By  on April 6, 2005

NEW YORK — Paul A. Robb, 52, has been named chief executive officer of Sag Harbor, Kellwood Co.’s largest and most profitable division.

He succeeds Martin Brody, 62, a founder and ceo of Sag Harbor, who will remain with the company during a transition period to ensure a smooth changeover in leadership.

Robb, a 30-year veteran of the apparel industry, was most recently president of Kellwood Menswear, a post he has held since 2002. He joined Kellwood in 2001 as president of its Slates licensed tops division. Earlier, he was president and ceo of Block Corp., a men’s sportswear firm, and Duck Head Apparel Co. He also has served as director and executive vice president of Eddie Haggar Ltd., a women’s wear company.

Robb, who will be based here, reports to Stephen L. Ruzow, president of Kellwood Womenswear.

“Paul is very much like Marty [Brody],” said Ruzow Tuesday. “He’s a great general manager and is good at directing a team. He’s done an incredible job in the men’s wear division and has made it bigger and more profitable.”

Succeeding Robb as president of Kellwood Menswear is Scott D. Felder, who most recently was senior vice president of sales and merchandising of the men’s division. Felder reports to Robert C. Skinner, president and chief operating officer of Kellwood, the $2.5 billion apparel firm.

Brody was the last remaining partner at Kellwood of the five founding Sag Harbor partners. Originally founded in 1965 as Parsons Place Apparel Co. Ltd., the company was acquired by Kellwood in 1986, and renamed Sag Harbor in 1994, after its most important division. Brody was part of the management team that took the Sag Harbor sportswear brand from annual wholesale volume of $40 million to more than $400 million today.

This spring, Sag Harbor embarked on its first multimillion-dollar national marketing campaign. The ads, which carry the tag line “The Clothes I Wear,” were created to signify that Sag Harbor clothes are meant to be worn every day to work, to shop, to play and to take care of the kids. In addition to the moderate sportswear brand, the ads also highlight Sag Harbor dresses and suits and licensed products such as handbags, eyewear and shoes.During the past two years, Sag Harbor has updated its product to make it more relevant and modern, said Ruzow. Previously, Sag Harbor was known mostly for its wool and linen jackets that garnered 80 to 90 percent of the business. Today, 60 percent of the volume is done in sweaters. “With the national ad campaign, we’re hoping to change the retailers’ and consumers’ perception of the brand,” said Ruzow.

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