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NEW YORK — Call her the comeback kid.
After leaving Donna Karan International in 2002 for Abercrombie & Fitch, Carole Kerner is returning to become president of the Donna Karan New York collection, responsibilities she held between 2000 and 2002. She will join the company on March 23 and will be in charge of Karan’s designer sportswear and accessories.
The LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton brand has been searching for a division president since the departure of Melissa Parker-Lilly last May.
Kerner had been senior vice president and general merchandise manager at Abercrombie & Fitch, where she was in charge of the new Ruehl retail brand, which was launched last September with stores in Chicago; Tampa, Fla., and Paramus, N.J. Ruehl offers casual sportswear that is a bit more expensive than A&F and targets a more mature customer than the A&F and Hollister brands.
Kerner was traveling and could not be reached for comment. An A&F spokeswoman did not return a call seeking comment.
Kerner was president of DKNY Womens from 1998 until 2000, then assumed the additional role of president of Donna Karan Womens collection until 2002. Considered a strong, creative merchant, Kerner is returning to DKI with a range of experience, having worked for Calvin Klein Sport, J. Crew and Warnaco. She will report to Jeffry Aronsson, chief executive officer of DKI.
Part of Kerner’s role will be to aggressively build its retail presence of handbags, shoes, belts, scarves and jewelry, using resources made available through its parent, LVMH.
This story first appeared in the March 7, 2005 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.