NEW YORK — As it prepares to return to the women’s sportswear business, Nautica Enterprises Inc. is beefing up its management.
The company said Tuesday that Miyuki Takahashi will join the firm Sept. 3 as senior vice president and creative director to oversee the creative design direction for all Nautica women’s products, including women’s sportswear and jeans. The post is a new one. She will report to Harvey Sanders, chairman, president and chief executive officer.
In addition, Leslie Singer on Wednesday is to join Nautica as vice president of sales for women’s jeans, a division that started two years ago, reporting to Paulette McCready, president of Nautica Jeans Co. Singer will assume some of the responsibilities left open by Sandra Campos, senior vice president of sales and merchandising, who recently left the company.
Don Witkowski, president of Nautica International, who also oversees men’s sportswear, has taken on the added responsibility of developing the women’s sportswear line, which is being developed now and sent to retailers on a trial run. Takahashi will collaborate with Witkowski and McCready on the development of these women’s lines.
"We’re gearing up for the launch of women’s sportswear. Don has been instrumental in providing strategies for Nautica men’s, so it’s a natural fit for him to assume the leadership role of women’s too," said Shannon Froehlich, vice president of corporate investor relations.
Takahashi most recently worked at Sweetface Fashions as vice president of design for J.Lo by Jennifer Lopez. Prior to that, she worked at Liz Claiborne Inc., where she was vice president of design for DKNY women’s jeans and City DKNY for three years. She has also worked at Polo Jeans Co. as a design director for women’s Polo jeans.
Commenting on the jeans business, McCready said in a statement: "Our Nautica women’s jeans division has experienced strong growth since its inception only two years ago. With the addition of Miyuki and Leslie, we have built and positioned an even stronger team…which will enable us to accelerate our growth potential."
Prior to joining Nautica, Singer was vice president of women’s sales at Guess Inc. for the past six years. She also worked as a divisional merchandise manager at Macy’s East for women’s dresses.Nautica’s last venture into women’s sportswear was through a licensing agreement with Bernard Chaus Inc. that was inked in 1995. That deal ended in 1998.
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast