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Siegel Appointed Head of Leiber Brand

The Leiber Group has named accessories veteran Maggy Siegel president and chief executive of the Judith Leiber brand, succeeding Victor Lipko.

NEW YORK — Judith Leiber, meet Maggy Siegel.

The Leiber Group on Friday appointed accessories industry veteran Maggy Siegel as president and chief executive officer of the Judith Leiber brand, effective March 3.

She replaces Victor Lipko, who is leaving the venerable handbag house to launch Valko Consulting, an accessories consulting group.

Siegel joins from Chanel USA, where she was vice president of fine jewelry and watches since 2000. Before that, she had been president at Baume & Mercier, and had also held top positions at Coach and Tiffany & Co.

During his seven-year tenure at Leiber, Lipko expanded the brand’s appeal by diversifying into new classifications. In 2001, the $30 million brand signed licenses for eyewear with eyewear manufacturer B. Robinson Optical Inc., and with footwear manufacturer J.J. Tal Ltd.

The departing ceo is also widely credited for overseeing the company’s rocky change of ownership. The then-Pegasus Apparel Group purchased 100 percent of the luxury firm for $13.2 million from the U.K.-based fine watch distributor Time Products Inc. in 2000.

Pegasus had hoped to develop an American fashion conglomerate by building a portfolio of brands that included Pamela Dennis, Angela Amiri, Daryl K and Miguel Adrover. The group took on the name of its most successful brand and became the Leiber Group.

But its fast rise quickly crumbled: Daryl K and Adrover were closed; Dennis split with her own company; Amiri broke her deal and started another line, and Stephen L. Ruzow, who founded Pegasus Apparel Group and was ceo, left to join Kellwood Co. as president of women’s wear.