LEWIS EXITS TOP POSTS AT PEPE JEANS, HILFIGER

Byline: Janet Ozzard

NEW YORK--Edwin Lewis resigned as chairman and chief executive officer of Pepe Jeans USA and vice chairman of Tommy Hilfiger Corp. on Tuesday.
Lawrence Stroll, group chief executive officer of parent company Pepe Jeans London Corp. and a director of Tommy Hilfiger, said Lewis will not be replaced. Instead, Stroll will assume Lewis's duties and responsibilities. Stroll and Lewis said in a phone interview Tuesday that the move will not delay the launch of Tommy Jeans, the women's and men's jeanswear line Pepe has licensed from Tommy Hilfiger. Tommy is scheduled to make its debut this fall.
Lewis said the split is amicable and added that he was not going to look for a post at another apparel company. Instead, he said, he will pursue "personal interests." He wouldn't elaborate.
"I'm a happy man," said Lewis. He said he will cash in his 2 percent equity position in Apparel International Holdings Ltd., which owns the Tommy Hilfiger Corp. and SEL Holdings, the parent of Pepe Jeans London Corp.
Lewis has been involved in the Tommy Hilfiger and Pepe Jeans businesses for five years. He became a partner and chief executive officer of Tommy Hilfiger Corp. in December 1990 after leaving Polo Ralph Lauren, where he had been an executive vice president.
In 1994, he became vice chairman of Hilfiger and chairman and ceo of Pepe, succeeding Jay Margolis.

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