NEW YORK — Nautica Enterprises Inc. named Bonnie Takhar president of its Earl Jean operation on Tuesday.

Takhar, who last served as managing director of Earl’s European operations, has been with the company’s London-based European division since 1999 and plans to relocate to Earl’s home office in Los Angeles. She succeeds Joe Krafka, who Nautica said has left the firm, and reports to Harvey Sanders, Nautica’s chairman, president and chief executive officer.

Sanders said in a phone interview that one of Takhar’s key accomplishments in building the brand in Europe has been "selling it more as a collection than just as a denim product."

It’s an approach he wants her to bring to the brand in the U.S., "developing it into more of a collection, possibly coming out with a sportswear line to augment it as well — a better-priced sportswear line."

Overall, Sanders noted that since its 1999 launch, Earl Jean’s European business has grown to represent between 30 percent and 35 percent of the brand’s overall volume. He would not disclose Earl’s current sales figures. When Nautica bought Earl in 2001, it disclosed that sales for the previous year were $28.9 million.

The company doesn’t plan to fill the post of managing director for Europe, Sanders said. The European sales staff will continue to report to Takhar.

Nautica named Krafka president of the business in October 2001, about six months after buying the firm. He replaced co-founder Ben Freiwald, who has since left the company.

Prior to joining Earl, Takhar held sales positions at Nicole Farhi Group and Donna Karan.

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