By  on October 29, 2007

41. Spencer Hays and Joe Blair
Custom luxury. That’s the battle cry at IAG, the steadily growing men’s wear stalwart owned by Spencer Hays. Long a maker of fine made-to-order suits, the privately held company in the past year rolled out custom programs for a number of its brands, including Corbin, Gitman, Jeff Rose and Kenneth Gordon. It’s all part of a larger push to tap the surging luxury market. “That means better piece goods, packaging, presentation—the whole shebang,” said Joe Blair, president of the apparel conglomerate.

The company is also reaping early benefits from Clissold, an English mill it purchased earlier this year, and stepping up staff for Tom James, its direct-to-consumer label/cash cow, which rakes in an estimated $300 million a year. Those moves are putting IAG on track to surpass last year’s record-breaking sales, adding to a cash pile it will use in part to take its better textile brand Holland & Sherry into the luxury ready-to-wear business. Last year’s rank: 40. Power prediction: Execs say textiles are the biggest opportunity for IAG. Expect deeper penetration into the wholesale cloth market through deals with marquee apparel makers, as well as a growing furniture division. More acquisitions? IAG could be eyeing a manufacturing facility to complement its Chilean mill and might consider getting into the women’s business.

42. J. Hicks Lanier
It’s been a rough year for J. Hicks Lanier, the CEO of Atlanta’s $1 billion-a-year Oxford Industries. He has endured the departure of several executives, including company president Michael Setola, tailored clothing designer Arnold Brant Silverstone and even a member of his own family, former senior vice-president and treasurer J. Reese Lanier Jr.

The company’s stock has taken a beating as well, due primarily to falling sales in the Oxford Apparel division. Even Oxford’s blue-chip Tommy Bahama label reported a drop in revenues last quarter, and the company is still in the throes of revitalizing the flagging Ben Sherman sportswear brand it bought in 2004. To boot, analysts have also criticized Oxford’s weakening cash flow. Lanier has remained calm—some would say worryingly so—in the face of such adversity, and blames cyclical problems in the tailored clothing market as well as the general retail environment. He has already cut underperforming businesses. The company has made some bold moves—like shifting its reporting calendar and moving more tailored clothing production to Italy—which will need to pay off, and soon. Last year’s rank: 33. Power prediction: Lanier will continue to unload underperforming businesses with an eye toward regaining momentum.

43. Elyse Kroll
After losing a bit of buzz to the youthful Project show, ENK International and its founder, Elyse Kroll, have countered deftly with the Blue show, which continues to attract new brands and expand its mission. This past July, Blue hosted 82 brands, many outside the show’s original denim roots, up from about 50 last January. The show is geared toward hip, trendy brands—the same ones Project previously monopolized—and is staged next door to Kroll’s crown jewel, The Collective.

The strategic counterpunch is in true Kroll style, who has established herself over 2 1/2 decades as the premier show producer in New York, and to a lesser degree in Los Angeles, with a mix of savvy, relentless work, intuition and style. Beyond men’s wear, ENK International also operates Coterie, Sole Commerce, Accessorie Circuit, Intermezzo Collections, Clear, Children’s Club and Brighte Companies, which hold dominant positions in the women’s wear, footwear, accessories and children’s wear markets.

Kroll may have her eye on challenging Project and MAGIC in Las Vegas next, having sent top lieutenants Michael Sampson and Charles Garone to scout possible show venues this past summer. There have been rumors that Kroll may be relinquishing some decision-making to Forstmann Little & Co., the leveraged buyout firm that made a significant investment in ENK International in April 2006. But company insiders dismiss that notion out of hand—and Kroll remains highly visible at ENK’s trade shows, often leading top clients and partners around personally. Last year’s rank: 44. Power prediction: Forstmann Little & Co. owns IMG, the producer of the 7th on Sixth in New York, and there has been some talk of staging a mini Men’s Fashion Week concurrent to The Collective—which would be conducive for both men’s designers and buyers, as the women’s-centric New York Fashion Week is staged so late in the season. Stay tuned.

