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Joanna Sykes Tapped by Aquascutum

Designer's influence to be felt in British label's 2011 collections.

Joanna Sykes

LONDON — Aquascutum has named Joanna Sykes design director.

Sykes, whose appointment is effective immediately, will work across the London-based brand’s men’s, women’s and accessories collections. She succeeds Graeme Fidler and Michael Herz, who in March resigned from their respective posts as head of men’s and women’s wear. Sykes is a Central Saint Martins alum who has designed for Giorgio Armani and Alberta Ferretti in the past. She launched her own label, Sykes, which is known for its silk separates, in 2007.

Belinda Earl, chief executive officer of Aquascutum, said alongside having “a fantastic eye for detail and cut,” Sykes has “a great deal of respect for luxury fabrics, and a great understanding of the brand’s heritage.

“I think the collection will really evolve,” said Earl. “We plan to expand the men’s, women’s and accessories collections, and there’s a big opportunity to develop the strength of the trench.”

Sykes will continue to produce her own label alongside her design role at Aquascutum. Her three-season contract to design for Freda, the private label collection from London boutique Matches, ended with the fall 2010 season. Earl deemed it “too soon” for Aquascutum to show at London Fashion Week in September, but said Sykes’ influence would be felt immediately at the company, and reflected fully in the label’s collections from next year.

Sykes added: “My aim is to continue to create beautiful, relevant, understated clothes and accessories….I want to combine this with a respect for Aquascutum’s heritage [and] an appreciation of the groundbreaking fabrics the brand has pioneered.”