Anthony Romano, former chief executive officer of Charming Shoppes, has been appointed ceo and a director of Philadelphia-based Destination Maternity Corp.
He succeeds Ed Krell, who is stepping down after 12 years with the firm. He joined as chief financial officer in 2002 and has served as ceo since 2008.
Romano, a veteran of Ann Inc., stayed on as president and ceo of Charming Shoppes after its sales to Ascena Retail Group in May 2012 and remained with Ascena until March 2013. A certified public accountant, he began his career with Ernst & Young and rose to the post of of executive vice president and chief supply chain officer at Ann Inc., then Ann Taylor Inc.
Arnaud Ajdler, chairman of Destination Maternity, commented that, under Krell’s stewardship, the company “made important progress, strengthening management, enhancing operations, improving financial performance and increasing shareholder value.”
Krell said, “After leading the team that significantly strengthened the company over the past six years as ceo, the board and I decided that this was a logical time for a change in leadership at the company and a logical time for me to pursue other opportunities.”
Ajdler said Romano “brings to Destination Maternity both extensive knowledge of retail operations and a demonstrated ability to lead and influence the creative side of the business. His passion for understanding and connecting with customers will support our efforts to deliver exciting product assortments and excellent shopping experiences.”
Destination Maternity last month opted not to make an offer to acquire U.K.-based Mothercare plc after earlier expressing interest in a combination with the maternity chain.
Between its own stores, including units operating under the Motherhood Maternity, A Pea in the Pod and Destination Maternity brands, and leased departments, Destination Maternity operates 1,901 retail locations in the U.S. and Canada. It also has 77 international franchise locations. In the nine months through June 30, sales were $394.9 million. Year-to-date net income fell 29.1 percent to $13 million, or 97 cents a diluted share.
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“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia