NEW YORK — Taking the next step toward building the newly acquired Izod brand, Kellwood Co. has named Suzanne J. Karkus president of its Izod women’s wear division.

Karkus joins the company from Calvin Klein Jeans, where she was president of the women’s and juniors division. She begins her new position Jan. 6.

"[Karkus’] strong background and experience with the major brands in our industry, plus her exceptional relationships with retailers in all channels of distribution, bring a certain cachet and leadership to the table," said Stephen L. Ruzow, president of Kellwood women’s wear.

Karkus joined Calvin Klein Jeans in 1994, ascending to the president’s post in 1998. Before CKJ, she served in various sales, marketing and merchandising management positions at Carole Little, Pepe Jeans, Esprit and Polo Ralph Lauren.

Based in the firm’s New York headquarters, she will report to Ruzow. Izod’s women’s wear showrooms will open in the spring at 1411 Broadway. The first collection that the brand will offer is for spring 2004.

Izod is a licensed brand of the Phillips-Van Heusen Corp. As reported, its total retail sales and licensing revenue is about $500 million. That volume includes its women’s golf line, which does about $50 million. The women’s line overall could meet and perhaps exceed that figure — bringing Izod sales to the $1 billion level, according to its executives. Besides clothing, its licenses include men’s neckwear, belts, hosiery, pajamas, eyewear, boy’s wear and home.

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