ST. JOHN PICKS: Knitwear house St. John International announced that creative director Kelly Gray, the daughter of co-founders Bob and Marie Gray who has been the company’s model, entered into a new three-year agreement. In addition, Marie Gray, chief designer of the Irvine, Calif.-based luxury brand, extended her employment pact through Dec. 31. St. John also said it has made three top-level appointments. Robert Green is the new executive vice president, sales and marketing, after stints at Ermenegildo Zegna, Calvin Klein and Zegna. Max Weinstein, executive vice president, operations, comes from Calvin Klein. Elfriede Campbell is leaving her post at Hermès of Paris to be executive vice president, human resources. They will report to Richard Cohen, chief executive officer, and will serve on St. John’s executive committee. Cohen, the former ceo of Zegna’s U.S. operations, was picked to lead St. John last year. The Gray family sold a majority of St. John to Vestar for $520 million in 1999 when the company was taken private, but retain a minority stake.

MILLER GETS ACTIVE: Warnaco Swim Group has named Doris Miller as vice president of activewear sales and licensing, a new post that reflects the company’s commitment to building this category. She will be based in Los Angeles and will report to Kathy Van Ness, executive vice president of Warnaco Swim Group. A 25-year industry veteran, Miller, 47, most recently was director of softline sales at Walt Disney Co. and also has held senior posts at Swimwear Anywhere, Fila and Nike. Miller will primarily oversee the Speedo Axcelerate activewear line, which hits stores this spring. Designed as a performance line, it has bright colors and contemporary styling.

DESERT CROSSING: Juniors’ manufacturer Hot Kiss in Los Angeles plans to open as many as 20 stores in the Middle East in the next five years through its exclusive international distribution agreement with Liwa Trading Enterprises LLC, a major Middle East retailer and marketer. The deal, brokered by Van Nuys, Calif.-based Cherokee Inc., marks the first Hot Kiss distribution agreement in the Middle East. “It’s a growing region and they’re looking for American brands,” said Larry Sass, senior vice president at Cherokee, which also has negotiated retail deals for Hot Kiss in China and South Korea. Hot Kiss will open two stores in Bahrain and Dubai, United Arab Emirates, in March.FINANCO APPOINTMENT: Financo Inc., the investment banking firm, promoted Karen F. Goodman from director to managing director. She continues to report to Gilbert Harrison, chairman, and also will report to William Susman, president and chief operating officer. Goodman joined Financo in 1994 and has worked on the sale of Ellen Tracy to Liz Claiborne, the sale of Florsheim Shoes to Weyco Group and the sale of Oshman’s to Gart Sports. She also is responsible for developing strategic business plans, structuring financing and raising capital for new retail ventures.

Other Financo managing directors are Mary Ann Domuracki and Michael O’Hara. Financo also operates Mercantile Capital Partners, headed by Antoine Treuille, executive managing director, and managing directors Joshua Goldberg and Edward Harrison.

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