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Blass Exploring Future Moves

NEW YORK — The intrigue at Bill Blass Ltd. continues. <BR><BR>As reported Monday, the firm has been approached by a potential buyer and is exploring its options. <BR><BR>Now, longtime sales director John Lindsey has exited, and Blass promoted...

NEW YORK — The intrigue at Bill Blass Ltd. continues.

As reported Monday, the firm has been approached by a potential buyer and is exploring its options.

Now, longtime sales director John Lindsey has exited, and Blass promoted Jean Claude Huon from licensing coordinator to vice president. Huon, who had joined Blass last June as the liaison between creative director Michael Vollbracht and his team and the company’s licensees, will be in charge of the company’s licensing and sales.

“John Lindsey has left his position as sales director of Bill Blass Ltd., effective last Friday,” said Michael Groveman, chief executive officer, in a statement. “He made valuable contributions during his time at Bill Blass and we only wish him the best for the future. While no immediate replacement is planned, Lindsey’s responsibilities will now be shared by the sales team.

“Bill Blass Ltd. is in the process of strengthening its team, which has included the promotion of Jean Claude Huon as vice president and the hiring of Victoria Ashley as in-house director of public relations,” he continued.

Lindsey, who had joined Blass as an account executive on the sales staff in 1996, rose to sales director within a year. At Blass, he spent much of his time traveling to trunk shows nationwide and speaking to customers on the sales floor. An industry source said that, while Lindsey was liked by store buyers and had a strong rapport with clients, he had become critical of creative director Michael Vollbracht’s designs and their salability. Lindsey could not be reached for comment.