It’s back to Bebe Stores Inc. for Brigitte Bogart, who today will be named executive vice president of design and product development, WWD has learned.
Bogart will lead the design team in a newly created role reporting to Steve Birkhold, Bebe’s chief executive officer. She’s Birkhold’s first senior-level appointment since he became ceo six weeks ago.
Bogart served as Bebe’s senior design director from 2001 to 2009, forecasting trends and designing clothing. Officials credited her with creating some of Bebe’s best-selling items, among them the Amanda blouse, which in one calendar year sold more than 100,000 units, establishing it as one of the all-time biggest sellers for the company.
Bogart has over two decades of ready-to-wear and product development experience including stints at Laundry by Shelli Segal and the Arden B. division of The Wet Seal Inc. More recently, she founded LHM Design Inc., a fashion design and consulting company.
“When I was brought into the company, Brigitte was already working here as a consultant for about three months. She has an institutional knowledge of Bebe and a great relationship with the brand and with Manny,” Birkhold said, referring to Manny Mashouf, the founder and non-executive chairman of Bebe. “It was quickly determined that she has the skill set and pedigree to take the brand to the next level. She will be heading up design and working with me very closely on all creative aspects,” including new ad campaigns and new store concepts.
“My strength has always been in understanding the customer and being able to deliver the right product,” said Bogart. “This is an exciting opportunity to create and execute a long-term vision for bebe.”
Contemporary sportswear, Birkhold noted, “is a pretty competitive space. We have a lot of challenges going forward.”
Birkhold gave the impression that Bebe’s bigger challenge is to create exciting product, more so than further reshaping the management team. Asked if he would be making additional senior-level changes, Birkhold replied that the team is “pretty balanced.…I don’t foresee any major, major changes,” though he added some could occur through attrition.
For many years, Bebe churned out unique items that resonated with many customers. Yet in more recent years, Birkhold acknowledged that Bebe seemed to lose that knack for cutting-edge design. Now, he said, the mission is to both “make sure we are up to speed on current trends and become the brand that sets the trends.”
Bebe Stores designs, develops and produces contemporary women’s apparel and accessories under the Bebe, Bebe Sport and 2b Bebe labels. The company operates 198 Bebe stores, 52 2b Bebe stores, bebe.com and 2bstores.com. Stores are in the U.S., the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Canada and Japan. Bebe also distributes and sells its products through licensees in 21 countries.
@kith is moving into children’s. The men’s and women’s streetwear brand has launched Kidset, a Kith kids line located in New York at 64 Bleecker Street. The line includes mini versions of staple Kith pieces like the Astor bomber jacket and the Kith box logo sweatshirts, along with a wall that can display up to 120 pairs of shoes from @adidas, @newbalance, @timberland and more. #wwdfashion
“I just wanted to create this fully rounded character, but I do think what excited me most was just the opportunity to give a group of people representation that I feel needs it. I like to do characters in projects that stand for something and Karolina definitely does, so that was really exciting to me,” @ginnygardner says of her new role in @hulu’s “The Runaways.” Gardner plays Karolina Dean, a queer superhero, which is a rarity for @marvel. Read more about Gardner’s character on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @dandoperalski)
@heriethpaul and @gracebol have a moment on the @victoriassecret fashion show 2017. See every look from the runway on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo) #wwdfashion #victoriassecret #VSFashionShow
“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