44. Michel Lacoste
Michel Lacoste found himself in the top job at Lacoste SA in 2005, after his brother Bernard, who had run the company for more than 40 years, resigned for health reasons. (Their father, Rene, founded the company.) Michel knew the ropes well, having been a director of the company since 1965 and worked for it full-time since 1977.

As chairman and CEO he steers a global brand under which 50 million items are sold annually. That’s a wholesale turnover of 1.475 billion euros across 110 countries, through a network of 925 Lacoste boutiques and more than 2,000 other doors.

In June 2007, Lacoste launched an e-commerce site for the U.S., which is its number-one market. The Paris-based company has a number of licensing agreements, allowing it to focus on marketing, defending its brand, research, merchandising, international promotion and coordinating worldwide activities.

Devanlay SA holds the worldwide apparel license until 2025. Pentland Brands has footwear, and Samsonite holds bags and small leather goods. The brand name and alligator logo can also be found on fragrances, home textiles, eyewear, watches and other accessories. Nonetheless, Lacoste has strengthened its grip on the brand in the last decade after suffering from a period of overextension and confusion with Izod. (Izod used to produce clothing known as Izod Lacoste under an agreement that ended in 1993.)

Lacoste has increased its fashion cachet since the hiring of designer Christophe Lemaire, the arrival of its New York runway shows and its sponsoring of star athletes such as Andy Roddick and golfers José María Olazábal and Colin Montgomerie.

The company turns 75 this year, and that’s not all it has to celebrate. In recent months it expanded Lacoste boutiques to 54 in the U.S. and achieved record-level sales in its U.S. men’s category. Last year’s rank: None. Power prediction: Lacoste ups its fashion quotient with premium offerings.

45. Paul and Maurice Marciano
It’s rare to experience a growth spurt at age 26, but that’s exactly what’s happened to Guess Inc. under the management of CEO Paul Marciano and his brother Maurice, who is chairman: The Los Angeles–based company projects its current fiscal year will end with $1.6 billion in revenues, up from $1.2 billion at the end of fiscal 2006. Wall Street has swooned as Guess has found significant success as a retailer, both in the U.S. and in licensed operations abroad. Profit margins and sales per square foot are both on the rise.

The company’s new G by Guess concept is working well, targeting younger consumers with lower-priced fashions, and overall Guess Inc. plans to open 50 additional stores in North America by the end of this fiscal year, for a grand total of 370 locations in the U.S. and Canada. Guess’s trademark black-and-white advertising is as smoldering as ever, its footwear collection is growing, and the company is reporting sizzling sales in Europe and foresees major potential in Asia. Last year’s rank: 54. Power prediction: The Marcianos continue to finesse their multibrand retail strategy and become to West Coast–inspired denim what Abercrombie & Fitch is to collegiate prep.

46. Glenn Murphy

As far as strategies go, this one seemed dubious: Hire a Canadian drugstore executive with no fashion experience to revive one of the most consistently humdrum specialty apparel chains in the industry. Granted, it’s not the first time Gap Inc. has hired someone without deep apparel experience to head the $16 billion casualwear giant. Former CEO Paul Pressler, who was axed in January after the company’s third consecutive year of lackluster holiday season sales, served as president of Disneyland—and president of The Disney Store before that—prior to being tapped by Gap. But many analysts and investors balked at the notion of another outsider taking over the company, which has seen a long streak of declining same-store sales and questionable fashion choices.

To his credit, Murphy is no stranger to 180-degree turnarounds. In his six years as head of Shoppers Drug Mart, Murphy more than tripled company revenue, from $3 billion to $10 billion. Gap has also hired two designer dynamos this year: Former Paco Rabanne artistic director Patrick Robinson was tapped as vice-president of design for Gap Adult and GapBody, while Todd Oldham was recently hired as Old Navy’s design creative director. Whether Murphy’s business acumen and Gap’s new design talent will be a winning combination is still anyone’s guess. Last year’s rank: None (Paul Pressler was 23). Power prediction: New executive blood and celebrity-laden ads aside, it’s going to be another blue holiday season for the company.

