BY GEORGE! A FASHION STUDIO: George, the Wal-Mart/ASDA fashion collection, has opened its first fashion studio in a bid to streamline its design and production operations and reduce the lead time on its fast-fashion collections. The studio opened earlier this month, and is across the street from the U.K. Wal-Mart/ASDA headquarters in Leeds. "With design, pattern-cutting and sample-making under one roof, we will be able to cut our lead times by about two weeks," said Andy Bond, managing director of the George at ASDA brand. "The studio will also help us ensure the product is as consistent as possible," he said before the presentation of George’s spring collection. George’s fast-fashion collections usually take seven or eight weeks to go from sketch to store, and appear every two weeks at Wal-Mart/ASDA stores. In the U.K., Wal-Mart/ASDA is the second-biggest volume clothing retailer, after Marks & Spencer.

GOLUB TO GADZOOKS: Nancy Golub has joined Gadzooks Inc. as divisional merchandise manager of accessories. She succeeds Ellen Neiger, who has moved to the company’s planning operations. Golub reports to general merchandising manager Tory Myers, who in turn reports to chief merchandising officer Paula Masters. Golub has 13 years of experience in the fashion retail industry, most recently at Wet Seal Inc. Prior to that, she held buying positions at Zale Corp., County Seat Stores Inc., and the Express division of Limited Brands. In a statement, as reported, on Jan. 22 the Dallas-based specialty retailer said that beginning with the back-to-school season, it will eliminate all men’s merchandise and "reinvent" itself as a retailer of women’s apparel and accessories only. Masters said that Golub’s "knowledge of the female consumer makes her a perfect fit for our new concept."

LESLIE FAY NAMES CIO: The Leslie Fay Co. Inc. has named Ann Joyce to the new position of chief information officer. Joyce is responsible for overseeing all corporate systems and information-related activities. Prior to joining Leslie Fay, Joyce was vice president of wholesale and corporate applications for Polo Ralph Lauren’s U.S. business. She reports to Leslie Fay chief executive W. John Short, who said reducing lead time through information technology is expected to improve profitability.

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