WARNACO NAMES BARAN: Joyce Baran has been appointed vice president of creative design for the Warner’s, Olga and Bodyslimmers intimate apparel businesses at The Warnaco Group.

Baran was formerly vice president of merchandising and design at the licensed Liz Claiborne Intimates unit of Jockey International since August 2000. She reports to David Clark, president of Warnaco Intimates, overseeing the trio of brands.

Baran, a shapewear specialist in the intimate apparel industry for more than 20 years, also served as vice president of merchandising at Specialty Intimates, a former unit of Sara Lee Intimate Apparel, as well as merchandising and design posts at Ithaca Industries and Warnaco in the 1980s.

In other developments at Warnaco, Gwen Widell, senior vice president of merchandising and product development for Warnaco Intimate Apparel, has left the company after a 15-year career at Warnaco. Widell’s plans could not be learned.

Tom Wyatt, president of the Warnaco Intimate Apparel Group, overseeing all brands in that sector, said: "We plan to name a successor. We also plan to realign the structure of the intimates businesses, and will be looking at differentiating the design talent and teams of Warner’s and Olga because they are two distinctly different brands."

Warnaco, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in June 2001, is due to file its reorganization plan today. Wyatt said, "We are extremely proud of what has been accomplished here since filing for bankruptcy."

KELLWOOD TAPS DARMANTE: Michael Darmante has been promoted to president of the Biflex International Inc. division of Kellwood Co.

Darmante succeeds his brother, Dale, a 24-year veteran of Biflex, who will retire Oct. 31. Also retiring will be their father, Frank, chief executive officer of Biflex, who has been with the company since 1972 and purchased the firm in 1978.

Darmante, who has been at the Biflex company for 22 years, most recently was executive vice president of Biflex. Prior to Kellwood’s acquisition of Biflex in 2000, he was executive vice president of manufacturing. He reports to James Mogan, president of Kellwood’s intimate apparel operation.

A new ceo at Biflex will not be named, according to a Kellwood spokeswoman. She said, "The business will continue the way the Darmantes created it. We plan to take it to the next level."Biflex is known for innovative product design and speed to market for private label bras. The firm also produces a licensed collection of bras under the Oscar de la Renta brand.

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