47. Jill Stanton
Jill Stanton, whose star has been on the rise at Nike since she joined the company in 1997 as apparel business director in the U.K., was named this month to head Nike’s vast apparel business as vice-president of global apparel. She succeeded Roger Wyett, who moved back to the Nike-owned Hurley International as CEO, a step up from his last position there as president and COO. While Wyett was there, global apparel sales increased from $4.17 billion to nearly $4.6 billion.

Stanton has held several leadership positions at Nike, including general manager of Asia Pacific Apparel, but her most recent position was vice-president of U. S. apparel, a position she filled in August of this year. When she led apparel in Nike’s Europe, Middle East and Africa region, she re-energized business there and drove 32 percent revenue growth.

But Nike hasn’t been resting on its laurels—earlier this year the company announced a partnership with Foot Locker, Inc. to open up to 50 “House of Hoops by Foot Locker” retail stores in the U.S. over the next three years. Also, Nike is gearing up for the Summer Olympic Games in Beijing in 2008. The company opened a 13,000-square foot store in Beijing this year, and is rapidly expanding its retail presence in more than 300 cities across the country. Last year’s rank: None. Power prediction: Stanton will push for international growth, using the Beijing Summer Olympics as one of her platforms.

48. Cody Kondo and Michael Macko
Since Stephen Sadove was named to the helm of Saks Inc. last spring, the fortunes of the company’s flagship Saks Fifth Avenue chain have improved significantly. So much so that rumors have surfaced that the $2.94 billion company is being wooed by Icelandic firm Baugur Group for a possible buyout.

It wasn’t too long ago that no investor would have looked that closely at the business. Under prior management, the company was overstaffed and unfocused, with a mix of luxury and middle-market store brands that were poorly merchandised. Now, through a variety of streamlinings and culling of management, SFA is laser-focused on the upscale, luxury market, and driving traffic with remodels and investments in designer shops at key locations such as Beverly Hills and Fifth Avenue. Furthermore, Saks has been sharpening assortments in each door to better meet local demand as it strives to narrow the performance gap with other upscale and luxury retailers.

Saks’ men’s wear team, headed by Cody Kondo, senior vice-president and GMM, and Michael Macko, men’s fashion director, has survived the company’s ups and downs, and is now able to flex its muscle with the support of Sadove and chief merchant Ron Frasch. Over the past couple of years, Kondo and Macko have completed substantial renovation projects on the sixth and seventh floors of its Fifth Avenue flagship, including one last year that saw traditional vendors clustered on the sixth floor and more-contemporary merchandise on the seventh. Denim and advanced designer merchandise was showcased, and the results were strong and profitable. Among the most-recent changes are new shops for Canali and Zegna as well as updated boutiques for Polo and Armani that make authoritative statements and play into the corporation’s thrust to highlight the its most-productive businesses. Similar projects are being done outside of New York.

Next spring, look for the debut of the Macko Collection, a nod to the fashion director’s two beloved dachshunds, whose images will grace men’s bow ties, and men’s and women’s belts in a pattern designed exclusively by Vineyard Vines. Last year’s rank: 63. Power prediction: Saks Inc. changes hands as investors clamor to purchase the rapidly growing luxury retail chain.

49. Sergio and Pier Luigi Loro Piana
Every fall Pier Luigi Loro Piana, co-CEO of his family’s textile and luxury-goods company, travels to Mongolia to scout the best cashmere. He also visits Australia to bid on the finest wool. That’s what allows Loro Piana to produce some of the world’s most luxurious fabrics.

