Oscar and Sag Harbor, who was let go Wednesday. Robb joined Kellwood in 2001 as president of its Slates licensed tops division, then became president of Kellwood Menswear in 2002 and ceo of Sag Harbor in 2005. Before Kellwood, he served as president and ceo of Block Corp., a men's sportswear firm, and Duck Head Apparel Co. He also was director and executive vice president of Eddie Haggar Ltd., a women's wear company.

In addition to Robb's exit, sources speculate that pressure is mounting on Steven L. Ruzow, president of Kellwood's Calvin Klein division, who was formerly the president of Kellwood Womenswear, due to disappointing sales of the Calvin Klein licenses. Ruzow could not be reached for comment Thursday.

James S. Weinberg, ceo of the Halmode division since last year, has been named group president of the Designer Alliance. Arthur K. Gordon, ceo of Kellwood Western Region division, has been named group president of the Modern Alliance. Burns, Weinberg and Gordon will report to Robert C. Skinner, chairman, president and ceo of Kellwood.

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