Bridget Ryan Berman has resigned as chief executive of Giorgio Armani Corp., WWD has learned.
Ryan Berman joined in April 2006 from Apple Computer Inc., where she was vice president and chief operating officer of retail stores. Prior to that, she worked at Polo Ralph Lauren Corp. for 12 years, with her last position being group president of retail. She also held executive positions at Allied Department Stores, Federated Department Stores (now Macy's Inc.) and May Department Stores Co.
Giorgio Armani SpA is expected to announce her departure today. Neither Ryan Berman nor Armani officials could be reached for comment late Thursday. The reasons for her departure could not be learned, although sources said she was departing to pursue other interests.
Ryan Berman was brought on to help drive Armani's growth in the U.S. Giorgio Armani, who only last week was in Dallas to hold a fashion show at the Neiman Marcus flagship and as guest of honor at the annual Crystal Ball Charity Luncheon, has said America is a prime focus for expansion. As reported in May, over the next three years, Armani plans to invest up to $100 million to increase his company's U.S. wholesale and retail operations, which account for 25 percent of its worldwide sales.
Among the steps Armani plans to take in the U.S. over the next three years are opening a 47,000-square-foot, multifaceted retail destination on New York's Fifth Avenue in fall 2008; opening additional Giorgio Armani, Emporio Armani and A|X Armani Exchange stores; renovating existing Giorgio Armani shops as well as 155 Giorgio Armani and Armani Collezione women's and men's shops-in-shops in U.S. department stores; launching an e-commerce site this fall; relaunching Armani Jeans, the sportswear and denim line, and expanding his accessories, fragrance and skin care collections.
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