Loro Piana, the textile giant, is a staple for every luxury brand. From its Baby Cashmere to its Storm System cloth, no fiber is too remote or too technical to elude Loro Piana. Loro Piana, the apparel brand, run by Pier Luigi’s brother and co-CEO, Sergio, may not create a lot of fashion buzz, but its signature style of casual luxe has made it a continued draw at retail. Earlier this fall one New York store sold two $17,000 Loro Piana mink-trimmed coats in a single day despite balmy weather.

Revenue at the company advanced 15.2 percent to 384 million euros last year, or $483.8 million. On the retail front, Loro Piana continues to prudently build its retail network, most recently rolling out a unit in Boston, Hong Kong (its third store) and five shops in Japan. Last year’s rank: 57. Power prediction: Loro Piana introduced an eco-friendly cloth, Black Sheep, a few years ago. Look to this company to bring eco-consciousness to the luxury market.

50. Marty Staff

Marty Staff may have been dinged earlier this year when JA Apparel parent J.W. Childs Associates gave the company’s executive chairman greater oversight of the Joseph Abboud line, but that hasn’t stopped the savvy CEO from making good on his goal to turn the label into a multinational lifestyle brand. This August, JA Apparel announced an ambitious global rollout that, in addition to master license deals with Malaysia and Indonesia, includes plans for 30 Joseph Abboud stores in China in the next year. The China deal alone is expected to produce $400 million by 2010. The company is also close to penning agreements in Korea, India and the Middle East.

At home, Staff pushed the brand into new categories—jeans and luggage—and for the first time this year licensed revenue will generate a majority of the company’s business. The brand also finished taking its bread-and-butter tailored division upmarket. All Joseph Abboud suits are now half-canvased—a key, Staff says, to penetrating the better stores. The company’s factory in New Bedford, Mass., beefed up its labor force, due in part to the growth of its made-to-measure program. All told, the brand has tripled sales in the last three years to $300 million, thanks to aggressive licensing and better distribution. Last year’s rank: 49. Power prediction: The pending trademark infringement suit against Joseph Abboud might be closely watched, but the real question is whether Staff and J.W. Childs will cash out in 2008. Joseph Abboud for sale, anyone?

51. Andrew Rosen
If there’s a major fashion event, dinner or party, you’re likely to see Andrew Rosen there. And for good reason: The high-profile industry veteran has a panoply of brands to promote, as U.S. president of Link Theory Holdings—which owns the Theory and Helmut Lang businesses—as well as an investor in the hip Rag & Bone and Kiki de Montparnasse labels.

Rosen cofounded Theory in 1997 with Elie Tahari and sold the company to Japan’s Link International and Fast Retailing in 2003. They were then engaged in a bitter legal battle over terms of that sale—which was decided largely in Rosen’s favor in June. Tahari exited Theory following the sale, but Rosen held on to 11 percent of the company and stayed to run the U.S. business. When Link acquired the Helmut Lang name, that business was added to Rosen’s portfolio as well.

This month the company opened its first freestanding Helmut Lang stores in L.A. and San Francisco. Theory just celebrated its 10th anniversary and recently moved into a grand new headquarters building in the Meatpacking District and signed its first eyewear license with L’Amy. Rag & Bone has quickly grown from an underground denim maker to a darling of the fashion press, branching out quickly into suits and sportswear, and staging high-wattage fashion shows. Connections are paramount in this fickle industry and Rosen often hosts Rag & Bone designers Marcus Wainwright and David Neville at swank fashion industry events—and it doesn’t hurt that Neville is married to one of the industry’s most prominent makeup artists, Gucci Westman. Kiki de Montparnasse, a luxuriously decadent purveyor of pricey lingerie and sex toys, is also expanding: A new store in Los Angeles is set to open on Melrose Avenue, adding to its flagship in New York’s Soho.

Last year’s rank: None. Power prediction: Rosen seeks a location for a Helmut Lang store in Soho, Theory continues to add retail units, and don’t be surprised if Rag & Bone opens a boutique soon—the hipster-friendly brand was featured recently in a pop-up shop operated by Odin.

