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Hilfiger Revamps Production, Luxe ‘H’ Line in Development

NEW YORK — Tommy Hilfiger is streamlining production, while also eyeing a potential new designer line.<br><br>In an internal memo sent to employees by chief executive Joel Horowitz, he said the firm will now have one centralized production group...

NEW YORK — Tommy Hilfiger is streamlining production, while also eyeing a potential new designer line.

This story first appeared in the December 4, 2002 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

In an internal memo sent to employees by chief executive Joel Horowitz, he said the firm will now have one centralized production group for all U.S. merchandise supervised by JoAnne Bies, head of production for men’s sportswear and children’s wear. Bies, who has been with Hilfiger for five years and carries 19 years experience in production, has been promoted to president of production and will oversee the entire group.

In the memo, Horowitz said: “We have consistently been able to deliver a great product at a great value. In order to continue to maintain these high standards in a very competitive environment, we have decided to make some changes to further strengthen the production process.”

As part of the restructuring, Horowitz said the company has eliminated a “small percentage” of its production staff. A spokeswoman confirmed the restructuring and said that centralizing production was done to increase purchasing power and to have more effective use of factories. She also said that a “very small percentage” of staffers were let go. While not specifying the date, she said the internal memo was sent to employees in early-November.

Meanwhile, Hilfiger, who has backed off from his edgier designer experiments in recent years, seems to have caught the luxury bug again. Word has it he will introduce a more upscale line called “H” on the runway in February. The same Hilfiger spokeswoman acknowledged that H is a new line in development and that the firm “may do a presentation this spring.”