NEW YORK — Could John Varvatos be Max Wilson's next stop?

Market sources said Wilson has been in talks with Varvatos to take a top design position there, most likely as vice president of design. A Varvatos spokeswoman declined comment.

Most recently, Wilson was vice president of design for women's apparel at Sean John, which he joined in August 2004, but left in April. Wilson is possibly best known to the industry for his 11 years at Polo Ralph Lauren Corp., which he joined as associate designer in 1993, and where, in 1998, he became vice president of women's design, succeeding Maggie Norris, who left to launch her own collection. Prior to joining Polo, Wilson worked on Calvin Klein's women's collection.

The Detroit native and graduate of Parsons School of Design would bring his strong women's design experience to Varvatos. Hiring could signal a further commitment by Varvatos to intensify its women's business, which it launched more than a year ago and which accounts for about 20 percent of the business. Industry experts estimate the company's sales at just less than $50 million in combined wholesale and retail operations.

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