NEW YORK — Lawrence Stroll and Silas Chou have begun to make their mark at Michael Kors LLC.
This story first appeared in the March 20, 2003 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The company confirmed several executive changes on Wednesday, including the expected departure of Kors’ longtime business partner, John Orchulli, but also said that Barbara LaMonica, president of Michael Kors since 1998, is leaving the firm.
LaMonica is being replaced by Donna Karan veteran Allison Ryba, who was named interim president. Also joining the company in a consulting role is Donna Karan and Leiber Group alum Susan Sokol, who is currently president of SLS Consulting.
The changes were all effective Wednesday, a spokeswoman for Kors said, adding that a new chief executive officer would be named shortly. She would not comment on any candidates, but market sources said Stroll and Chou have approached John Idol, ceo of Kasper ASL, who has worked with both Ryba and Sokol during his earlier tenure as ceo of Donna Karan.
Idol would not comment on the report, but said his relationship with Stroll and Chou is strictly that of a business acquaintance and that his immediate intentions remain to direct Kasper and its Anne Klein division through its bankruptcy proceedings. He is also among the parties looking to make an acquisition of the Kasper company as part of its restructuring.
Stroll said in a statement that Ryba had been working with Michael Kors LLC without an official title since the acquisition of the firm by Sportswear Holdings Ltd. in January.
“When we became partners with Michael, we had always intended for the current management team to stay in place for an interim period,” he said.
Ryba had worked with Donna Karan for 10 years, most recently as president of retail, a position she held until December 2001. Sokol founded her consulting business following her departure from the Leiber Group, where she held the title of president and ceo, and had earlier served as president of Donna Karan Collection and as president of women’s collection at Calvin Klein before that.