By  on January 19, 2006

PARIS — Elizabeth Musmanno, who recently left Christian Dior as its worldwide communications director, has hooked up with Vera Wang.

Musmanno confirmed to WWD on Wednesday that she has joined Wang as senior vice president of communications, a new post, in charge of worldwide public relations and advertising. She reports to Wang, chief executive officer of the Vera Wang Group.

Musmanno returned to New York after a one-year stint at Dior in Paris. As reported, she will be succeeded at Dior by Olivier Bialobos, who arrives next month from Yves Saint Laurent.

The Canadian-born Musmanno has spent the majority of her career in the beauty industry, most recently as vice president of global public relations for Unilever's prestige fragrance business, which includes the Wang brand as well as Calvin Klein, Nautica and others. That business was acquired last year by Coty Inc.

Musmanno arrives at a time when Wang is accelerating her business development and leveraging her profile on the fashion scene. The designer recently opened her first lifestyle boutique at the Hawaiian resort of Halekulani carrying a full breadth of products, including ready-to-wear, knitwear, sunglasses, fine jewelry, fragrance, stationery, china, crystal, silver and other gifts.

Wang is eager to expand her $300 million business beyond its foothold in the bridal market. The designer, who started a bridal business at the age of 40 after stints at Vogue magazine and Ralph Lauren, was last year given the women's wear fashion designer of the year award by the Council of Fashion Designers of America.

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