By  on July 23, 2008

NEW YORK — Zac Posen has tapped Laura O’Connor as president and chief executive officer.

O’Connor, whose appointment becomes effective Aug. 4, was formerly president of women’s wear at Theory. In her new role, she will take over ceo duties from Susan Posen, and the role of president from Barry Miguel, who recently left the company.

Susan Posen, who was also vice chairman, now assumes the role of chairman of the company.

Prior to joining Theory in 2006, O’Connor was general merchandise manager and design director at Urban Outfitters Inc. She was also a founding head merchant for Urban Outfitters’ direct business, which launched in 2000. Before that, she worked at The Limited, Banana Republic and Barneys New York.

“With Laura, we found somebody who understood Zac’s vision and appreciated him on the designer level, and she has collected his work from the first collection,” said Susan Posen. “We were also looking for somebody who can help us develop our five-year plan, which involves some new business initiatives, and she has, in her career, touched on all of them.”

O’Connor said, “I have been a passionate fan of Zac’s work since his first collection. His vision for the brand is unique in the marketplace, and he has a level of respect and appreciation for his customer that is unmatched. It will be a labor of love for me to support Zac in taking the business to the next level and beyond.”

O’Connor joins Posen at a time of renewed expansion for the label, which is sold at retailers such as Saks Fifth Avenue, Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus, Le Bon Marché in France, Harvey Nichols in the U.K. and Vakko in Turkey. Next year, Posen, whose collection includes categories like fur and handbags, is slated to launch his first fragrance in a deal with Selective Beauty, and timepieces with E. Gluck Corp. A contemporary line also has been in the works for the designer, though no launch date has been set.

“We will be looking at a variety of extensions for the brand,” said Susan Posen. “These are exciting times for Zac Posen. We are having a lot of success at retail, and there is a lot more to do.”

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