By  on January 30, 2008

NEW YORK — Ports 1961 has promoted Jacqui Wenzel to president and head of U.S. operations, a newly created role.

Wenzel was previously vice president of operations. She joined Ports 1961 in 2005 as a consultant and worked as a merchandiser and general manager. Earlier, she had her own merchandising firm and, before that, worked in buying, merchandising, management and retail positions for Romeo Gigli, Krizia, Bergdorf Goodman, Henri Bendel and Linda Dresner.

Ports 1961, which had its origins as Ports International in Canada in the Sixties, was bought by Chinese entrepreneur Alfred Chan in the early Nineties and was relaunched and brought Stateside in 2005 under the creative direction of Tia Cibani.

"Initially, I was acting as the head of the project working closely with Jacqui Wenzel and reporting directly to the chief executive officer, Alfred Chan," Cibani explained, when asked why the company created the president role. She said she found in the past year that she wanted to focus more on the creative aspect of the collection and branding.

In her new role, Wenzel's mandate will be to manage the growth of the wholesale and freestanding retail businesses, as well as oversee the operations at the company's global showroom in Milan. Ports 1961 is slated to open boutiques in Los Angeles this spring and New York in the fall.

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