Warnaco Taps Meyer

Warnaco Group Inc. on Wednesday named Dwight Meyer to the new post of president of global sourcing.

Meyer, 52, last served as executive vice president of global sourcing at Ann Taylor Stores. At Warnaco, he will be based in New York and report to Joe Gromek, president and chief executive officer.

“Growing our gross margin is very important and growing our operating profit, and the way we intend to do that is through sourcing initiatives,” Gromek said in a phone interview. “We’ve got a great opportunity as we migrate from a manufacturing-based company toward an outsourced model.”

Warnaco currently manufactures some of its swimwear at company-owned facilities in Mexico and some high-end intimate apparel in France, but the bulk of the $1.42 billion in apparel and accessories it sold last year was sourced from foreign contractors. The company last year generated a gross margin of 33 percent, with a net profit of $42.5 million.

Meyer said that, after Gromek approached him, “looking at the business model here, the opportunity, it was impossible not to make the switch.”

David Lam, who currently heads up Ann Taylor’s Asian sourcing operation, will also be joining Warnaco as managing director of Warnaco Asia. He will report to Meyer and be based in Hong Kong.

Meyer and Gromek first worked together at Ann Taylor in the early Nineties.
— Scott Malone

Turn the Paige

With an expanded premium denim line and a new lower-priced collection bowing this fall, fit model-turned-jeans designer Paige Adams-Geller is on a “brand-building mission.”

Adams-Geller, 35, who worked as a fit model for Seven, Citizens of Humanity and Blue Cult from 1996 to 2004 before launching Paige Premium Denim this spring, made a personal appearance Saturday at Luna, an Atlanta-based specialty store with seven locations throughout the Southeast, including the Carolinas, Florida and Maryland. The Los Angeles-based designer, whose line is sold in some 530 specialty store accounts, will make similar appearances around the country, including Neiman Marcus stores in Las Vegas, Beverly Hills and Scottsdale, Ariz., in the coming weeks.

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