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Denim Dish: Warnaco Taps Meyer … Turn The Paige … Scoop Gets Exclusive …

<STRONG>Warnaco Taps Meyer <BR></STRONG><BR>Warnaco Group Inc. on Wednesday named Dwight Meyer to the new post of president of global sourcing.<BR><BR>Meyer, 52, last served as executive vice president of global sourcing at Ann Taylor Stores. At...

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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.

The 14-piece cotton denim collection will expand for fall to include sportswear pieces and denim-related items, such as tweed trousers, satin camisoles and velvet, satin-lined blazers that retail for $165 to $250.

A lower-priced line, City of Angels, will also launch this fall, an eight-piece collection of denim retailing at around $88. The new line is “more rock ’n’ roll-influenced,” said Adams-Geller, with more embellishment. The line is designed to expand the brand to younger customers, including the teenage daughters of her premium denim customers, she said.

Details in the Paige Premium Denim collection include vintage-inspired linings, velvet and grosgrain ribbon waistband linings and delicate small stitching. Along with more sportswear pieces, future plans call for more fit variety, including a higher rise.

The fit of both lines is designed to “lift the derriere, lengthen legs and slenderize hips and thighs,” said Adams-Geller. Both lines also carry an overriding message of positive body image, said Adams-Geller, who suffered from anorexia as a model in her teens and 20s. Each pair of jeans comes with a card in a special credit card back pocket with a message exhorting customers to “feel good about your body and comfortable in your skin.”

At Luna on Saturday, around 100 pairs of jeans sold, according to owner Tina Hart, who said the first shipment of 200 pairs sold out a week earlier this spring, with the Mulholland Trouser, which “fits all body types,” as a bestseller.

“Paige understands fit,” said Hart. “The rinse is soft and feminine, without the hard edge that a lot of jeans have.”

First-year sales for the two lines are projected at $30 million, said Adams-Geller.
— Georgia Lee


Scoop Gets Exclusive

AG Adriano Goldschmied has produced an exclusive pair of women’s and men’s jeans for Scoop boutiques called, naturally, The Scoop.

“It’s lightweight, with a little flare and in the perfect fade,” said Stefani Greenfield, co-owner of Scoop boutiques. “Not only does it look great, but it’s totally on trend and special since you can only get it at Scoop.”

The Scoop will retail for $128. The women’s style is made from a 10.5-oz. denim and will be available in all eight Scoop stores nationwide and on the scoopnyc.com Web site by the end of this week. It will remain on shelves throughout the summer.

Yul Ku, president of Koos Mfg., the Los Angeles jeansmaker that produces the AG Adriano Goldschmied brand, said the move was made “In keeping with our philosophy of building strong partnerships with our stores….We wanted to deepen our investment with their company by working together to help Scoop develop a jean for their customer.”
— L.D.


 Limited Editions for Polo

Polo Jeans Co. has introduced a limited-edition denim collection that includes a denim ballgown and artisan painted jeans.

The ballgown is in stores now and the painted jeans will hit stores in August.

“Denim is limitless,” said Heather Pech, president and chief executive officer of Polo Jeans Co. “We wanted to create a personal style through a fabric that we love. How you dress it up or down is up to you. Young Americans today are creating their own personal style.”

The ballgown has a corset top and cascading denim train. Only 150 gowns will be made available for purchase to the public. The gowns are available at polojeans.com and select department stores nationwide. The retail price is $349.

“A great pair of jeans can go from the beach to a black-tie event,” said Pech. “I’ll leave my husband behind, but my denim is coming with me.”

The painted denim comes in one style, the Whitney, a stretch low-rise boot cut. Each of the 400 pairs are one-of-a kind. The painted jeans will retail for $150 and will be available at Macy’s East, Macy’s West, Macy’s Beverly Center and Lord & Taylor, in addition to polojeans.com.

“We have a great love affair with denim,” said Pech. “There’s an intimacy between that fabric and the consumer.”
— Lauren DeCarlo


Big Bonuses for VF Brass

Coming off a year in which the company completed three acquisitions and posted a 19 percent rise in net income, VF Corp.’s top officials saw significant pay hikes.

According to the Greensboro, N.C.-based company’s proxy filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, chairman, president and chief executive officer Mackey McDonald was paid a combined $3.2 million in salary, bonus and other cash compensation last year, a 44.1 percent hike from the prior year. The increase primarily came from an almost $2 million bonus payment, close to double the prior year’s.

The board’s compensation committee, in the filing, noted that in addition to VF’s financial growth, McDonald’s pay reflected his success “in a number of areas, including building lifestyle brands, sales growth, stretching brands and customers to new geographies, leveraging VF’s supply-chain capabilities and leadership development.”

Among the firm’s other top executives, Terry Lay, vice president and chairman of the firm’s jeanswear coalition, saw his pay rise 29 percent to $1.3 million; Eric Wiseman, vice president and chairman of the outdoor and sportswear coalitions, recorded a 56.2 percent increase to $1.3 million; John Schamberger, vice president and chairman of cross-coalition management, was up 29.9 percent to $1.2 million, and Robert Shearer, vice president and chief financial officer, was awarded a 36.8 percent hike to $1.1 million.

Over the course of the year, Schamberger exercised 162,000 stock options, resulting in $2.4 million in income above and beyond his salary and bonus. Shearer cashed in 13,000 options for a profit of $257,959 and Lay used 700 options, making $10,745.

VF reported income last year of $474.7 million on sales of $6.05 billion.
— S.M.

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