52. Robert Wildrick
Although the men’s wear specialty store sector has suffered hit-or-miss results this year, Jos. A. Bank Clothiers has fared well, continuing to satisfy investors with generally impressive numbers. For the year ended Feb. 3, net income reached $43.2 million, or $2.36 a diluted share, from $35.3 million, or $1.95 a share, in the year prior. Analysts expected full-year earnings of $2.25 a diluted share. Sales rose 17.6 percent to $546.4 million from $464.6 million and comps rose 4.3 percent. Company executives said the earnings were buoyed by strong sales of sport shirts, dress shirts and twill khaki pants from the retailer’s Traveler’s Collection, as well as slim-cut dress shirts.

The good news continued this year with earnings for the second quarter of fiscal 2007 rising 16 percent to $8.2 million, compared to $7 million in fiscal 2006. Sales rose to $134 million from $119 million in the third quarter of last year. The Hampstead, Md.-based retailer can thank CEO Robert Wildrick for keeping it on track. Since 1999, the company has opened 270 stores and now operates around 400 units across the U.S., Wildrick said goals over the next five to seven years are to reach $1 billion in sales and increase the number of stores to over 500 while “continuing to earn money.” He continues to play coy about the possibility that a private-equity firm or larger retailer may soon acquire the company, and only fed the rumor mills more this spring by responding that he is “looking at all kinds of alternatives.” Over the next two years, he said, “we will determine where we are and where we are going. We’re doing a great job increasing profits and sales through better brand awareness. Before, we were just a sleepy, little Northeastern company. Now we’re known everywhere around the country.” Last year’s rank: 47. Power prediction: The company is snapped up by a private-equity firm next year.

53. Lana Cain
As executive vice-president and GMM of men’s for J.C. Penney, Lana Cain oversees one of the largest men’s businesses in the country. Since joining the Dallas-based retailer in 2003, after stints with Goody’s Family Clothing and the Sears Merchandise Group, Cain has been a key player in Penney’s successful repositioning campaign. Among the deals she has accomplished while at the chain are exclusive arrangements with Chip & Pepper, a red-hot premium denim brand, to produce a lower-priced line for Penney’s for back-to-school, as well as Solitude, a California lifestyle label. She’s been at the forefront of the introduction of Concepts by Claiborne this spring and keeps her eagle eye honed for merchandising opportunities wherever the men’s division can benefit, whether it’s big & tall, team sports or upscale jeans.

In addition to national brands, Cain also works closely with Penney’s in-house design and merchandising team on its massive private labels. In men’s, these include Stafford, St. John’s Bay and Arizona, all of which are among the company’s “power brands.” On the drawing board for next year is the eagerly awaited launch of American Living, the first label being produced by Ralph Lauren’s newly formed Global Brand Concepts. The label, which will cross all merchandise categories, will be Penney’s biggest launch ever.

Cain is at Penney’s at just the right time. Over the past seven years the company has transformed itself from an uninspired mall store selling boring basics, to the department store of choice for the moderate customer. Its same-store sales continue to increase and its stock price has risen more than tenfold since 2000. By 2011 the goals are the addition of 250 new stores, mostly off-mall; overall sales gains of 9 percent; comps that will rise in the mid- to low-single digits; operating income of between 12 percent and 12.5 percent of sales; and earnings per share of 16 percent on a compounded annual growth rate. Last year’s rank: 58. Power prediction: American Living will be a hit with American men.

54. Ronny Wurtzburger

As head of the privately owned Peerless International, the U.S. arm of Montreal-based Peerless Clothing Co., Ronny Wurztburger has been a central figure in the clothing business. Working with company president Alvin Segal, Wurtzburger has been the spark plug that drove the company to the top spot in the U.S. market.

This year alone, Peerless jumped to first place in the boy’s better suit, dress shirt and tie business with its Joseph Abboud and Michael Kors labels. At the same time, the company’s Talia label has started shipping to specialty stores and sales are already running ahead of plan for the company that has traditionally done the bulk of its business with department stores and chains.

