NEW YORK — Melissa Parker-Lilly, currently president of the Italian luxury knit firm Agnona, has been named president of the Donna Karan New York Collection brand.
She is the latest key executive to join the Donna Karan team since Fred Wilson took over as chief executive in September and moved to restructure the company by brand, rather than between women’s and men’s divisions. Her appointment follows those of Mary Wang as president of DKNY and Carol Sharpe as president of retail.
Parker-Lilly oversaw the U.S. launch and operations of Agnona after the label was acquired by Ermenegildo Zegna four years ago, and previously had rebuilt Loro Piana’s business in the U.S. as senior vice president. Before that, she was executive vice president at Hermès.
Agnona has been cited by several retailers as a fast-growing luxury ready-to-wear label recently, with notable gains at Bergdorf Goodman, which launched a 500-square-foot Agnona shop last year. Its fall trunk show at the store garnered sales of $900,000, putting the label in the leagues of Oscar de la Renta and Akris.
In the new position at DKI, Parker-Lilly will be responsible for women’s, men’s, shoes and accessories under the Donna Karan New York label and will join the company on Jan. 6.
“We created this position in order to strengthen the brand focus,” Wilson said. “Her expertise in product development and brand building will be crucial in the repositioning of the Donna Karan New York brand.”
While the position is new because of the restructuring, DKI has operated without a head for its collection business for several months. Under the previous corporate structure, Carol Kerner, who resigned in May, was president of the Donna Karan and DKNY women’s lines.