With plans to venture into new categories including home and lifestyle, Lela Rose has hired Ellen Rodriguez as chief executive officer of the brand.
Rodriguez will officially exit French Connection USA today as president and ceo. At Lela Rose, she takes over some of the responsibilities previously handled by Karen Scheck, who exited the company as president in March. Scheck, who could not be reached for comment, resigned to spend more time with her three children, according to a Lela Rose spokeswoman.
Rose and Rodriguez said they each knew quickly after meeting each other for the first time that they would be good partners. Rodriguez will join the company May 12 in its West 30th Street offices, which has a staff of about 17. Her licensing know-how was a major plus with Rose, who used CT Partners for the executive search. Not to mention that “Ellen looks every bit” like a Lela Rose person, the designer said. RELATED STORY: Lela Rose RTW Fall 2014 >>
Rose also said she liked that Rodriguez (who has 25 years of experience at Juicy Couture, Calvin Klein, Kenneth Cole, Nautica and Cole Haan) has such multidimensional experience in the fashion industry domestically and internationally. At two different points in her career, Rodriguez worked at Calvin Klein Inc. — first in corporate planning and a decade later as executive vice president of global licensing and marketing.
After graduating from what was formerly known as Parsons School of Design, Rose honed her skills working for Richard Tyler and then Christian Francis Roth before opening her own business in 1998. The Lela Rose label is sold in more than 75 specialty stores nationwide, including Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom and Bloomingdale’s. The designer has a flagship store in her hometown of Dallas. Her collection is also sold in Canada, Europe, Russia, the Middle East and Japan. Building the designer’s core business is the number-one priority, Rodriguez said. While building the current business, which includes bridal gowns and bridesmaid dresses, will be the immediate focus, there are plans to expand into shoes, bags, jewelry and other categories. It has not yet been determined whether that will be done in house or through licensing deals.
That said, the designer does have a signature tabletop collection in development, though a launch date has not been set.
From overseeing America’s fastest-growing speciality retailers to codifying cool, WWD talked to the women who are leading the way for the future of beauty. Check out our Instagram Stories to see how these women built today and are creating tomorrow. (📸: @hannah_khymych) #wwdbeauty
For @laperlalingerie's spring 2018 show, the brand chose to host their event at @thevenetianmacao. With Chinese megastars @bingbing_fan and @hubing in attendance, La Perla debuted a rock ‘n’ roll-inspired collection. The show marked the start of Sands Macao Fashion Week, which runs from October 19 to 24 — the city’s first such event. Pictured here are models backstage with glimmering eyes. #wwdfashion (📷: Cheuk-Yin To)
Trending for spring 2018: top stitch design. Gone are the days of stitch just for seams — designers are using the once-minimal detail to create strong decorative elements. (📷: Paola Testa; Styled by @andrew_shang) #wwdfashion
@tradesy is turning the concept of a showroom upside down with its new space in Santa Monica. Here, the company plans to hold events, art exhibits and a showcase rare fashion pieces like this Louis Vuitton boxing set. Get all the details on Tradesy’s first showroom on WWD.com. #wwdnews
Spotted last night at the @erdem x @hm launch event: Kate Bosworth, Rashida Jones, Kirsten Dunst and Selma Blair. The party, which took place in LA, also marked the opening of their pop-up shop. “I was interested in creating a collection that wasn’t in any way disposable. It was about pieces you’d create and keep forever, things that have a permanence to it,” designer Erdem Moralioglu said. #wwdeye (📷: Katie Jones)
Renee Zellweger in yellow in 2001 and again in 2017. Chosen as one of the 12 @pantone Leading Spring Colors (and dubbed “Meadowlark”), it only makes sense that the bright hue stands the test of time and is making a resurgence this season, seen already on stars like @blakelively and @gigihadid. (📷: Donato Sardello & @rexfeatures) #wwdfashion #tbt
Dior’s 70th anniversary celebration continues with a new exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. “Christian Dior,” which is scheduled to run through March 18, takes a look at the founders tenure from 1947 to 1057 and feature 40 designs. Pictured here is an evening gown from the Ailée, fall 1948-49 haute couture collection. #wwdfashion (📷: Brian Boyle)