But the big coup will come next spring when the company begins shipping its new licensed Easy Living tailored clothing—Ralph Lauren’s exclusive private label for J.C. Penney. All other classifications are being done in-house. This will be in addition to the foothold that company has at the retailer with its Izod and Van Heusen labels. In addition, Wurtzburger expects to announce two new designer licenses for men’s and boys’ clothing before the end of the year, which he describes as “classic American designers that the average Joe would know.” Last year’s rank: 62. Power prediction: Wurtzburger adds new labels to keep Peerless on the growth track it has stayed on since 1992, the year he joined the company.

55. Jim Gold
On July 19 at noon, give or take a minute, Bergdorf Goodman cracked $500 million in annual sales for the first time. On hand to bask in the glow of the moment was the company’s president and CEO, Jim Gold, along with his boss, Neiman Marcus chief Burt Tansky, who proudly toasted the store’s associates on the accomplishment.

“The store’s success can be attributed to aggressive product and service strategies, along with an intensive capital investment,” Gold said. “We could not have reached this milestone without the loyalty of our clients, the talent of our associates, and the commitment and support of our vendor partners.”

The retailer’s rapidly increasing productivity is due to extensive renovations since 1999 that have modernized almost every floor within its separate men’s and women’s stores, and broadened its appeal; a rigorous marketing plan involving a packed schedule of events, from trunk shows to shop launches and book signings; and a successful Web site. Bergdorf Goodman Men, smartly merchandised by GMM Margaret Spaniolo and fashion director Tommy Fazio, along with a cadre of buyers, keeps humming with its unparalleled assortment of luxury labels.

Although there are still no plans to bring the Bergdorf name on the road, that hasn’t stopped Gold from always pushing the bar and making 58th and Fifth in New York City a must-visit destination for tourists and the industry. Last year’s rank: 72. Power prediction: Bergdorf finally takes it show on the road, opening in Boston and San Francisco.

56. Donatella Versace
The Versace men’s comeback hasn’t been as easy a pursuit as the women’s. Whereas back-to-back blockbuster collections and must-have bags have returned Versace main-line women’s back to its heady fashion days, inconsistency has dogged men’s wear. However, Donatella may have turned the corner. Earlier in the year she tapped Alexandre Plokhov as a men’s wear consultant, and although the pairing may have seemed unlikely, the results proved otherwise.

Plokhov, who had shuttered his much-lauded label, Cloak, last year, offered Versace a modern pulse and sharp tailoring. As a result, Donatella’s newfound leanings toward more luxurious, sensual fare looked spot-on. The duo struck a perfect balance between edgy and wearable. Obviously more time is needed to develop and cement the strong aesthetic achieved in the spring ’08 collection, but time is something the company now seems to have.

The commercial line, Versace Collection, continues to gain ground, and CEO Giancarlo Di Risio’s restructuring plan is bearing fruit. The company is once again profitable, and although sales slipped about 6 percent to 288 million euros, or $362.9 million, last year, the drop was expected, since the company has been phasing out various product lines as it repositions itself into higher-margin luxury items. Last year’s rank: 51. Power prediction: If her January men’s collection is as well received as the previous one, Donatella could make Plokhov more than just a consultant.

57. Erich Stamminger
Following a succesful World Cup year, Adidas still managed to post small sales increases in ’07, thanks to the Adidas brand and growth in the TaylorMade-Adidas Golf segment. Sales in fiscal 2006 surged 53 percent to $14.27 billion (10.08 euros) from $9.4 billion (6.636 euros) in fiscal 2005. But Erich Stamminger, president and CEO of the Adidas brand, is making sure the momentum keeps going, especially with the Summer Olympics coming up next year in Beijing.

