NEW YORK — Perry Ellis better women’s sportswear has a new head honcho in Wendy Chivian.Public Clothing Co., which has produced the line under license from Perry Ellis International since spring 2003, appointed Chivian president of the division on Friday.She succeeds Elissa Bromer, who left the company in December and later became group president of Nicole Miller sportswear at Donnkenny Apparel Inc.Chivian was president of Anne Klein, a division of Kasper A.S.L., but left shortly after the company was acquired by Jones Apparel Group in December. In her new role, Chivian reports to Public’s chief executive officer, Dan Shamdasani, and bears responsibility for all aspects of the better collection, designed by Patrick Robinson.“Having Wendy join us at this stage will direct and enhance our expansion in many ways,” said Shamdasani in a statement. “Patrick has set the DNA for the new Perry Ellis women’s brand, and Wendy will channel this energy to focus the future of the license.”Since Bromer left, a schism opened between Public Clothing and the designer over the direction of the line, as reported in WWD last month. Robinson’s designs have leaned more contemporary than is the norm in the better market, and the designer was believed to be under pressure from PEI and Public Clothing to take a more classic tack.Last week, PEI was said to be in talks with Robinson to start a women’s collection business, a move that could offer the designer more freedom while keeping him involved in the design of the better line.Thus far, nothing has changed in Robinson’s role at Public Clothing.
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