NEW YORK — Robert Vignola has stepped down as president of Calvin Klein Collection and global licensing.
This story first appeared in the May 21, 2013 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
He is succeeded in that role by John Van Glahn, former executive vice president of finance and administration at Calvin Klein Inc., a division of PVH Corp. Van Glahn reports to Tom Murry, Calvin Klein Inc.’s president and chief executive officer.
“It was a turning point in the company’s evolution,” said Vignola, when reached at home Monday. “I was president of global licensing, and it was a game changer when PVH Corp. bought Warnaco.” Vignola noted that 70 percent of Calvin Klein’s business was done through licensing, and he spent the lion’s share of his time and energy on that business.
“Now, with the acquisition of Warnaco, it all changed. PVH brought many of the Calvin Klein brands in-house, and the licensing has become diminished. It was the right turning point for me to depart,” he said. He said Warnaco was the biggest Calvin Klein licensee and had more than $1 billion in net sales, through jeans, underwear and swimwear. They also had more than 800 retail stores around the world, which have now become company-owned.
Asked how the Calvin Klein Collection business was faring, Vignola said, “It’s small but serves an important function. It’s the halo for the whole business and helps sell a lot of commercially priced product.”
Vignola said he was talking to various companies about licensing opportunities, but hasn’t decided his next move.
He joined CKI in January 2008 as president of Calvin Klein Collection, overseeing global sales and merchandising for the women’s and men’s apparel and accessories. Before that, he was president and ceo of Judith Leiber LLC. Earlier, Vignola was executive vice president of North America for Burberry; president of the designer division of Hartmarx Corp.; executive vice president of men’s wear at GFT Corp., and vice president of sales at Polo Ralph Lauren. His career began in the executive training program at Bloomingdale’s.
Van Glahn couldn’t be reached for comment at press time.