The company is outfitting the Olympic national committees of 17 nations, including China, with apparel and footwear, and will launch a super powerweb swimsuit at the games. Adidas is making its name a household word in China by opening a massive network of retail stores—it already has around 3,000 and is opening the equivalent of two stores a day with a 2010 goal of 5,000.

Additionally, Reebok, a subsidiary of Adidas, recently announced its biggest Chinese marketing and advertising campaign to support basketball icon Yao Ming in his quest for Olympic success to run exclusively in China. The company also opened an Adidas/NBA concept shop in Europe and signed an agreement for Dale Earnhardt Jr. apparel. Stamminger has led the Adidas brand since January 2006, about the same time that Adidas completed its acquisition of Reebok. Last year’s rank: 53. Power projection: Adidas will firmly establish its brands in China.

58. Reed Krakoff
When Coach brought Reed Krakoff on board 10 years ago as its first creative director, the New York-based accessories company was known more for its functionality than its fashion sense. Its sturdy and moderately priced leather handbags for men and women were practical and handsome, yet a far cry from the stylish lifestyle brand that Coach has become today, a label that now graces everything from outerwear and fragrance to men’s, women’s and children’s accessories.

Coach’s transformation from a $500 million mid-level manufacturer to a subtly chic $2.6 billion company can largely be credited to Krakoff, who now serves as the company’s president and executive creative director. He has successfully built the brand over the last few years by injecting his taste and style savvy treatment to Coach bags, scarves, store windows, retail locations, advertising campaigns and Web site, making it the envy of many of its global competitors.

Under Krakoff’s direction, the men’s collection has expanded adding outerwear, hat, shoe, watch and sunglass categories with a focus on classic American style and quality. Coach men’s collection now accounts for upwards of 10 percent of the company’s global sales and is quickly growing with increased distribution. If that’s not enough, Diane Von Furstenberg just elected him to be the vice president of the CFDA in 2007. Last year’s rank: None. Power prediction: Men’s emerges as a key growth area for Coach.

59. Joe Gromek
These days, Warnaco president and CEO Joe Gromek owes his good fortunes to one name: Calvin Klein. At the end of its last quarter, the once-bankrupt Warnaco reported that sales by its domestic and international Calvin Klein jeans and underwear businesses were up 15 percent, with big opportunities for more growth in Asia and Europe, and Gromek has called Calvin Klein the cornerstone of Warnaco’s strategy. The nearly $500 million Calvin Klein business is a major contributor to the company’s $2 billion in annual sales, a figure that also includes revenue from the Chaps label, distributed in mid-tier giant Kohl’s.

Gromek isn’t faring too poorly himself—he’s one of men’s wear’s best rewarded executives, with total compensation of $4.3 million. What’s more, Wall Street went wild in September when Warnaco announced it was getting out of the pool by shedding its sluggish swimwear labels (except for performer Speedo), sending the company’s shares to new heights. Last year’s rank: 69. Power prediction: Gromek presides over further expansion of Calvin Klein licensed product, including increased company-owned retail operations, while the company’s international business grows to half of total revenues.

60. Dan and Dean Caten
It’s been an exciting year for Italian fashion’s favorite twin brothers. Dan and Dean Caten of Dsquared launched their first fragrance, Wood For Men, and opened their first directly owned store in Milan’s golden quadrilateral. The 5,000-square-foot space, which carries men’s, women’s and accessories, is a mountain high covered with a Milanese patina.

The brothers are expected to roll out up to 25 units in the next three years; directly owned flagships are slated for New York, L.A., London and Paris, while franchise agreements are in the works for other cities, including Hong Kong and Tokyo. Sales climbed 34 percent last year to reach 86 million euros, or $108 million (converted at average exchange rates for the period), and the designers forecast 12 percent sales growth this year. While they may not generate the same buzz as five years ago, the designers have proved their staying power—and their cameo in Fergie’s new video “Clumsy” is sure to raise their profile even more. Last year’s rank: 64. Power prediction: Although it’s a sportswear brand, expect the brothers to continue to up the luxury quotient in their collections.

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