NEW YORK — Michele Parsons has resigned as president and chief merchandising officer of apparel at Liz Claiborne Inc. and is headed to Coach Inc.

She will join Coach’s merchandising team in early November as a divisional vice president of women’s handbags, holding the same title as Martha Fish, who continues in that role. Both report to Francine Della Badia, senior vice president of women’s handbags.

This story first appeared in the October 8, 2007 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Parsons joined Claiborne in September 2006, overseeing all design and merchandising activities for better and moderate apparel. Before that, she was senior vice president and general merchandising manager at Tommy Hilfiger, where she worked on H Hilfiger. She spent eight years in merchandising with J. Crew, rising to head merchant in the direct division, and also held posts at Ann Taylor, Claiborne’s retail division and Victoria’s Secret.

It has been a year of flux at Claiborne, which is in the midst of a major restructuring of its apparel brands and executive team. In July, Claiborne put 16 of its brands — ranging from Ellen Tracy and Dana Buchman to Emma James and Tapemeasure — up for strategic review. Last week, Claiborne completed the previously announced sale of four Liz Claiborne brands under strategic review — Emma James, Intuitions, JH Collectives and Tapemeasure — to Li & Fung USA.

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