NEW YORK — The transition of Kasper A.S.L. into its new ownership by Jones Apparel Group is continuing to take a toll on Kasper’s personnel, as sources said Wendy R. Chivian, president of its Anne Klein division, is expected to leave the...
NEW YORK — The transition of Kasper A.S.L. into its new ownership by Jones Apparel Group is continuing to take a toll on Kasper’s personnel, as sources said Wendy R. Chivian, president of its Anne Klein division, is expected to leave the company.
After Jones won an auction during Kasper’s bankruptcy proceedings with a $215.5 million offer in August, Jones has been moving quickly to strategize its plans for Anne Klein — the most high-profile label in Kasper’s portfolio —to be implemented once the transaction is completed within the next few weeks. While insiders said Jones apparently intends to leave Kasper’s core better suit business alone, there have been several indications that the company plans to rebuild Anne Klein, which has a relatively small volume but a lot of potential for growth, with its own team. Sources said Chivian was recently asked to leave the company following the transition.
A veteran of the bridge market with long-standing ties to Anne Klein, Chivian has been president of the brand since shortly after it was acquired by Kasper in 1999, with the exception of a two-month period in 2001, when she had overseen sales for the larger Kasper brand. She previously had been president of the DKNY Kids division of Esprit de Corp. and before that had worked with Anne Klein Co. from 1991 to 1997, most recently as senior vice president of sales.
She referred calls on Wednesday to a spokeswoman for the firm, who declined to comment.
Already, Michael Smaldone, vice president and chief design officer of the Anne Klein New York collection, resigned to join Ann Taylor as senior vice president of design for Ann Taylor Stores, and John Idol, chief executive officer of Kasper A.S.L., has said he will leave the company following the completion of the sale. Idol has frequently been rumored to be planning to then join Michael Kors Inc., although neither company has confirmed that development.
Meanwhile, Jones is said to be planning to install Christian Francis Roth as Smaldone’s successor at the Anne Klein collection, as reported last week.
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